January 10, 2024

With Brophy Adding the Butterfly to his Portfolio, Undefeated PHS Boys’ Swimming Showing its Versatility

STROKES OF BRILLIANCE: Princeton High boys’ swimmer David Brophy heads to a win in a freestyle race earlier this season. Last Friday, junior standout Brophy placed first in the 100-yard butterfly and the 500 freestyle as PHS topped WW/P-South 124-46. The Tigers, who defeated Nottingham 121-49 last Monday to improve to 9-0, host Trenton on January 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For David Brophy and the Princeton High boys’ swimming team, facing formidable rivals Notre Dame and WW/P-South last week figured to be key midseason litmus tests.

“They are two very competitive teams, we were really excited for the meets and the competition in there,” said PHS junior standout Brophy. “I know a couple of kids from the other teams, it is always good to race against them.”

Brophy competed hard through the week, taking first in the 100-yard butterfly and second in the 500 freestyle as PHS defeated Notre Dame 117-53 last Wednesday.

Two days later, Brophy took first in both the 100 fly and 500 free as PHS cruised to a 124-46 win over WW/P-S. Other individual victors for the Tigers in the meet against the Pirates included Daniel Guo in the 200 free, David Xu in the 200 individual medley and 100 back, Tyler Cenci in the 100 free, and Henry Xu in the 100 breaststroke.

“Usually I do freestyle, I have been working on my butterfly recently,” said Brophy after the win over WW/P-S. “It is good to do. I liked it, it was great, I usually swim the 500. I can do all distances but the 500, I like it a lot even though it is tough one.”

In addition to prevailing in his individual events, Brophy helped the Tigers win the 200 medley really and the 400 free relay against the Pirates.

“I love relays because you are with your team,” said Brophy. “I love swimming with my friends. Usually I am the anchor leg, which is great, especially in the last race of the meet. Ending the whole meet like that is always great.”

With Tigers having defeated Nottingham 121-49 last Monday to improve to 9-0 and earn their 55th straight win over Colonial Valley Conference opponents, Brophy and his teammates relish that dominance.

“We always have a target on our backs and it is really great to compete,” said Brophy. “It is just a great team, I love being on this team.”

In order to do more for the team, Brophy has put in a lot of work outside of PHS.

“I swim for PTAC (the Princeton Tigers Aquatics Club), I have just been swimming a lot more and putting a lot more focus into swimming,” said Brophy. “I have been doing more longer practices, which helps out a lot in my 500. I have also been working on my butterfly a lot which has been good.”

PHS head coach Carly (Misiewicz) Fackler loves Brophy’s versatility and competitiveness.

“I had David in the fly and in the 500, two relatively close events so we are trying that out,” said Fackler. “His 100 free is pretty good too, and so is his 200 free. You can go all over the place with him really. He is somebody who always gets in and puts 120 percent in every time he swims.”

With the county meet coming up in late January, Fackler believes her boys’ team is in a good place.

“I love where the guys are at right now,” said Fackler. “So many of our guys can go in so many different events. The fun and the cool thing is that we can spice up the lineup and keep other teams on their toes and keep them guessing. Being able to capitalize on the versatility can play to our strengths and play to their weaknesses.”

With the PHS boys having advanced to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group B final in 2022 and the North 2 Group B sectional final last year only to fall to powerhouse Chatham in both meets, Fackler believes her boys are motivated to go the distance this winter.

“I think they are hungry, they are very aware what everyone else in the state is doing and has done recently,” said Fackler. “I think everything is always gearing up for that end goal, that bigger picture.”

In Brophy’s view, the Tigers are primed to accomplish their goals.

“I think we are in a really good place; we definitely have some tougher meets down the road, especially after counties,” said Brophy. “We are all looking forward to that. We are just really excited and we have to get a lot better and stronger but we are working really hard. All the competition this week has been really helping us getting better.”