The Braves lack numbers, but are focused on individual progress.
The Absegami High School swim teams may be lacking depth, but the Braves have talent on their small rosters.
The boys' swim team has 12 swimmers, and the girls' squad has 13, both short of the 16 needed to have a full roster during competitions. Therefore, the Braves’ focus will be on personal times instead of wins and losses in an always stacked Cape-Atlantic League.
“It’s going to be a tough year competing with a lot of teams in the conference based on the small numbers,” Absegami coach John Malecki said. “We look for the boys and the girls to get behind each other at meets and continue to improve and learn to love the sport. Once you enjoy the sport and learn to love it, then they train harder in the off-season and hopefully convince friends to come out for the program so we can grow from there.”
The Absegami boys have a slew of upperclassmen leading the way with just one sophomore and no freshmen on the teams.
Returning seniors are Zack Krukauskas (200 I.M. and back stroke), Colin Ganard (freestyle), Zach Lahr (I.M., 100 butterfly and freestyle), Will Fornoy (distance), and Tim Burke (200 and 400 freestyle).
Junior James Brown, who set a school record in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.18) in the Braves’ season-opening loss to Mainland on Thursday, Dec. 1 returns as the team’s most versatile swimmer. Junior Danny Pham gives the Braves depth in the freestyle and backstroke.
“I think we have a pretty good team with a lot of seniors and a lot of skill,” said Krukauskas, who swims the 200 individual medley and backstroke. “I can only see good happening. All of our times have improved in practice. Everyone is trying hard.”
The Braves' girls team returns top swimmer junior Karly LoSasso, who swims in the freestyle events.
“My personal goals are I would like to qualify for the CALs in the 3200 freestyle,” LoSasso said. “That’s a goal I’m working toward. I want to improve on my 400 time. I would like to get down to 5:25.”
“We expect more of the same from her,” Malecki said. “She works hard and she will continue to improve. That’s all I can ask for her.”
Also back are junior Tina Murphy ( I.M. and butterfly), sophomores Kerri Roman (freestyle and breaststroke) and Jecee Gosman, who will swim various events.
Already making an impact for the girls is freshman Emily Barnard, who set the school record in the 100 freestyle (1:02.21) in her first meet against Mainland on Thursday.
“She is going to be good,” Malecki said. “She is already good,”
“I’m in my junior season so we have this season and next season with her,” LoSasso said. “I’m really excited. She is a great addition to the team.”
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