By BRIAN CUNNIFF
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – The Middle Township High School swimming teams enjoyed South Jersey Group C playoff victories Tuesday afternoon at the Cape May County Special Services School District aquatics facility.
Sisters Urvi Patel and Ishika Patel totaled four first-place finishes apiece, with Urvi setting a new school record in the 200 individual medley, to pace the Lady Panthers to a 100-60 victory over rival Cape May Tech.
On the boys side, Middle Township squeezed out an 86-84 victory over Delsea to also advance in the South Jersey Group C playoffs.
Urvi Patel posted a time of 2 minutes, 30.27 seconds, to beat her own school record in the 200 IM set earlier this season. She also was first in the 100 breaststroke. Ishika Patel claimed top honors in the 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle races. The sisters also teamed with Miranda Targum and Samantha Braun for first place in both the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay.
Other individual winners for Middle Township included Targum in the 100 freestyle and Bridget Donohue in the 200 freestyle. Donohue, Maddie Deane, Lindsey Pane and Alexa Lord teamed for first in the 400 freestyle relay.
Lindsay Robbins led Cape May Tech (3-4) with first-place finishes in the 100 backstroke and 500 freestyle.
Middle (5-3-1), the fifth seed in the girls tournament, will swim at No. 4 Delsea on Friday.
In the boys meet, Middle took second and third place in the final event, the 400 free relay, to secure the team victory.
Brendon Bartha, Sean Geary, Zach Hurtado and John Lombardelli were each part of two first-place finishes for Middle (6-4). The quartet joined forces for first place in the 200 medley relay. Individually, Bartha took top honors in the 200 individual medley, Geary was first in the 100 breaststroke, Hurtado won the 500 freestyle and Lombardelli claimed first in the 100 backstroke.
The Middle boys will travel to GCIT for a second-round meet on a date to be determined.