Making Last Push for PHS Boys’ Swimming, Reyen Helps Tigers Advance to Sectional Final
FINAL RUN: Princeton High boys’ swimmer Jeshurun Reyen displays his form in a race earlier this winter. Last Wednesday, senior Reyen placed first in the 50 and 100-yard free to help third-seeded PHS post a 95-75 win over sixth-seeded Red Bank in the state Public B Central Jersey quarterfinals. On Monday, Reyen helped PHS edge second-seeded WW/P-South on power points in the sectional semis as the teams tied 85-85. PHS, now 13-1, will face top-seeded WW/P-North in the sectional final on February 14 at the Neptune Aquatic Center. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
As the Princeton High boys’ swim team hosted Red Bank Regional in the state Public B Central Jersey quarterfinals last Thursday at the John Witherspoon School pool, it marked the last home meet for senior star Jeshurun Reyen.
“It is really hard to believe, I have been swimming here for four years,” said Reyen. “It has been a great ride. It is lots of emotions, happy and sad.”
Swimming hard, Reyen placed first in the 50 and 100-yard free to help third-seeded PHS post a 95-75 win over sixth-seeded Red Bank.
“I definitely wasn’t doing my best today, I had to give it my all to make sure to get the wins,” said Reyen.
“I had some tough practices, I am feeling a little tired. I tried my best.”
With Red Bank narrowing the PHS to 57-53, Reyen helped the 200 free relay to a win as the Tigers regained momentum and didn’t look back on the way to the win.
“We have a pretty strong 50 free group,” said Reyen. “I am happy that we have some underclassmen who I can pass the torch on to.”
In looking back at his PHS career, Reyen pointed to those bonds as the highlight of his experience.
“We are all pretty close, we are like a family here,” said Reyen, who will get to keep working with that family as PHS edged second-seeded WW/P-South on power points in the sectional semis last Monday as the teams tied 85-85 and will face top-seeded WW/P-North in the sectional final on February 14 at the Neptune Aquatic Center.
“We all push each other to swim our best and there is really nothing more than that. We practice hard, we get together, we get fired up and we try to swim our best.”
PHS head coach Carly Misiewicz was fired by how Reyen pushed himself to a pair of wins against Red Bank.
“Jeshurun wasn’t totally happy with his times; I told him after the 50 at this point right now times are not necessarily a No. 1 priority,” said Misiewicz.
“It is ‘what is the highest finish that I can get for the team, what can I do to score the most points for the team,’ and he came out on top in the 50 and the 100 free and helped the 200 free relay to a big win.”
The team’s depth paved the way for the PHS victory and set it up well for the rematch against rival WW/P-South in the sectional semis.
“We knew they had some top dogs but we had to figure out a way where we could finish 2-3-4,” said Misiewicz.
“Our depth was going to propel us a little more, that is what we are going to need to rely on on Monday as well that is a huge thing.”
Bouncing back from a 106-64 loss to WW/P-North to start the season, PHS hasn’t tasted defeat since.
“Going 12 in a row after a season opening loss is great; a season opening loss can really do a lot to a team, good or bad,” said Misiewicz. “We were able to put that and turn it into something positive.”
Going on to the narrow win over WW/P-S in the sectional semis was another positive moment for the Tigers.
“We already know what they have; we saw them once this year and we saw them at counties,” said Misiewicz in assessing the matchup.
“We were fortunate enough to win (90-80 on December 17) the first time we saw them. They were missing two of their top guys and we have Dan [Baytin] now. It is going to be a good meet and I think anything could happen. I think it all about who is going to come in on Monday and want it more.”
Reyen, for his part, was primed for the second round against the Pirates.
“We beat them the first time during the season; it was pretty close,” said Reyen, who helped the 200 free relay take first in the meet against WW/P-S.
“They had a couple of swimmers that sat out for that meet and they will definitely make a bigger impact. We will try our hardest and hopefully move on to the final.”