Swim Team off to strong start to the season


Mary Snyder

Trevor Lukackso swims the butterfly

Spencer Saltz, sports editor/staff writer

Bernards’ swim team is off to a strong start yet again. Coach Ed Tsuzuki has led the team for 34 seasons, being one of the most prolific coaches in Bernards’ history. With a win percentage of 63%, the swim team seems to be headed in a similar direction as the great teams of the past. 


On December 1st, the team traveled to face Belvidere in their first match of the season. With high expectations, the team did not disappoint whatsoever. With complete domination, Bernards produced an easy victory with impressive performances all around. For the girls team, Sami Bender won two individual races including the IM and the fly, and added to her win column with a fantastic medley performance by four racers that included Bender, Keaton Haughton, Meghan Robinson and Ashley Hartnett. Robinson and Hartnett, both sophomores, also got first place in their own individual races, Robinson in breaststroke and Hartnett in the backstroke. Junior Grace Korey also had a great meet, posting gold medal victories in the 200 and 500 meter freestyle. The girls team swam a great meet, winning 99-69. 


“The team spirit on [the] team is amazing”, said Meghan Robinson “I’m so excited to have a normal season this year”.


The boys’ team completely slammed the door shut on Belvidere, winning all but one race in total domination. Seniors Ryan Schuller and Bryce Lukacsko, both All-county swimmers and captains, added to their impressive resumes. Bryce came away with the gold in the 50 meter freestyle and breaststroke, while Ryan won the IM and backstroke. Both Ryan and Bryce were members of the relays that won the medley with Nick Snyder and Matt Giunta, and the relay that won the 400 freestyle with Everett Bailey and Thomas Ambelang. Ambelang, Giunta, Valdemar Alstrom and Snyder won the 200 meter freestyle relay. Thomas Ambelang won gold individually in the 200 freestyle, Trevor Lukacsko took first in the fly and Everett Bailey won the 500 freestyle. The boys performance earned them a 71 point victory in their first meet of the season.


On December 8th, it was more of the same. The team’s first home meet was against Rutgers Prep at the Somerset Hills YMCA and the team performed well once again. The girls team won every single race, en route to a blowout 116-49 victory with Bender, Ashley Hartnett and Korey winning two races each, along with Tara Hartnett and Meghan Robinson both adding one race to the win column. The relays were just as impressive as last meet’s, as Bender, Ashley, Robinson and Haughton won yet again in the medley. Annebella DeRosa, Shannon Meeks, Tara Hartnett and Meghan Robinson won the 200 freestyle relay, while Korey, Bender, Ashley Hartnett and Nina Marquad added another win in the 400 freestyle relay.


The boys swam well again, winning 99-67, and completely dominating the relays. Individually, Schuller had two golds, while Trevor Lukacsko and Ambelang had one each. In the relays, however, the boys swam their best. Ambelang, Alstrom, Giunta and Bryce Lukacsko took the 200 freestyle and Snyder, Bailey, Schuller and Trevor Lukacsko won the 400. 


Nick Snyder let his confidence in his teammates be known. “I’m confident that we can continue to get better and win our conference this year. We’ve won it in the past, I don’t see why we can’t win it again”.