“The girls were thrilled to win the Skyland Conference championship again this year. They’ve been working hard and deserved every bit of this repeat title,” said coach Megan Decker, who was named 2021-2022 state coach of the year by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. “It is an honor to receive the state coach award. … The Mount swimmers make this award even more rewarding with their fun attitudes, positive outlook, dedication and hard work year after year.”
After the retirement of Kevin Mahoney from the Mount’s swim program following the 2011-2012 season, Decker took the reins and immediately continued the team’s success, winning a state championship in her first season as head coach, 2012-2013. Through her guidance for the last decade, the team has added two NJSIAA state championships, two NJISAA prep state championships, one Somerset County championship, three Skyland Conference championships and two Skyland Conference division titles. Decker was named NJ.com’s girls swimming coach of the year for the Lions’ 2021-2022 campaign, which saw them compile a 10-1 record and a clean sweep in championship competition: NJSIAA state champions, NJISAA prep state champions, Somerset County champions, Skyland Conference champions and Skyland Conference–Raritan Division regular-season champions.
Competing in the meet on Saturday, Jan. 14, were Dani Carter, of West Orange, who came in first in the 50-yard freestyle and second in the 100-yard freestyle; Emily Castela, of Lebanon; Olivia Chow, of Union, who came in first in the 200-yard individual medley and second in the 100-yard backstroke; Meghan Dwyer, of New Providence, who came in seventh in the 200-yard freestyle and eighth in the 100-yard butterfly; Haley Lamont, of Basking Ridge; Sophia Latini, of Stewartsville, who came in ninth in the 200-yard individual medley and second in the 100-yard butterfly; Kayla Marion, of Basking Ridge, who was seventh in the 100-yard butterfly; Livia Minaides, of Bridgewater, who was 11th in the 50-yard freestyle and 10th in the 100-yard freestyle; Sofiya Piede, of Dunellen, who had a personal-best time in the 100-yard breaststroke; Catherine Ritter, of Westfield, who was second in the 50-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle; Zoe Tseng, of Watchung, who was sixth in the 500-yard freestyle; and Annie Zwally, of Westfield, who placed 11th in the 50-yard freestyle.
Chow, Marion, Latini and Ritter placed second in the 200-yard medley relay; Latini, Marion, Dwyer and Carter placed first in the 200-yard freestyle relay; and Ritter, Chow, Dwyer and Carter placed first in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Photo Courtesy of Michelle H. Daino