Senior Davis Has Fun, Success at Final County Meet, Exemplifying Positive Effort by PHS Swimming
FREE AND CLEAR: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Cami Davis churns her way to a second place finish in the 100 freestyle at the Mercer County Championships last Saturday. Senior star Davis, who also took third in the 50 free, helped PHS girls take third in the team standings at the event. The Tiger boys’ squad also had a strong showing at the competition, placing fifth overall. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Cami Davis was determined to savor the final Mercer County Championships in her career for the Princeton High girls’ swimming team.
“It was so exciting,” said PHS senior star and captain Davis, reflecting on competing at the county meet last weekend at WW/P-North.
“My main goal was to have a lot of fun because this season has been really great.”
Having fun and swimming great, Davis took third in the 50-meter freestyle and second in the 100 free to help PHS take third in the team standings behind champion WW/P-North and runner-up Pennington.
“We ended up doing really well which is also great,” said Davis, who helped PHS take sixth in the 2019 county meet.
“It was a big improvement from last year so definitely a little bit sad that it is over but it was super fun.”
In her first individual event of the day, Davis produced a strong swim in the 50 free.
“I enjoyed the 50 free just because I haven’t done it for the past three years,” said Davis.
In the 100 free, Davis had to overcome some nerves in order to enjoy the moment.
“I was definitely a little bit stressed and I reminded myself that my main goal was to have fun,” said Davis.
“That kind of helped to get the energy back up to swim it. The girl I was racing [Ellie Schinsky of Pennington] was super good so I had to look forward to be with her.”
While Davis and her teammates showed plenty of energy in the last event of the meet, the 400 free relay, they came up just short of victory, taking second in 4:06.68, 0.21 behind winner Pennington.
“We dropped time from prelims so that was nice to see,” said Davis. “Everyone tried their best and it would have been great if it had been a little faster and we could have gotten that first place.”
With PHS heading into the Central Jersey Public B sectional this week where it was seeded sixth and slated to host seventh-seeded Red Bank Regional on February 4 with the victor heading to the quarters at No. 3 Manasquan on February 7, Davis is looking for a nice state run.
“Coming off of this meet with the excitement that we had and the overall positivity going into states, I think we are going go be really excited,” said Davis.
PHS head coach Carly Misiewicz sees Davis as a big positive for her squad.
“Cami always does real well, she is finishing in the top two, top three in her events,” said Misiewicz.
“That last relay was unfortunate at the end, all four of them gave it their all. I think we dropped a total of 13 seconds from what we came seeded in to what we ended with. It is nothing but a success in my book.”
Misiewicz viewed the counties as a very successful meet overall for her girls’ squad.
“It was absolutely unexpected, it was super exciting,” said Misiewicz.
“When I left the prelims on Thursday night, I was looking at it and we had two girls back in almost everything and we are top three in all the relays. It is kind of crazy.”
That kind of depth should help the Tigers in state competition. “We have so much momentum right now carrying us,” said Misiewicz, who got a big meet from freshman Beatrice Cai as she took second in the 200 free and fourth in the 400 free.
“I don’t think anyone expected this; it was always the hope, I am excited and happy.
The PHS boys’ team will also be bringing some momentum into state tourney taking fifth in the county meet as freshman Daniel Baytin led the way, winning the 100 breaststroke, placing second in the 200 free and helping the Tigers end the meet by taking third in the 400 free relay.
“Daniel had a phenomenal meet; he said to me after that breaststroke why did you put me in the 400 free relay,” said Misiewicz, whose team is seeded third in the Central Jersey Public B sectional and will host a quarterfinal contest on February 6.
“I said you are our second fastest 100 swimmer, why would I not put you in there. That was really exciting; it was also an unfortunate touch out. We were right there.”
PHS had some other exciting results on the boys’ side as Owen Tennant took third in the 100 free and fourth in the 200 individual medley with Will Murray placing fifth in the 50 free and Jeshurun Reyen coming in sixth in both the 50 free and 100 free.
With the Tigers likely heading to a sectional semis showdown at second-seeded WW/P-South next week, Misiewicz is confident in her team’s chances to post a second win over the Pirates this winter.
“We have beaten South, we didn’t have Dan and they didn’t have two of their good guys,” said Misiewicz, whose squad topped WW/P-S 90-80 on December 17.
“If all goes well and we win on Thursday, we will have a really, really good matchup with them.”
In any event, Misiewicz believes that thriving in the high-pressure atmosphere of the county meet will pay off for her swimmers.
“Looking back on the whole weekend, I am happy with how we swam as a whole, that is all you can really ask for,” said Misiewicz.
“Counties is such a fun, high energy environment. It is so unique, you really don’t get any other environment like this. State meets are what they are. This is just another level.”
Davis, for her part, has drawn energy from the PHS program over the last four years.
“The biggest thing that will stand out is everybody cheering for each other and watching out for each other because at club meets, it is very individualized,” said Davis, who swims club with the Princeton Piranhas.
“My favorite thing about high school swimming is that we are all there for each other for one purpose and it is to help the team get better. That is the biggest thing I am going to look back on.”