1995 Girls' and Boys' Swim Teams

The 1994-95 boys’ and girls’ swimming teams not only beat the powerhouse Bolles School in all six relays (200-yard medley, 200 free, 400 free), but swept all other schools in an unprecedented accomplishment in the annals of Swimming World Magazine Mythical Championships. Both teams claimed first place in the Annual ACCUSPLIT High School Relay competition. No team before or since has won all six relays. Swimming World collects the fastest times in each event and scores them accordingly.

The relay triple proved to be decisive in the race for the boys’ combined (public and independent) national high school title where Peddie edged Bolles 132 to 126. Despite the Falcon girls’ sensational relay trifecta that included the fastest times ever in the medley (143.90) and 200 free (1:34.63), the Bolles girls had enough individual firepower to take the combined national title. 

The boys’ mythical outcome came down to the 400 freestyle relay swum at Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving. Alex Kurmakov ’95 sprinted to the front with a fast 45.09 first leg. Jon Maslow ’96 (46.01), Spencer Hawkins ’96 (46.52) and Bret Awbrey ’96 (46.10) held the lead for a 3:03.81 victory, edging Bolles, who clocked a 3:04.66. Kurmakov also paced the Falcons’ relay wins in the 200 medley (1:32.85: Greg Wriede ’95, Nick Kaschik ’96, Kurmakov) and 200 free (1:23.87: Kurmakov, Maslow, Kaschik, Bret Awbrey ’96) with a 19.84 anchor and 20.69 leadoff, respectively. Peddie crushed the competition at Easterns, outdistancing runner-up Mercersburg by a wide margin, 298-163. In the final individual national rankings, Kaschik placed third in the 200 medley (1:48.91) and sixth in the 100 breaststroke (56.19), while Kurmakov touched third in the 100 free (44.89). Awbrey was sixth in the 500 free (4:27.00). 

1995 Girls Swim Team

Making up the Peddie girls’ record-smashing relays were Margo Diamond ’96 (26.08 back), Amy Balcerzak ’96 (28.21 breast), Elaine Schwartz ’99 (25.82 fly) and Nichole Robillard ’95 (23.79 free) in the medley, and Balcerzak (23.69), Meghan Sonstegard ’97 (23.55), Robillard (23.17) and Marisa Chuliver ’96 (24.22) in the 200 free. In the 400 free relay prelims, Balcerzak, Chuliver, Sonstegard and Diamond raced to the nation’s top time of 3:26.21. The girls ran away with the Easterns title, outscoring nearest rival Germantown Academy, 295-230. Meet MVP Diamond set a new independent school mark in the 100 backstroke with a 55.05, good enough for second place in the national standings. She also scored points with an eighth-place finish in the 100 butterfly (56.27). Balcerzak captured fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.07) and Katie Egan ’96 rounded out Peddie’s national scorers with a 10th spot in the 500 free (4:53.10).

Nikki Albano ’95, the only four-year letter winner, epitomized the grinding work ethic and commitment that made the Falcons successful. Sixteen swimmers combined for a total of 30 individual All-American honors. They were exceptional competitors, leaders and teammates, and most deserving to be members of the Peddie Sports Hall of Fame.