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Swimming: No records safe as Mainland boys, Ocean City girls completely dominate CAL championships

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By DAVE O’SULLIVAN Publisher ATLANTIC CITY — The Mainland Regional boys and Ocean City girls swimming teams needed a couple of extra backpacks to haul away all the medals won at the Cape-Atlantic League swimming championships on Thursday afternoon at Atlantic City High School. Each team won eight of the respective 11 events to completely dominate the league meet, and both the Mustangs and Red Raiders set a handful of meet records in the process. The Ocean City girls are used to tearing through the league championships, as the Red Raiders have been one of the top teams in South Jersey for several years. Mainland, on the other hand, continues to prove it is the new bully on the block. The Mustangs unseated St. Augustine Prep earlier this month on their way to claiming the CAL American Conference title, and their dream season continued on Thursday as Justin Liu set a meet record in the 100 freestyle to pace a very strong effort from a deep and talented Mainland team. “We’ve been training hard the whole year and I think we deserve it. We knew we had a good shot (to win the CAL American) at the start of the year, and all the practice that we put in really paid off. All the long hours in the pool,” said Liu, a junior. “Every single person has contributed, and here we wanted to prove something else — that we could be the best team in CAL history, not just the best team right now.” Aleva Parker of Ocean City makes her way to the finish in the 100 breaststroke at the CAL championships. Aleva Parker of Ocean City makes her way to the finish in the 100 breaststroke at the CAL championships. Sophomore Ryann Styer also topped the meet record of someone very familiar, her older sister, Noel, who now swims at the University of Tampa. Ryann clocked in at 26.42 in the 50 freestyle, besting Noel’s time of 26.64 in 2014. “It feels really good. I’ve been trying to get it all season, and I tried last year. But this year, I felt like I could really go for it, and I got it,” Ryann said. “(Noel) is really happy. She wanted it to be someone that she knew, so she’s happy it’s me. We don’t really have a rivalry.” Styer said witnessing the accomplishments of Nunan is something the Red Raiders have gotten used to, yet Nunan still seems to impress in every big meet. “She’s amazing. Thank God she’s on our team. Not only does she do amazing, but she also helps other people get their best times. She keeps up the energy and pumps everybody up. I think she really helps us,” Styer said. Ocean City also got a big win from senior Aly Chain in the 100 butterfly. Chain touched out Egg Harbor Township’s Grace Curry at the finish to bring home the gold. “Aly is really hard on everyone, but she makes us more excited to swim our events and try to do our best. Everyone on the team tries to help everyone else, and we just have a lot of energy,” Styer said. The Red Raiders also got a win the 200 IM from senior Amber Glenn, a Penn State recruit. “It was stressful because I wasn’t winning at first and had to make a comeback in the freestyle,” Glenn said. “It’s definitely stressful, especially in our relays if one girl is out or if we have to change it up a little bit. But everyone is improving every year, which is good, but other teams are improving as well and that’s something we have to watch out for.” Glenn said she was impressed with the overall team effort the Red Raiders put in, even though there is no team scoring at the CAL championships. “Our whole team this year, we always get each other pumped up and coming into CALs, which is an elite meet, to sweep nearly every event is such a nice feeling. Aly came through for us, the relays, and Ryann had a meet record in the 50 and that was a big thing,” Glenn said. “Overall, as a team, I definitely think we killed it. Everyone is so fast, and CALs is one of the more intense meets. As a team we can beat people, but individually it’s important for us to stand our ground. And it’s a great meet, the stands are always packed.” Added Nunan, “I think all the girls did really well. We have some of the best swimmers in the state, so it’s hard not to do well when you have girls like that.” Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays [adsense]

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