Northwestern NJ Swim Invitational 2019

| 13 Jul 2019 | 01:14

By Mandy Coriston
Poolside at Kittatinny Regional High School, parents and coaches shouted words of encouragement to swimmers, as more than 200 area athletes from ages 6-18 participated in the 18th Annual Northwestern New Jersey Swim Invitational hosted by the Newton Sharks Swim Team. The event was a success for the team, who lost their home base this year with the unexpected closure of the Newton Town Pool, where the Sharks have been swimming since the club’s inception 43 years ago.
Sharks president Tracy Paparella said preparations were already underway in January when the pool closure was announced, which meant their initial plans needed to be scrapped and a new venue found. Paparella and event chair Colleen McLean were grateful that Kittatinny stepped up to offer their pool.
“This event means a lot to all our proud Newton Sharks alumni and all our current Sharks,” Paparella said, “We couldn’t let it die because of our pool problems.”
The Sharks have managed to salvage their season without a home pool thanks to Great Divide Campground, the Lake Tranquility Community Club, and KRHS, who have all graciously made their facilities available to the Sharks for practice and meets. Paparella said they are looking forward to getting back into their own pool when repairs are complete, but thanked Kittatinny profusely for their help in hosting the invitational.
“This has become a Wallkill Valley Swim Conference tradition,” she said, “High school swimmers get to swim against their teammates with their summer teams, and it offers all the swimmers a day of fun competition to work on their best times, achieve qualifying times, earn trophies, and make memories with their friends.”