By DAVE O’SULLIVAN
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — It may seem as though the Mainland Regional girls swimming team is the Katie McClintock show, as she has made a habit of smashing school records throughout her high school career — which is only a little more than halfway over. But the Mustangs have plenty of other talent, as they’ve been displaying this season at pools throughout the Cape-Atlantic League.
The latest stop was at Egg Harbor Township on Tuesday afternoon, and while McClintock was outstanding — again — she got plenty of help from her teammates as the Mustangs topped EHT, 97-73, to remain undefeated.
McClintock was a part of setting five school meters records, as she won the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, and was a part of two winning relays, the 200 medley and 200 freestyle. Also, her 50-free split time as the lead leg of the 200 free relay was a school record, and her time of 2:15.21 in the 200 IM was a national meters record, head coach Michael Schiavo said.
“We have a lot of new girls this and there’s a really good dynamic between everyone,” said Grace Gallagher, a senior captain. “We work really well together. We’re doing well and motivating each other, and that’s really what’s been driving us. Our hard work is paying off.”
“We expected it to be close. We kind of went into this as a team thing and swimming for each other. We weren’t worried so much about our times or the score, we just wanted to swim as fast as we can and as hard as we can,” said Julia Goodman, who was part of the winning 400-meter freestyle relay team and finished third in the 50 free. “We’re trying to make it all the way, that’s the goal, and we’re doing everything we can.”
Aside from McClintock’s wins, Mainland (9-0, 6-0 CAL American) got a win from Monica Iordanov in the 100 free and some key second-place finishes, such as Gallagher in the 50 free, Summer Cassidy in the 100 back and Maddie Falk in the 100 butterfly. Egg Harbor Township (3-2-1, 3-1-1) picked up a win from Caitlin Moore in the 200 and 500 free, Olivia Evans in the 50 free, and Alexandria Cotter in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
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“I think we’re definitely exceeding our own expectations,” Falk said. “We’re all putting in a lot of work and a lot of effort, and we’re surprising ourselves every meet. As the season progresses teams change, but we’re just working hard and training to maintain our progress.”
EHT is one of just two teams (with Millville, which has few lanes at its pool, being the other) that has held Mainland to less than 100 points, as the Mustangs are averaging 115 points per meet and have scored more than 120 points five times already.
“It’s our teammates and our goals that we set that motivate us,” Goodman said. “We all have individual goals, and we work to help our teammates accomplish theirs.”
Gallagher said the challenge now for Mainland is to continue pushing through the midseason lull, as the Stangs prepare for the league championships and state playoffs in February.
“We have to put in the work at practice, for sure, just going at it every day and lifting each other up. It comes in stages and waves, and every person goes through a lull, so we have to motivate each other,” she said. “For every tough meet we have, we just tell each other to do what has to be done. Just get it done, work for the team and we’ll be fine.”
Contact Dave O’Sullivan: email@example.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays