The GSB Swimming Team recorded one of its most accomplished seasons in recent program history.
The Knights Girls’ Team, who recently wrapped up their 2021-22 campaign at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions held in Deptford, New Jersey, finished the year in 3rd Place in the Skyland Conference Valley Division while also placing 6th in a highly competitive Non-Public B State Tournament.
Head Coach Mike Schaefer says this was one of his favorite seasons in his 18-year career in the sport because of how much the team cared about the sport and supported one another.
"I would say I am most proud of the comradery we had as a team this season,” said Schaefer. “These kids were able to build such great chemistry and stuck together no matter what. Having a team where all the athletes are friends and work together to make each other better definitely makes my job a lot easier."
Standout players included Ella Ecko ’25, Tahlia Kofman ’24, Margaux Scott ’24, Maddie Soultanian ’22, each of whom combined to qualify for the heralded Meet of Champions meet, competing in the 200-meter medley Relay and 200-meter Freestyle Relay. It marked the first time in school history that a relay team qualified for the competition, with the group combining to set new school records in both events.
Sophomore Scott, who also broke a third school record while competing in the Meet of Champions 100-meter Individual Breaststroke, led a talented Knights roster as the team’s Top Scorer during the season.
While the Boy’s Team was unable to fill a full roster, each swimmer gained steady progress over the course of the season, including standout freshman Nathan Jiang who not only qualified for county and conference meets, but set a GSB school record in the 200-meter Individual Medley.
"We had so many great moments this season,” reflected Schaefer. “Between numerous records and best times to making program history by having a relay qualify for MOCs for the first time. There were too many to pick just a few, so I would say this entire season start to finish was just a memorable one."
Coach Schaefer credits this season’s success to his senior captains, who he believes have set a strong foundation for the program for years to come.
“Anne Wang, Maddie Soultanian, Olivia Soultanian, Scooter Hulsen, Stephanie Vasquez, Ella Quincy, and Ryan Brandl were the best collective of captains I could think of,” said Schaefer. “Each one had their own special leadership qualities. From cheering, to motivating their teammates, to making sure every single athlete was ready and at the top of their game, they all did an amazing job this season in their roles."
"As we prepare for the 2022-23 season, our ultimate goal is to continue the success we have had over the last few seasons. We lose 7 amazing swimmers to graduation this season, so we start by trying to build our roster back and continue to grow our depth. We hope that with depth and a strong top of the list, we can bounce back from our first-round exit in the playoffs and go on a bit of a run next season and bring a few more swimmers to the Meet of Champions next season."