The boys’ and girls’ swim teams began the season with upset wins over Blair Academy on December 12. The boys’ squad earned a 75-68 victory while the girls won a thrilling meet by the score of 82-81. The wins were even more significant as it was the first time in school history that the swim teams competed in separate boys’ and girls’ varsity meets.
On the boys’ side, the Knights were led by a perfect mix of middle lane talent and depth. Preston Reep ’19 won the first race for Gill in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:05.64. Robert Brandl ’20 followed suit in the next race and won the 100 freestyle in 55.99, setting a school record. The relay team of Brandl, Reep, Jonathan Osma ’20 and Christian Ernst ’19 also won the 200 freestyle relay in a school record time of 1:40.89.
Also contributing key performances were Gabe Myler ’19 in the 100 backstroke, Adrian Massuet ’20 in the 100 breaststroke, Evan Matthews ‘20 in the 500 freestyle and Jake Baber ’21 in the 100 freestyle.
“Every single boy had huge swims to clinch this win,” said head coach Nolan Silbernagel. “Blair Academy has a strong boys’ team and placed significantly higher than us at Preps last year. To come out in the first meet and to take a win against them is an amazing tone setter for the rest of the season.”
The girls’ team meanwhile won its meet in dramatic fashion. The Knights were down by five points heading into the final event, the 400 freestyle relay. In order to secure the win, Gill needed to both win the event and have the “B” relay grab third place. The “A” relay of Caroline Grant ’20, Olivia Soultanian ’22, Laura Howard ’21, and Maddie Soultanian ’22 took first in a school record shattering time of 4:23.91. The “B” relay of Emily Wang ’20, Annie Chowansky ’22, Caity Hepplewhite ‘20, and Kelsey Breuer ’20 took third place and secured the win for the Knights.
“I honestly could not believe it,” admitted Silbernagel. “Blair has some all-state caliber swimmers, so to get a win against them was incredible. It truly was the epitome of a team win; there was a lot of pressure on everyone but they all stepped up and competed and I could not be more proud of all of them.”
The Knights are back in the pool on Monday, December 17, when they take on Morristown-Beard.