PHS boys and girls swim teams both crowned Mercer County Champions

February, 2022
Jessica ChenRaymond Chang

On January 31, the PHS boys and girls swim teams found success by taking the top spots at the Mercer County Finals, their first side-by-side win in eight years. The boys team won for the first time since 2014, scoring 265–225 in a tight race against West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North. The girls team swept the competition in a 336–54 victory against The Pennington School, winning for the first time since 2016.

Heading into their county race, the team had already been having a triumphant season: The girls had a 10–0 record and the boys had a 11–0 record. Despite the tough competition, Head Coach Carly Misiewicz believed the team could continue their win streak at this year’s County Finals. “I would say that we were pretty confident, but we knew that [winning Mercer County Finals] wasn’t going to be easy. We knew that the boys and girls were going to have tough competition with strong teams,” said Misiewicz. “So my message [to the team] was to race your own race and do the best that you can do at that moment.” The team’s undeniable chemistry and support for one another was fueled through their passion for swimming.

The team was led by Captain Tracey Liu ’22, who, alongside many highly experienced seniors, brought out the unique strengths in this year’s members. “This year’s team had so much depth and diversity because there were so many different swimmers that had different special strokes and events that we could swim,” said Liu. “In addition, a lot of us are seniors, and we already had a year off because of COVID, so we really wanted our last year to be meaningful for us.” The competition between the schools was intense, but the Tigers’ perseverance and teamwork paid off. After most of the team made it back after the preliminary round, excitement was running high as they knew they had a chance at winning. In the final round, many swimmers placed in top spots, propelling the team to a win.

On the boys team, Daniel Baytin ’23 took home first place in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle, and David Xu ’25 placed first in the 200-meter individual medley, second in the 100-meter butterfly, and medaled in two relays. “I was confident that I would swim well and was proud of what I achieved as a freshman,” Xu said. On the girls team, Kyleigh Tangen ’24 placed first in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle. Courtney Weber ’24 won first place in both the 200-meter freestyle relay and the 100-meter breaststroke, breaking the PHS girls record in the two events. “I was really happy not just that I broke the record, but because I knew I was improving a lot and I was [benefitting] the team as one of the fastest PHS swimmers that’s ever swam,” Weber said. On February 10, the girls team advanced to sectional semifinals, where they lost in a close race of 92-78 against Summit High School. Nevertheless, their season ended with an impressive 13-1 record.

On February 18, the boys team continued their win streak by winning a 105-65 meet against West Windsor-Plainsboro High School in the Central Group Sectional Championship; their first time taking the title in eight years. On February 22, the boys team advanced to New Jersey State Semifinals where they won in a tight meet with a final score of 87-84 against Tenafly High School. Their next big stop is the New Jersey State Finals, where their goal is to swim as many rounds as possible. “We’re ranked against some of the hardest, most competitive public schools in New Jersey. We’re a little nervous, but I know that with all of our hard work and dedication, we will swim [more] good competitions,” Liu said.