Madison Swimming Sweep Parsippany


Kerry Cozzolino

Junior Owen Weller swims the 100-meter butterfly during the meet on January 12.

Yanyan Li, Staff Writer

After another crazy week of covid disruptions, the Madison Swim team headed to Morristown High School to swim their meet against Parsippany High School on January 12. Once again, the meet was not open to spectators, and this time the event was not live-streamed, leaving fans and parents to follow the meet through live updates on the @mhsdodgerswim Instagram account.

Both Madison teams came out victorious, with the girls winning 125-45 and the boys winning 131-5.

Boys Meet

With the exception of the 50 and 100-meter freestyle, all of the Dodger boys swam next to empty lanes, as the Parsippany boys team was in quarantine and could only send two swimmers to compete. However, the lack of competition gave the boys a chance to swim in races that they usually did not swim.

For example, junior Owen Weller, who is typically a backstroker and individual medley swimmer, swam the 200-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly this meet. He won the 200 in a time of 2:26.66, while senior Nick Modi and sophomore Justin Dickson came behind him in times of 2:48.77 and 2:58.69 respectively.

Weller won the butterfly event as well in a time of 1:11.63 while junior Jake Terry got second with a time of 1:41.31. In addition, for the first time this season, Weller was not swimming the backstroke leg for the “A” relay in the 200 medley relay, another example of the trend for swimmers to not swim their best events.

That backstroke spot was given to freshman Jacques Chemaly, and then him and senior Shane Faraher, senior Justin Lee, and senior Artha Abeysinghe won that relay in a time of 2:10.53. The Madison “B” relay of junior Evan Katz, freshman Anuthra Abeysinghe, senior Sterling Hart, and senior Doyle Keane finished second with a time of 2:19.34.

Chemaly also won the individual backstroke competition, finishing first in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:10.01 while Evan Katz got second with a time of 1:24.70 and freshman Adam Haydoutov got third with a time of 1:34.64. Chemaly’s second individual win was in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 27.08 while Doyle Keane grabbed second with a 28.00 time and Evan Katz touched third in a time of 30.13.

Keane’s time in the 50 free shattered his old personal best time by 1.5 seconds. In fact, Keane’s performance in the 50 freestyle was not his only successful sprint race, as he also swam the fastest freestyle leg in the 200 medley relay (29.32) and the 200 freestyle relay (28.95) out of all swimmers.

The Madison “A” relay of Keane, Anuthra Abeysinghe, Sterling Hart, and Owen Weller won the latter event in a time of 2:03.53 while the “B” relay of Jake Terry, Justin Dickson, senior Connor Calabria, and Nick Modi finished second with a time of 2:07.58.

Another swimmer who had a win in the sprint events was Artha Abeysinghe, who won the 100-meter freestyle in a time of 1:03.26, while Sterling Hart and Anuthra Abeysinghe finished second and third with times of 1:10.00 and 1:11.21 respectively. Artha transferred his spriting abilities to the distance side of swimming, winning the 400 freestyle with a time of 5:46.88 while freshman Martin Bria finished second with a time of 7:01.95.

Justin Lee was another swimmer who was not swimming his signature events this meet. He did not have an appearance in his best event, the 100 fly, and instead swam the 200-meter individual medley and the 100-meter breaststroke instead. Although it was his first time swimming the event this year, the school record for the 100-meter breaststroke is currently held by his older brother, Michael.

Lee won both events, winning the individual medley in a time of 2:35.88 ahead of Anuthra Abeysinghe who finished with a time of 2:49.84, and the breaststroke in a time of 1:14.50. Senior David Ameiva and freshman John Davidson came behind in second and third with times of 1:30.80 and 1:42.43 respectively.

The meet concluded with the 400 freestyle, in which the Dodger “B” relay of Shane Faraher, Justin Dickson, Nick Modi, and Connor Calabria won in a time of 2:07.58 after the “A” relay was disqualified for a medical issue.

Girls Meet

The girls’ side of the competition felt a little more normal, with all lanes filled. 

