Competition Season Kicks Off at Fall Festival of X-Cellence

Our meet season started off with a bang at the Fall Festival of X-Cellence, hosted by X-Cel Swimming at Princeton University over the weekend. Our 43 attending swimmers joined hundreds of others from 25 teams, kicking off the season with some top places, personal best times, team records, and more.

Some events had upwards of 100 swimmers competing in them. Our NJB swimmers made us proud by finishing in the top two heats of their age-group with some great performances by Paityn Bates (14th in 200 IM); Reese Berg (6th in the 100 Back, 11th in the 100 Breast, 8th in the 100 Free, 12th in the 100 IM, 6th in the 50 Breast); Matt Freund (7th in the 200 Fly, 8th in the 50 Fly); Nathaniel Kern (12th in the 100 Back, 6th in the 100 IM, 6th in the 200 Free, 9th in the 50 Back, 6th in the 50 Fly, 5th in the 50 Free); Jordan Maruska (13th in the 100 Free, 3rd in the 1000 Free); Jake Riva (5th in the 100 Back, 7th in the 100 Fly, 3rd in the 100 Free, 2nd in the 100 IM, 6th in the 1000 Free, 6th in the 200 Free, 15th in the 400 IM, 5th in the 50 Free); Clare Schwartz (2nd in the 1000 Free); and Hannah Wilson (16th in the 50 Back).

While we typically do not expect to see personal best times at our first meet of the season, there were a bunch; over 1/3rd of our 216 splashes were Career Best Times. Some of these were significant time drops, like swims by Paityn Bates (-10.67 in the 100 IM); Sadie Cornelius (-22.84 in her 100 Fly); Jonathan Kern (-11.40 in his 100 Back); Teddy Mills (-30.60 in his 100 IM); Jake Riva (-1:41.64 in his 1000 Free); Evan Weinberger (-12.67 in his 200 IM); and Hannah Wilson (-10.59 in her 500 Free) just to name a few!


Over the course of the meet, 55 NJ Swimming Silver Times* were earned! In addition, 25 Gold Times* (JOs and Senior Champs) were swum by Jillian Berg (100 Fly); Reese Berg (100 Back, 100 Breast, 100 Free, 100 IM, 50 Breast, 50 Back); Zach Bezold (100 Breast); Matt Freund (100 & 200 Fly, 400 IM); Nathaniel Kern (100 Back, 200 Free, 50 Fly, 50 Free); Jordan Maruska (1000 Free); Jake Riva (100 Back, 100 Fly, 100 Free, 1000 Free, 200 Free, 400 IM, 50 Free); and Billy Ruddy (500 Free).


*this season’s standards are the same as last year’s. Note, NJ Swimming may be moving to separate Silver and Bronze meets this season- more info TBA…


Congratulations to our swimmers for setting 12 new team records:

Reese Berg (200 Breast)

Nathaniel Kern (200 Free, 100 Back, 50 Breast, 100 IM)

Evan Weinberger (200 Free, 200 IM)

Peyton Berg (50 Fly, 100 IM)

Teddy Mills (50 Fly)

Jillian Berg (50 Fly)

Sydney Mills (100 IM)

Jake Riva (100 IM)

Matt Freund (200 Fly)


Congratulations everyone! Now, back to work. Next up, Treasure Island