The Toms River North girls swim team refused to let injuries keep it from its goals.
With two key swimmers battling injuries and coach Heather Barbalindo forced to make last-minute decisions on who would swim, the Mariners earned second place at the Shore Conference Girls Swimming Championships on Sunday at the Ocean County YMCA in Toms River.
Red Bank Catholic won its seventh straight team title with 393 points and broke one of the meet's oldest records in the 400-meter freestyle relay, erasing a mark set by Rumson-Fair Haven that had been set in 1990.
For Toms River North, which earned 173 points, the bigger victory was qualifying all three of its relay teams for the Meet of Champions, Barbalindo said -- which was a challenge with their two best swimmers sidelined with injuries.
"That was a goal at the beginning of the season," Barbalindo said. "To reach that feels really good, especially because who swam today was a game-day decision" due to the injuries.
Many of the Mariners posted their best times of the season, she said, led by Alyssa Colasurdo, who took fifth in the 100 butterfly and the 200 individual medley, as well as swimming legs of the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay, where the Mariners placed second and third, respectively.
Colasurdo also qualified for the Meet of Champions in the 100 butterfly.
"I was really happy and excited," she said, adding that she knew she had qualified as soon as she saw her time. "I knew this year wasn't going to be as good as last year (when North won the Ocean County title for the second straight year) so to qualify and get all three relay teams in feels really good."
Manasquan was third with 144 points, with the Warriors winning the 200 freestyle relay in 1:41.09, breaking the meet record of 1:41.80 set last year by Toms River North and edging out Rumson and RBC. The Warriors also took second in the 400 freestyle relay, and received a first-place finish from junior Hannah Briant in the 500 freestyle, while Caroline Petrone placed fourth in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 100 backstroke.
"We've had a really good year," Manasquan coach Craig Murin said. "The girls have worked hard and I'm really proud of them."
Monsignor Donovan finished eighth with strong performances from Alex Caravella, who placed 10th in the 200 individual medley and helped the 200 medley relay team take fourth.
Wall was ninth, led by Danielle Griggs, who won the 100 butterfly in 59.50 and took second in the 50 freestyle, just three hundredths of a second behind Briant.
Toms River East finished 11th as Cassidy Morris took eighth in the 100 breaststroke and 14th in the 50 freestyle, as well as swimming legs of the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, where the Raiders finshed fourth and sixth, respectively.
Lacey was 13th, with freshman Leanna Cass taking third in the 100 freestyle and the 200 IM, while junior Brianna Burke placed 14th in both the 100 and 500 freestyle races.
Point Boro was 14th as Anne Skimmons took sixth in the 200 individual medley and Carolyn Kern was eighth in the 500.
Casey Lawson won the 200 individual medley in 2:08.59 and took second in the 100 breaststroke to help St Rose to 18th place.
Central was 19th, one of the best finishes ever for the Golden Eagles, as its 200 freestyle relay team of Maeve Burg, Juliette Mueller, Susanna Olsen and Polina Dineva placed seventh and the same group took 14th in the 400 relay.
Brick was 21st, Toms River South 25th and Manchester was 31st.