The meet kicked off with the 200-meter medley relay, in which the Madison “A” relay of sophomore Erin Barisonek, senior Lily Barisonek, junior Karen Wu, and junior Bella Guarino won in a time of 2:18.76. The Madison “B” relay of sophomore Emma Dooley, senior Shannon Kelley, freshman Layla Knoll, and freshman Evelyn Juliano finished second with a time of 2:34.57.

Lily Barisonek won the first individual event of the night, finishing first in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 2:25.77. Junior Amanda Beneventano finished second with a time of 2:37.40, and junior Sasha Knoll finished fifth with a time of 3:08.19.

The 200-yard individual medley was a very fast event for the Dodger girls, with all three Madison competitors entered in the event swimming season bests (in high school meets). Karen Wu, although finishing second, swam a time of 2:30.83 that crushed her old season-best by 17 seconds. Bella Guarino came behind in third with a time of 2:43.84 that beat her old season-best by almost 3 seconds. Finally, Layla Knoll got fourth with a time of 3:07.14 that was a whole 20 seconds better than her previous season-best. 

Next, in the 50-meter freestyle, junior Fiona Beacom won with a time of 32.51. Junior Nina Kornchankul, who has produced strong relay splits in the 50 in the past, swam the event individually for the first time this meet and finished in second place with a time of 33.58, a time over a second faster than her previous personal best set at the Morristown meet earlier this season. Evelyn Juliano was third with a time of 34.38.

Karen Wu, Layla Knoll, and sophomore Sophia Modi had a 2-3-4 finish in the 100-meter butterfly, swimming times of 1:11.40, 1:33.77, and 1:48.09 respectively.

Erin Barisonek won the 100-meter freestyle in a time of 1:09.13, while Shannon Kelley and Fiona Beacom finished very close together in second and third with times of 1:16.19 and 1:16.39 respectively.

Lily Barisonek won the longest event of the meet, the 400-meter freestyle, in a time of 5:09.14. Amanda Beneventano, who finished second with a time of 5:28.41, hit the qualifying time for the Morris County Championships for the first time in her high school career. Senior Allison Lee finished fourth in a time of 6:13.58.

In the 200-meter freestyle relay, the Madison “A” relay of Bella Guarino, Evelyn Juliano, Fiona Beacom, and Amanda Beneventano finished first with a time of 2:41.91. The “B” relay of junior Louise Nielsen, Nina Kornchankul, Shannon Kelley, and junior Sasha Knoll finished second with a time of 2:25.97. 


Although the “C” relay of freshman Emma Gundlach, junior Susan Wilson, freshman Anna Kulesa, junior Nino Pasikashvilli finished third with a time of 2:38.95, they could not score the 2 points awarded for a third-place relay because one team can not sweep a relay race.

Erin Barisonek, Emma Dooley, and Allison Lee swept the 100-meter backstroke, finishing 1-2-3 with times of 1:17.72, 1:21.04, and 1:29.13 respectively. 

The Dodgers took the top three spots for the second time in a row when Bella Guarino, Louise Nielsen, and Evelyn Juliano finished first, second, and third with times of 1:23.88, 1:42.44, and 1:44.62 respectively.

In the 400-meter freestyle relay, the Madison “A” relay of Karen Wu, Amanda Beneventano, Lily Barisonek and Erin Barisonek won with a time of 4:41.14, and the Madison “C” relay of freshman Caitlyn Jobe, freshman Meredith McKeever, Sophia Modi, and junior Anna Tuttle finished third with a time of 6:09.16.

Coaches’ Remarks

“The boys swam well despite almost no competition as Parsippany High had several swimmers out sick with only two boys on their roster. The team witnessed an outstanding swim from Doyle Keane in the 50 free with a 28.00. We mixed up the usual lineup and also saw Justin Lee bring home a fast time in his 100 breast,” Coach Nancy Leib said.

“Our girls continued to show their depth in nearly every event. We were pleased to see Amanda Beneventano achieve a County cut in the 400 free.”