LYNDHURST — After a 1-7 dual meet season, not one single swimmer on the Secaucus girls team expected much from the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference meet. But after breaking the 200-yard freestyle relay meet record and winning the 100 backstroke and 100 breast stroke, the impossible suddenly became possible.
The Secaucus foursome of Emma Bowers, Emma Spahic, Kat Cornelio and Juliet Nowak won the 400 free relay in a meet-record 4:02.95, and with some help from Hasbrouck Heights, Secaucus leapfrogged Leonia/Palisades Park in the standings to win the girls title on Saturday at the Lyndhurst Community Pool.
Leonia/Palisades Park, by virtue of its 7-0 dual meet record, earned the overall league championship.
The Secaucus girls trailed Leonia/Palisades Park by five points going into the 400 free relay and needed not only to win the event, but also for Leonia to finish third. Enter Hasbrouck Heights senior Kim Sembrano, who split 56.58 on her anchor leg of that relay to help her team edge Leonia for second place. Secaucus defeated Leonia for the meet title, 70-69.
“We were not expecting much today,” said Cornelio, a senior who won the 100 breast (1:14.72). “We didn’t know until the very end, and it definitely took us by surprise. I have no words to describe it right now. I’m just so proud of our team.”
Team Scores: Secaucus-70; Pal park/Leonia-69; Hasbrouck Heights – 55; New Milford – 36; Garfield- 26, Lyndhurst – 25, Rutherford – 20, Harrison – 6, Immaculate Conception – 1