So, what can they do for an encore?
The Ocean City High School girls swimming team is coming off the best season in program history. The Raiders went undefeated, won the Cape-Atlantic American Conference title and captured their first state championship in dramatic fashion by beating a Chatham team that hadn’t lost a dual meet in seven seasons.
Two of last season’s stars are now competing at the Division I college level – Amber Glenn at Penn State and Aly Chain at Iona. But many of the swimmers from last year’s team return and will join with some talented newcomers. That could make second-year coach Steve Warrington’s team even better than last season.
Leading the way is senior Amanda Nunan, not only arguably the best high school female swimmer in the state but also one of the top high school swimmers in the nation. An invitee to Olympic Trials earlier this year, Nunan has won seven Meet of Champions races over her career, including three victories in the 500-yard freestyle. Nunan recently committed to swim at the University of Tennessee.
Also back is junior Ryann Styer, a two-time Meet of Champions gold medalist with Nunan and other former teammates in the 200 freestyle relay. She also finished second in the 50 freestyle at last year’s MOC.
Other accomplished returning swimmers to the Raider girls team include junior Maggie Wallace, who finished second to Nunan in the 500 freestyle at the MOC; seniors Aleva Parker, Sam Horowitz and Julia Hansen; junior Emily Culmone; and sophomore Andrea Teofanova.
There are also at least three freshmen expected to make immediate impact.
The Ocean City boys swimming team was competitive last season at 7-5. Head coach Shane McGrath is optimistic the Raiders will be even more competitive this season with many of the swimmers returning. Seniors Pat Kistler and Dave Millar; juniors Doug Grisbaum, Matt DiMarino and Dan Nunan; and sophomore Nate Hays are among the top returnees.
Another senior expected to help is Ryan Kelly, a transfer from Oakcrest.
Newcomers who could become consistent scorers include freshmen Ethan McCarron, Max Carter and Tanner Driscoll.
Both Ocean City teams open their seasons Tuesday at home (Ocean City Aquatic and Fitness Center) against Mainland. They’ll both swim at Millville on Dec. 13 before the boys team hosts St. Augustine Prep on Dec. 16. Then both teams will travel to Egg Harbor Township on Dec. 21 in their final meets before the holiday break.