The Purple Roses boys swim team is looking for big things from the returning trio of, from left, Dante Dentino, Logan Maypother and Jack Harmon. Along with the graduated Mitch Cullen, the three comprised two school record-setting relay teams last year. Courtesy photo/Twitter
The Purple Roses boys swim team is looking for big things from the returning trio of, from left, Dante Dentino, Logan Maypother and Jack Harmon. Along with the graduated Mitch Cullen, the three comprised two school record-setting relay teams last year. Courtesy photo/Twitter

Granted, the St. Rose of Belmar boys’ and girls’ swim teams graduated some important athletes after having winning seasons last year. But third-year head coach Adam Iatesta would rather focus on the talented crew he has coming back and what they are capable of doing.

“We have a lot of key returners and new additions to the team,” Iatesta said. “We are excited to see who steps up to fill those events and legs of relays that contributed to our successes last season. We expect to have a winning record for both the boys and girls, and should see a lot of swimmers hit the qualifying times for the Monmouth County Championships and the Shore Conference Championships.”

The boys are coming off a 7-4 season in which they reached the NJSIAA Non-Public B final before losing to Newark Academy.  They return five key swimmers who qualified for either the Shore Conference Championships or Meet of Champions.

Leading the way is junior Dante Dentino, who qualified for the SC in the 100 free and 100 breast, and the MOC in the 200 medley relay, 50 free, 100 breast and 200 free relay.

Dentino contributed to four of the five school records that were broken last year. He set the 100 free mark in 48.73 and the 100 breast record in 1:01.41. He was also part of two record-setting relay teams, including the 200 medley (1:42.85) and 400 free relay (3:23.16) with Logan Maypother, Jack Harmon and the graduated Mitch Cullen. He got to the SCC in the 100 Free and 100 Breast; and the MOC in the 200 medley relay, 50 Free, 100 Breast, and 200 free relay

Maypother, a senior, qualified for the SCC in the 50 free and 100 fly, and for the MOC in the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Harmon, a junior, reached the SCC in the 50 free and 100 fly and the MOC in the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and 400 free relay.

Other key returnees feature senior Eddie Annitto and sophomore Jeff Hanlon. Annitto qualified for the SCC in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay, while Hanlon reached the Monmouth County Championships qualifier in the 200 medley relay, 200 free and 100 back.

Iatesta feels confident with the group he will go to battle with.

“In my opinion the boys team deserves to be ranked in the top 10, in the fifth or sixth spot,” he said. “They placed sixth at the Monmouth County Championships and fifth at the Shore Conference Championships. Four boys qualified for the Meet of Champions and five records were broken.”

The girls return four standout swimmers from an outfit that went 7-5 last year and lost to Newark Academy in the Non-Public B semifinals. The best news about the quartet is every girl is a sophomore, which bodes well for the future.  

Molly Cullen had a stellar freshman season, qualifying for the Meet of Champions in the 200 Medley Relay, 100 free, 200 free relay and 100 back.  Abby Condon got to the SCC qualifier in the 50 free and 100 free, and the MOC in the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay.

Marian Moore was an SCC qualifier in the 200 individual medley, 100 fly and 400 free relay, while Molly Mulcahy was a Monmouth County Championship qualifier in the 200 medley relay, 200 IM and 100 free.

The boys opened their season with an 88-72 win over Ranney Dec. 8, getting first-place finishes from Annitto (50 free, 100 free), Hanlon (500 free) and the 200 free relay team of James Magrini, Harmon, Annitto and Bryce LeMoult.  

The girls also topped Ranney on opening day, taking a 94-75 decision. Victories came from Condon (50 free, 100 free), Cullen (500 free, 100 back), the 200 free relay team of Lucy Annitto, Condon, Moore and Cullen; and the 400 free relay squad of Mulcahy, Moore, Cullen and Gabrielle Winkelman.

Showing their depth, both teams took a plethora of second- and third-place finishes to rack up valuable points.  

It was a good start for what Iatetsta feels will be a good season for both teams.

“We are hoping to build on the success of last year,” the coach said. “We are hoping that both the boys and girls teams can finish in the top 10 in the Monmouth County Championships and possibly even the Shore Conference Championships. We expect both teams to qualify for the non-public B state tournament and hope they can both advance to at least the semifinal round.”