Madison Boys Fall to Delbarton, Chemaly and Weller win individual events

Senior+Sterling+Hart%2C+junior+Owen+Weller%2C+and+freshman+Anuthra+Abeysinghe+after+competing+in+the+50-meter+freestyle

Yanyan Li

Senior Sterling Hart, junior Owen Weller, and freshman Anuthra Abeysinghe after competing in the 50-meter freestyle

Yanyan Li, Staff Writer

On December 16th, the Madison boys swam a meet against Delbarton at the Morristown Beard school, and lost 57-113. Their overall season record fell to 0-4.

Despite the boys’ loss, their performance had improved since the last time they faced Delbarton, who are the defending county champions from 2020. While the boys only won one event a year ago versus Delbarton, they were able to pick up three victories this meet. 

The meet started off with the 200-meter medley relay, where the “A” relay of junior Owen Weller, senior Shane Faraher, senior Justin Lee, and freshman Jacques Chemaly finished 2nd with a time of 1:59.54 and were out-touched with a margin of only 0.08 seconds by Delbarton’s “A” relay, who went a time of 1:59.46. One of the highlights of this relay was in the backstroke leg of the relay, when Weller out-split junior Rob Alexy, a Delbarton swimmer committed to the #2 ranked UC Berkeley swim team, posting a time of 28.87 compared to Alexy’s 29.01.

In the 200 meter freestyle, senior Artha Abeysinghe finished second in a time of 2:12.55. It was a close race between him and Delbarton swimmer Nick Yoo, who finished 0.78 seconds behind him, but Abeysinghe stayed ahead. 

The Dodgers picked up their first victory of the day in the 200-meter individual medley, in which Chemaly won by over three seconds in a time of 2:27.52.

Weller and Alexy had a rematch in the 50-meter freestyle, but this time Alexy won and Weller finished second with a time of 26.57.

Following the 5 minute break during the meet, Weller swam his second individual event of the day, the 100-meter butterfly, and won with a time of 1:05.16. 

Artha Abeysinghe finished 3rd in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 59.20. Next, senior Justin Lee finished second in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 4:50.96. 

The boys’ second relay of the day, the 200-meter freestyle relay, also resulted in the Dodger “A” relay narrowly finishing second to Delbarton’s “A” relay. Artha Abeyshinghe, Jacques Chemaly, Owen Weller, and Justin Lee lost by 0.16 seconds with a time of 1:47.55 compared to Delbarton’s 1:47.39.

The Dodgers bounced back from their relay loss when Chemaly won the 100-meter backstroke in a time of 1:07.50, sweeping his individual events and giving the team their third win of the day. 

The top Dodger finisher in the 100-meter breaststroke was senior Shane Faraher, who finished 3rd with a time of 1:20.36.

In the boys’ final event of the day, the 400 freestyle relay, the Dodgers “A” relay of Justin Lee, senior Sterling Hart, junior Evan Katz, and Artha Abeysinghe finished 3rd behind both Delbarton’s “A” and “B” relays in a time of 4:28.24. However, Lee’s 58.69 time in his leadoff leg was the second-fastest time out of all 24 swimmers across 6 relay teams, only behind Delbarton’s Rob Alexy.

Overall, although it seemed like the Dodger boys lost by a lot this meet, they still had many impressive performances that shouldn’t be overlooked. After the meet, head coach Nancy Leib had nothing but positive comments about her team’s performance.

Our boys always face a formidable team in Delbarton. We had fast swims from Owen Weller & Jacques Chemaly who swam in different events this time and some exciting relay races with near photo finishes in our 200 medley and 200 free relays.” Leib said.

For full results, see https://highschoolsports.nj.com/game/701310