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Jersey Gators Make a Splash at Junior Olympics

Stephanie Judge, Scotch Plains and Tyler Daniskas, Fanwood were among those that competed for the Jersey Gators in the Junior Olympics.

The Jersey Gators swim team made an impressive showing at the New Jersey Junior Olympics, which were held at Rutgers University from March 16 through 18. The team took home a total of 32 medals.

The Jersey Gators swim team has been in existence for over thirty years.  The team is headed up by Coach Lou Petrozziello, who was the 1989 U.S. National Swim Team Coach.  Based in Cranford, New Jersey, the swim team is open to swimmers from throughout New Jersey.  Tryouts for the team are held in September.  

Seventeen swimmers from this team, ranging in age from 11 to 18, competed at the Junior Olympics. In order to qualify to swim an event at the Junior Olympics, a swimmer must have achieved a “gold” time in that event.        

There were eight swimmers in the 11 to 12 year old age group.Tyler Daniskas, of Fanwood, achieved a personal best time in the 100 yard backstroke. 

The women’s 200 yard freestyle and 200 yard medley relay team, consisting of Isabella DeSimone, Shayna Hollander, and Emily Wilson, of Cranford, and Gracie Benn from South Orange, came in third place in both events. 

In addition to the relays, Gracie Benn also competed in the 50 yard breast stroke. Isabella DeSimone competed in seven events in addition to the relays, achieving personal best times in the 50 and 100 yard butterfly, 100 yard individual medley, 50 yard backstroke, and 100 yard freestyle.

Shayna Hollander competed in seven events in addition to the relays, achieving personal best times in each event, and placing first in the 50 and 100 yard backstroke and 50 yard freestyle. Hollander also placed third in the 100 yard freestyle, and in the top ten in three other events. 

Emily Wilson also competed in seven events in addition to the relays, and achieved personal best times in the 50 yard breaststroke, 50, 100, and 200 yard butterfly, and 50 and 100 yard freestyle. 

David Lindros, of Westfield swam in nine events, achieving personal best times in each event, and placing first in the 50 yard butterfly. Lindros also placed second in the 50 and 100 yard backstroke, third in the 100 yard individual medley, and in the top ten in five other events.

Grant Thieroff from Maplewood competed in the 200 yard freestyle. His sister, Gillian Thieroff, competed in the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly, and achieved personal best times in each event.       

In the 13 to 14-year-old age group, Julie Byrne, Ashley Cave, and Kayla Piatkowski of Cranford, and Stephanie Judge from Scotch Plains, competed in the girls 400 yard medley relay.

Julie Byrne also competed in seven other  events, achieving personal best times in the 100 yard backstroke, second in the 200 yard backstroke, third in the 100 and 200 butterfly and 200 yard individual medley.  

Ashley Cave competed in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke in addition to the relay. Stephanie Judge competed in three events in addition to the relay, achieving a personal best time in the 200 yard butterfly. 

In addition to the relay, Kayla Piatkowski competed in the 100 yard breaststroke. Matthew Kaczynski from Cranford competed in six events, achieving personal best times in each event, and placing in the top ten in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. 

John Lindros, of Westfield competed in eight events, achieving personal best times in each event, and placing first in the 100 and 200 yard freestyle, third in the 500 yard freestyle and 200 yard individual medley, and in the top ten in three other events. 

Jack Rose from Westfield competed in six events, achieving personal best times in four events, and placing in the top ten in the 100 yard breaststroke. 

In the 15 to 19 year old age group, Nigel Hunter, of South Orange, competed in the 100 yard breaststroke and the 50 yard freestyle, and placed in the top ten in the 50 yard freestyle. 

Cassandra Sosnovich from Woodbridge competed in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle.      

Allie H March 28, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Awesome job!
jwk March 29, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Way to go Gators!! Lou and his coaching team are awesome!!

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