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Swimming: Mainland Regional gives coach Booth 200th career win by taking down Vineland

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By DAVE O’SULLIVAN Publisher LINWOOD — Wednesday afternoon’s boys swimming matchup between host Mainland Regional and Vineland lacked the intensity it’s had in years past, as the Mustangs rolled to a 132-38 victory over the Fighting Clan to remain undefeated at 4-0. But it still was a pretty special day for Mustangs head coach Brian Booth. The victory was the 200th of his outstanding career at Mainland. “It means I’ve been around for a long time. I’m happy with it. It’s not me, it’s a product of our kids, they are the ones who get it done,” said Booth, who now is 200-48 in his career. “It’s been a battle (against Vineland) for the nearly 20 years I’ve been here. Vineland is always one of those meets you mark down on the calendar as a meet you want to swim well at.” The Mustangs swept first place in every event, as Justin Liu, Brian McGroarty and Derek Kniesel each scored a pair of individual wins. McGroarty also was a part of both winning relays for Mainland. Junior freestyler Justin Liu topped his own school records in the 50 and 100 freestyle events in Mainland's 132-38 win over Vineland on Wednesday. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) Junior freestyler Justin Liu topped his own school records in the 50 and 100 freestyle events in Mainland’s 132-38 win over Vineland on Wednesday. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) Liu, a junior, had a record-setting day for Mainland, besting his own school marks in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. He clocked in at 28.08 seconds in the 50 and 52.81 seconds in the 100. “We’re looking strong right now. We benefit from having a lot of (club) swimmers who come into the season in very good shape, and that’s paying off for us,” Booth said. “But as well as they are doing, my other kids who aren’t club swimmers have just gotten faster and are working hard. It’s good to see that they are dropping times.” Kniesel won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke events, while McGroarty won the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke. Joey Rogers added a victory in the 200 freestyle and Glen Lasco won the 500 free. Mainland has been completely dominant so far through four meets, beating Atlantic City 128-42, Gloucester Catholic 130-40, Oakcrest 125-45 and Vineland 132-38. Still, Booth said there is plenty the Mustangs need to work on over the holidays. Mainland boys swimming coach Brian Booth picked up career win No. 200 with the Mustangs' win over the Fighting Clan. Mainland boys swimming coach Brian Booth picked up career win No. 200 with the Mustangs’ win over the Fighting Clan. “We are still looking at some holes and some areas we want to improve at. We’re going to go into a good training period here to get ready for the second half of the year and some of the bigger meets,” Booth said. “We come back (from the holiday break) and have Ocean City, EHT and St. Augustine Prep, so those will be good meets for us to come back to.” Vineland girls get past Mustangs The Vineland girls outlasted Mainland 95-75 behind Melanie Milan, Olivia Messore and Jenna Carastro, who each won individual events and also teamed up with Emma Hood to win the 200 medley relay. Milan won the 100 backstroke and Messore took home first place in the 100 breaststroke, while Carastro earned the top spot in a pair of events — the 200 IM and the 100 butterfly. Valerie Spiers had a solid day for Mainland, capturing first place in the 200 and 400 freestyle events, and Chloe Fuetterer won the 100 freestyle for the Mustangs, who fell to 2-1 with the loss. Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays [adsense]

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