Kinnelon, Chatham, Lakes swimmers perform well at Meet of Champs

Kinnelon, Chatham, Lakes swimmers perform well at Meet of Champs

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Kinnelon, Chatham, Lakes swimmers perform well at Meet of Champs

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SEWELL

Meghan Thompson had to swim a lot of events in very little time at the start of the NJSIAA Meet of Champions on Sunday morning. So she asked her little sister, Kinnelon sophomore Katie Thompson, to help her out.

Katie would get to go up on the podium and pick up Meghan’s medal and certificate with the Colts’ medley relay, while her big sister quickly warmed down between races.

Katie Thompson agreed, but told Meghan, “I will accept nothing less than first place.” Meghan just grinned and shrugged, “I don’t know about that.”

Meghan Thompson didn’t bring an elusive MOC gold medal home to Kinnelon. But she was just as thrilled to drop time in both the 200- and 100-yard freestyle at the two-day championship event.

Thompson finished third in the 200 free in 1:50.18, a new personal best, school record and the fastest time in the Daily Record area this winter. She placed fifth in the 100 free in 51.98, after breaking the 52-second barrier for the first time in the preliminaries on Saturday.

“I’m really happy,” said Thompson, who also anchored Kinnelon’s eighth-place medley and consolation 400 free relays.

“I went into this meet thinking, ‘Why not?’ Every race is anyone’s race. … We’ve been training really hard. Now that championship season is starting to come around, we’re really getting in racing mode.”

Regan Kology of Chatham didn’t have time to take in her MOC success either. In fact, it took a call to her mother, Gail Kology, up in the stands at Gloucester County Institute of Technology to put everything in perspective. Regan wanted to tell her mom what heat and lane the Cougars’ relays would swim — but Gail Kology stopped her, pointing out she had never stood that high on the MOC podium before.

Kology had finished second in the 500 freestyle, her best performance at the state final and just ahead of Mountain Lakes junior Erin Kiely, who was sixth. But Kology hadn’t had time to dwell on the achievement in her haste to warm down and swim on Chatham’s 200 and then 400 free relays.

The Cougars won the consolation 400 free relay in 3:35.53, a school record and the quickest time in the Daily Record area this winter. Chatham was also second in the consolation final of the 200 free relay, with Pope John fourth and Villa Walsh sixth.

Cougars senior Shana McLaughlin placed seventh in the 100 free and eighth in the IM.

“I was so focused, because this is my last opportunity to do what I want to do,” said Kology, a Harvard-bound senior. “I put my all into it, but I was so focused on, ‘I have to do a relay in two minutes,’ it didn’t hit me. … It makes all those hours of training worth it. As a senior, it’s the icing on the cake.”

* After a few moments posing for photographers at the top of the podium, Roxbury junior Allyson Kleinsorgen took her medal and certificate and dashed to a nearby hallway. Her Gaels teammates were camped out on the floor, several in sleeping bags, as Kleinsorgen first plastered the paperwork to the glass, then ran out and danced around. Kleinsorgen won the consolation heat of the 50 free in a new personal best of 24.25, both unexpected goals.

Kleinsorgen also took fifth in the backstroke consolation final in 58.03, an area-best performance.

* Villa Walsh’s medley relay has been surprising opponents all season, whether at the Morris County Championships, NJISAA States — or the MOC on Sunday. The Vikings finished sixth overall in 1:48.77, surpassing their own previous best. Junior Allison Morel also placed seventh in the breaststroke, two spots behind Chatham freshman Alicia Iizuka.

Morristown-Beard junior Liza MacCowatt won the consolation heat, in an event overloaded with local talent.

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