Scott Foglyano, the head coach for Piscataway High School’s boys and girls swimming programs, is pacing his teams for the coming conference tournament.
Foglyano, who launched his first season at the helm after a five-year stint as assistant coach, said both teams have tough dual meets ahead and only a handful of practice sessions before the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, which starts in about two weeks.
“As you get closer to a big meet like that, you let them rest a little more,” Foglyano noted. “Instead of longer intervals, we have shorter ones – more sprints – with longer rest intervals.”
The girls have a 3-4 record, and are practicing hard, the coach said. So far, the team has defeated Voorhees, Mother Seton and North Brunswick.
“Girls on the whole are a little stronger than last year,” Foglyano said. “We’ve got some seniors who are looking to make an impact at GMCs. And we have a great group of freshman girls that will grow with the program.”
Not having a club team in town makes it tough to recruit experienced swimmers and get them to train all year.
“We don’t get a good deal of Y kids,” Foglyano noted.
Senior Alexandra Dinu, who pushes herself every day, is a top contributor, the coach said. Seniors Megan Evers and Jessica Kenyon and freshman Olivia Lukshides also are key components of the girls squad.
“Olivia swims for the Somerset Y and comes to every practice. She specializes in the 200 and 500 freestyle, and she’s also an exceptional student,” Foglyano said.
The boys program graduated Jeff Donovan, who was on a relay team that placed in the top 16 at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. Donovan now swims for his college.
“The boys are improving,” said Foglyano of his team’s 1-7 record. “We have a pretty young squad. Most are fairly new at swimming.”
Top returners include junior Andrew Romos, who was selected to the All-Conference Team last year; senior Thomas Leitner, whom he described as self-motivated; and junior Gabriel Cordero, who has taken on a leadership role.
“Our measure of success at the (GMC) meet will be more about seeing individuals succeed,” Foglyano added.
The GMC boys championship is slated for Jan. 31; girls vie for the trophy on Feb. 1.
Falcons win Pirate
St. Joseph’s Andrew Nesbitt was named Pirate Invitational MVP after piling up 257 power points, leading the Falcons to their third consecutive championship. Nesbitt placed first in the 200 free (1:44.30), the 50 free (21.75) and was on two of the three winning relay teams.
“I was really excited, and honestly, I was just speechless when they gave me the (MVP) award,” Nesbitt said. “This meet definitely boosted our team confidence.”
At the meet against rival Westfield on Thursday, St. Joseph boys didn’t have their best day, winning just two of 11 events. Nevertheless, the Falcons (8-2 ) are well-positioned to capture a 35th straight conference title against their pool of GMC rivals.