WAYNE – Christina Ou was a little anxious about swimming against Trinity Hall in an NJSIAA Non-Public B semifinal on Wednesday night. The school had just been founded a year ago, and this was the Monarchs’ first time in the state tournament. They were a bit of an unknown quantity.
But Pingry head coach Judy Lee broke things down for Ou and the rest of her swim team. The Big Blue used its depth to defeat Trinity Hall, 94-76, and return to the Non-Public B final.
Pingry will face Oak Knoll in the first of a five-meet championship Sunday at The College of New Jersey. Oak Knoll outlasted Villa Walsh, 88-80, in the earlier semifinal.
The Monarchs won half of the individual events – Malia Wolf and Isabelle Pabon went 1-2 in the 200 free – and the 400 free relay.
“It’s beyond anything we thought we could do,” said Pabon, a sophomore from Long Branch. “We know we’re strong. We’re just not as deep as we need to be.”
Pingry’s Hollie Hopf and Naiyah Atulomah went 1-2 in the 50 free. Yelena Salvador, Lindsay Rispoli and Hopf went 2-3-4 behind Wolf in the butterfly. The Big Blue also went 2-3 after Pabon in the 500, Caroline Gmelich in the backstroke and Lauren Joyce in breaststroke.
“All the points really stacked up, and all those fifth-place finishes were really important,” Ou said. ” It’s really exciting to go back to the final, and hopefully be state champs again. We really exceeded our expectations.”
Pingry 94, Trinity Hall 76
Medley relay: Pingry (Yelena Salvador, Lindsay Rispoli, Hollie Hopf, Ingrid Shu) 1:50.96; 200 freestyle: Malia Wolf (TH) 1:58.61; 200 IM: Shu (P) 2:09.17; 50 freestyle: Hopf (P) 25.58; 100 butterfly: Wolf (TH) 59.37; 100 freestyle: Shu (P) 55.34; 500 freestyle: Isabelle Pabon (TH) 5:24.41; 200 free relay: Pingry (Naiyah Atulomah, Kelleh Atulomah, Christina Ou, Hopf) 1:46.34; 100 backstroke: Caroline Gmelich (TH) 58.78; 100 breaststroke: Lauren Joyce (TH) 1:10.37; 400 free relay: Trinity Hall (Wolf, Lily Scott, Pabon, Gmelich) 3:45.37.
Site of meet: Passaic Tech. Distances in yards. Team records: Pingry 4-6, Trinity Hall 4-5-1.