Ridge swimmer Bradley Wachenfeld on Sunday became the first Ridge High School swimmer in thirty years to win an individual title in the state Meet of Champions — and he did it twice.
Wachenfeld, a senior who is heading to the University of Pennsylvania, won both the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle free events (with finish times of 1:40.98 and 4:33.31 respectively) in dominating fashion, said Ridge's Head Swim Coach, Melanie Dupuis.
Dupuis said Wachenfeld, one of this year's Athletes of the Week on Patch, won the 200-yard freestyle by two seconds, and finished ahead by 11 seconds in the second race.
The events weren't even close, Dupuis said. "Bradley did an amazing job; he is clearly the best distance swimmer in the state," she said.
The individual swimming state championships were held last weekend at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology, with the preliminary races on Saturday, and final competition on Sunday, Dupuis said.
Ridge swimmer Matt Glockenmeier, a sophomore, placed 13th in the 200-yard individual medley race with a new best time of 1:59.86, Dupuis said.
The Ridge team placed 20th in the 200 medley relay, with a time of 1:42.85, and a team of Wachenfeld, Glockenmeier, and freshmen Aaron Schlemovitz and Jackson Crewe, Dupuis said.
The same team placed 16th in the 400-yard free relay, at 3:23.80, she said.
In February, Wachenfeld placed as double Somerset County champion in the same two 200 and 500-yard events, and broke county records both times, Dupuis said. The boys team as a whole placed fourth in the county, "a testament to their hard work," she said.
Earlier, in January, she said Wachenfeld again won those two same events at the Skyland Conference Championship — and also broke two conference records, Dupuis said.
Wachenfeld has announced his intention to attend the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, where he also expects to continue his swimming.
"Bradley is a swimmer we can't afford to lose — but we wish him luck," Dupuis said. As a swimmer, Wachenfeld grew tremendously during the four years he was on the Ridge team, she said. Wachenfeld himself said he began swimming at the local Pleasant Valley municipal pool.