Brick Memorial High School’s Peter Kellner expected to be “in the top two” in the 500-yard freestyle at the Jan. 9 Ocean County swim championships at the Ocean County YMCA in Toms River.
That prediction didn’t leave much wiggle room. But Kellner left little doubt as he won the 500 in a school record 4:53, decisively smashing his own previous mark of 5:01.
“He was just consistent all the way through,” Brick Memorial boys coach Don McCarrick said. “I feel good for him that he realized training pays off.”
McCarrick’s sophomore star was pressed by a swimmer from Toms River High School North, who led through the first half of the race before Kellner won by a six-second margin.
And it didn’t stop there. Kellner came in second in the 100-yard breaststroke in :58.02, two seconds off the winning time. What made that all the more impressive was that Kellner had raced the last heat in the individual medley and then the fourth heat in the backstroke, so he didn’t have much time to rest.
Zack Milko was sixth in the 100 butterfly in :58.7. Both swimmers swam the opening legs in the medley relay that finished fourth, along with Jay Spiegel and Tom Vroman. McCarrick also praised the efforts of distance freestylers Nick Brown and Tim Choma.
As for Brick Township High School’s boys team, Tyler Huizing was second in the individual medley in 2:03.74 and second in the butterfly in :55.93, both personal best times.Nick Essington was third in the 200 freestyle in 1:57.98 and fifth in the 500 in 4:58.23. His brother Matt was third in the 100 free in a personal best :51.25 and also placed in the 50 as the Green Dragons placed eighth in the team standings.
“They all swam very well and dropped their times, with 25 of 28 having their best times,” coach Barbara Floyd said.
She also praised Andrew Bajor with a fine 1:11.97 in the backstroke and Kon Goulas with a 1:02.57 time in the 100 free.A
s for the girls, Brick Memorial’s Sonya Pearce broke the school record in the 50 free with a :26.43 that tied her for third place. She was seventh in the 100 free in :58.35, just two hundredths of a second off the school record.
Pearce also swam the butterfly on the medley relay that finished eighth in 2:09.14, just one hundredth of a second off the school record.
Abby Wulfekotte led it off in the backstroke, her sister Jesse anchored in the freestyle, and Shanna Rodgers swam the breaststroke.
Rodgers was ninth in the 500 free in 6:07.95. She swam on the 200 free relay with the Wulfekotte sisters and Pearce that clocked a school record 1:52.51. That time was good for sixth place, but the team was later disqualified because of movement on the starting block.
“I thought the girls did a really nice job, one of their best showings in the last five years,” coach Todd Estelle said.
Estelle praised the efforts of Deanna Amodeo (1:21.47) and Jessica Urciuoli (1:21.77) in the butterfly and Kim Rusoff (1:34.43) in the backstroke. Jesse Wulkekotte clocked a :27.98 in the 50 free that qualified her for the Shore Conference championships next month in that event.