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Mainland Regional's Katie McClintock is The Press Girls Swimmer of the Year
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Mainland Regional's Katie McClintock is The Press Girls Swimmer of the Year

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Mainland Regional High School swimmer Katie McClintock has won state individual championships and broken national records in past seasons.

This season was all local dual meets due to restrictions regarding COVID-19, but she and her teammates made the most of it by going 10-0.

McClintock swam in a variety of events as she led the Mustangs to wins over Egg Harbor Township, Ocean City (twice) and Atlantic City (twice). She showed leadership as Mainland stayed at No. 1 in The Press Elite 11.

McClintock is The Press Girls Swimmer of the Year for the third straight year.

“It feels good (to be the Swimmer of the Year), especially during this unusual season,” said McClintock, an 18-year-old Longport resident. “It wasn’t about trying to put up numbers or records. There were less meets and less time to be together and focus on swimming fast. I went to a lot more practices to spend time with the team. We were the top team, but we had some really tough meets against Egg Harbor Township and against Ocean City, our rival. It was important to prepare.”

She led the Mustangs to a 91-79 victory over host EHT on Feb. 26 in the biggest meet of the season. She won the 200-meter individual medley and the 100 breaststroke in the meet, and anchored the final winning relay.

There were no national records set by McClintock this year, but she did set the Mainland girls 100 butterfly school record in yards, winning in 57.91 seconds at Cape May Tech.

“It was the only time we swam in a yard pool all year, and I didn’t think I’d get close to the butterfly record,” McClintock said. “But I got it, and it was pretty cool.”

McClintock will swim next year for the University of Wisconsin, a member of the Big Ten Conference.

“I saw them swimming at the NCAA Championships,” she said. “It was on ESPN and live-streaming. It was kind of neat to watch.”

She holds two national public school meters records — 2:13.76 in the 200 IM and 1:01.56 in the 100 backstroke, both set on Jan. 30, 2020, at Atlantic City. She won state individual championships March 1, 2020, in the 200-yard IM (1:58.74) and the 100 backstroke (54.32 seconds).

Mainland coach Mike Schiavo called it his privilege and pleasure to be a part of McClintock’s high school career.

“She has been tremendously successful, earning multiple state titles, state and national records,” Schiavo said. “But it is much more than her ability and work ethic that I will remember and be thankful for. Katie’s character, attitude and values are admirable. She is a great role model and leader who cared deeply about team success and the successes of her teammates of all ability levels.”

Mainland’s last meet was a 102-68 win at home against Atlantic City. McClintock anchored the final win in the 400 freestyle relay.

“After that, I was very emotional,” she said. “It was sad to see it go so quickly, but I’m happy for what we had. It was a month and a half, but we enjoyed it.”

Team of the Year

Mainland is the Press Girls Team of the Year for the second straight season. The Mustangs, ranked No. 1 all year in The Press Elite 11, beat Egg Harbor Township, Ocean City and Atlantic City, the next three teams in the rankings.

“It’s an honor to be chosen the top team,” Schiavo said. “We tried to make the most of the short season. The team goal was to shoot for the win but also stay safe. We were very fortunate to have all available at the big meets.

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“We changed up our normal season-long training to attempt to get in shape and swim as fast as we could each and every meet instead of planning and training for an end of season team tournament run or (Meet of Champions).

“Our team successes were that much sweeter, I think, because of what we had endured through quarantines and minimal social, group or team activities up to our swim season. Our seniors did a wonderful job as role models.”

Coach of the Year

Our Lady of Mercy Academy coach Noelle DeLusant led the Villagers to a 9-4 season after the team went 2-8 the previous year. OLMA finished No. 7 in The Elite 11, losing only to powers Mainland and Egg Harbor Township and twice to Vineland in competitive meets.

DeLusant is The Press Coach of the Year.

“That’s great news. It’s such an honor, especially in my second year,” DeLusant said. “I want to thank the team, the athletic director (Matt Lenguadoro) and my sister Tori, who assisted this year.

“Last year, we set the stage with a new culture, setting expectations. We were blessed that we lost only one senior. This year we had some new swimmers, and they had the right mindset. It was special to go 9-4.”

The Elite 11

1. Mainland Reg. 10-0

2. Egg Harbor Twp. 7-1

3. Ocean City 6-3

4. Atlantic City 3-4

5. Southern Reg. 6-0

6. Vineland 5-0

7. OLMA 9-4

8. Cedar Creek 5-6

9. Oakcrest 4-4

10. Middle Township 1-5

11. Cape May Tech 0-9

Contact Guy Gargan: 609-272-7210

GGargan@pressofac.com

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Staff Writer

I’ve been at The Press since January of 1983. I cover all sports in general, but mostly lifeguard racing, and high school field hockey, football, swimming, basketball, crew, baseball and softball.

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