IN THE NEWS: MSDA Swim Team Doubles Size, Wins Opener

IN THE NEWS: MSDA Swim Team Doubles Size, Wins Opener

Mount swim team doubles size, wins opener

CALDWELL - After a shortened season last year because of COVID-19, the Mount St. Dominic Academy swimming team has more than doubled its members and is looking to several freshman swimmers to contribute this season.

Last season, the Lions' record was 3-7 and the team was a small group as it had been for the past several years.

“We were very small last year; we are much bigger this year,” said Jane Sungurov, who has been head coach for five seasons. “We had 12 girls last season; this year, we have 25 girls. Finally, we can now fill the lanes. Before, we could not.”


The Lions (1-0) opened the season with an 86-84 victory over Millburn on Thursday, Dec. 2.

“We won by two points. It was a very exciting meet. We won on the last relay,” Sungurov said. “We have not defeated Millburn in the last five years. This was the first victory.”

Riley Kopp won two events: the 200 free (2:08.42) and 500 free (5:43.21). Amanda Rohde won the 100 back (1:06.01). Madison Gadjewski won the 100 free (1:02.17), and Sophia Liwanag won the 100 fly (1:01.86).

The relay team of Kopp, Rohde, Malia Enze and Liwanag won the 400 freestyle relay (4:05.75).


Sungurov said the team has gained several fast freshmen, including Liwanag (fly, breast specialist), Kopp (distance free specialist) Maeko Marapao (sprint free), Kate Guinto (sprint free), Ashley Rohde (IM, free) and Gadjewski (sprint free).

Sophomores Elise McGirt and Caitlyn Tagliareni and junior Amanda Rohde were key contributors to the team last year and are back this year.

“We had two amazing freshmen who contributed greatly to every meet: Elise McGirt and Caitlyn Tagliareni,” Sungurov said at the end of the 2020-21 season. “Amanda Rohde is another swimmer who won pretty much every event she was entered in.”

The Lions’ victories last season came over West Orange, Teaneck and West Essex.

The team lost two seniors to graduation last year: Olivia Soder, who was on the team for four years, and Kate Lonergan, who swam just one year for the Mount.

The Lions were set to take on Montclair on Tuesday, Dec. 7. They are scheduled to compete against Livingston on Thursday, Dec. 9; West Orange on Tuesday, Dec. 21; James Caldwell on Tuesday, Jan. 4; Montclair Kimberley Academy on Tuesday, Jan. 11; Newark Academy on Thursday, Jan. 13; West Essex on Thursday, Jan. 20; Columbia on Tuesday, Jan. 25; Pequannock on Thursday, Jan. 27; and Glen Ridge on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

The team will compete in the Super Essex Conference/Essex County Championship on Monday, Jan. 17.

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