Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nv/demarest Captures Boys Swim Crown

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nv/demarest Captures Boys Swim Crown

Article excerpt

WAYNE - Josh Oh gave a simple message as he towered over the victory celebration.

The senior, with a towel draped around his neck, jumped on top of the bench to commend his team after one of the last meets of his high school career.

"Let's keep the tradition going."

That's just what NV/Demarest (12-0) did once again on Thursday night. The Norsemen became North 1, Group C champions with a 105.5- 64.5 win over Mountain Lakes to capture a fifth straight state sectional title. They have won every dual meet since the start of last season, and most haven't been close.

"Our pieces from A, B and C lanes and with every single person are so great," said Oh, who will swim for TCNJ. "I think it just shows that we're ready for the future rounds."

The results speak for themselves for the Norsemen's seniors. They've transformed NV/Demarest into a state power over the last few years with Lucas Keh and Kevin Shin also leading the way. The team had never won a Bergen County championship or a state group title before last winter.

"They came in with one [sectional] title under their belt for the program and transformed history into what Demarest swimming is today," coach Samantha Singer said of her seniors. "They've taken it and ran with it."

"They lead by example and help everybody," junior Erik Sarier said. "They're always so supportive of the team. They're not sitting. They're up cheering everybody on, no matter if they are in first place or last place and no matter who is swimming."

The latest championship also came from the program's ability to develop quality high school-only swimmers like Sarier and Chris Panzella to balance out the lineup. They finished only behind teammate Matt Maretic (22.91 seconds) in the 50-yard freestyle.

"I thought it was a mistake at first," said Sarier, on taking second. "I didn't think that I could beat all those kids. …

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