The best swimmers in Union County traveled to Middlesex County Sunday to compete in the annual Union County meets, which were held at the Sonny Werblin Rec Center in Piscataway, located on the campus of Rutgers University.
To no one’s surprise, perennial powers Westfield and Scotch Plains were dominant, with Westfield repeating as boys’ champions and Scotch Plains winning its third straight girls’ title.
However, one of the best individual performances was produced by Union junior Kai Legband in the boys’ competition. Legband was a two-event winner for the Farmers, capturing the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle competitions.
Legband was first in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.57 seconds and first in the 100-yard freestyle in a meet record time of 46.15 seconds. The previous mark of 46.75 seconds was first established in 1987 by Josh Bennett of Governor Livingston and then matched last year by New Providence senior David Hua.
Legband improved from finishing second in both events last year as a sophomore, with a time of 21.84 in the 50 and 47.97 in the 100.
As a team, the Union boys’ placed seventh Sunday with a total of 86 points.
Westfield won the meet with 459 points and Scotch Plains was second with 378.
In 2010 it was reported that Westfield won the Union County meet for the 53rd time in 54 years, with the only exception being Scotch Plains winning it in 1999.
The Blue Devils, presently ranked No. 1 in New Jersey, are 10-0 and later this year will attempt to win a 27th state championship.
Scotch Plains amassed 430 points to finish first on the girls’ side, with Westfield second at 297.
In the 200-yard individual medley, Cranford’s Lauren Byrne did well to place third in a time of 2:09.72. Finishing first was Lindsay Criqui of Oak Knoll at 2:07.25.
Criqui also placed first in the 100-backstroke in a time of 57.82 seconds.
Katelynn Furhmann of Union Catholic won the 50-yard freestyle event in a time of 24.49 seconds.
Sara Montagna of Governor Livingston came in first in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in 5:16.09.
Placing second in the 200-yard medley team event was Cranford, the Cougars finishing in 1:50.35. Team champion Scotch Plains was first in 1:47.74.