shawnee swimmers

The Shawnee High School boys swim team had an impressive showing at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions March 2-3. Pictured from left are assistant coach Mike Casey, Kyle Hare, Andrew Taylor, Jack Artis, Alex Mann and head coach Eric O’Neill.

The Shawnee High School boys swim team had an impressive showing at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions March 2-3 at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology in Sewell.

"We had a fantastic Meet of Champions weekend," said Shawnee coach Eric O'Neill. "It was one of our best and most successful MoCs we've had."

Junior Kyle Hare broke a 10 year-old record in the 200 freestyle during the preliminary round and then placed eighth at 1:44.23 in finals, as well as 15th (4:44.69) in the 500 free.

Junior Andrew Taylor then broke the 200 freestyle record in finals with a 1:42.69, and he also re-broke his 500 freestyle record by another second in prelims, and then dropped an additional five seconds in finals with a time of 4:34.96, ultimately breaking a 14-year-old record by a total of eight seconds and he placed fifth in the state.

Junior Jack Artis shaved two seconds off the 200 IM record - a 23 year-old record and oldest on Shawnee's board) with a 1:53.96 and placed seventh in the state. Artis also got fifth in breast stroke with a 57.68 and missed the school record by about a tenth of a second.

Shawnee's 200 freestyle relay team of Artis, Alex Mann, Taylor and Hare was seeded 35th going into the weekend and ultimately dropped three seconds and moved all the way up to 12th place (1:29.42) in the state finals. 

The Renegades finished 8-2 overall, including a 7-1 regular-season record where they only lost to - we were 7-1 in the regular season and only lost to eventual Group A state champion Cherry Hill East.

"We were ranked third in the playoff bracket and we beat Cherry Hill West in the first round, but then lost a tough meet against No. 2 Ocean City, 87-83, down at Ocean City, though if we had won we would've likely lost to the eventual Group B state champion Mainland in the next round," said O'Neill.

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