The Chatham girls swim team was looking for an undefeated season and the opportunity to win their third state title in a row. In their way was Kinnelon, whose only loss this year came at the hands of Chatham.
Kinnelon was sent home again as the Cougars won the state title Saturday at the College of New Jersey.Chatham (16-0) 91 Kinnelon (13-2) 79
Kinnelon won three of the first four events and went into the break with a 33-29 advantage. But after the slow start, Chatham rallied to defend their title.
"We knew that Kinnelon was strong in the beginning and we knew we would probably be behind going into the 50-yard freestyle," said Chatham coach Frank DiGiacomo. "But we knew we would start making up the points around there."
"I have to give it to Kinnelon, they were really good," said DiGiacomo. "They really swam fast today."
"The girls swam so well today: fast times, good races, we just didn't get the first place," said Kinnelon assistant coach Steve Papendick. "Everything else about the meet, the sportsmanship, the maturity, the effort, they did everything you could ever ask from a team."
"I am so proud of the girls," said Kinnelon head coach Brian Boardman. "They are a special group. This kind of team doesn't come around every day. They are just wonderful to coach. We knew Chatham was an awesome team. They were just a little better than us today. We had girls swim their best times and I think we set four school records today. An awesome job."
"That was unbelievable," said DiGiacomo. "The girls swam out of their minds. They had 15 best times. It was unreal. They knew what was on the line. They had the support of the fans, their parents and the alumni. It was unbelievable how fast they were today."