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Sacred Heart’s Joanie Cash, Lauryn Johnson set league swim marks

Sacred Heart's Joanie Cash competes in the 400-yard freestyle

Sacred Heart's Joanie Cash competes in the 400-yard freestyle relay during the NSCHSAA league championships at the Nassau County Aquatic Center on Nov. 5, 2017. Credit: Richard T. Slattery

It was a record-breaking Sunday afternoon for Sacred Heart teammates Joanie Cash and Lauryn Johnson.

Cash set league records in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles and Johnson broke the mark in the 100 butterfly at the Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA girls swimming championship at Eisenhower Park. Johnson also won the 500 freestyle.

“I didn’t know what the records were before. I just wanted to swim my best and I think I did that,” said Cash, who earned most outstanding swimmer honors. She swam the 50 freestyle in 23.72 seconds, surpassing the record of 24.02 set by Sam Merino (Mary Louis Academy) last season. Her 50.93 in the 100 freestyle broke Emily Kelly of Sacred Heart’s record of 51.25 from 2008.

The freshman said she was grateful for the support she received from her teammates, including Johnson, a two-time All-Long Island swimmer.

“It means a lot because I’m new to the team,” she said. “Lauryn is such an amazing swimmer. I ask her questions all the time and I’m honored to swim with her every day.”

Johnson, a junior said of Cash: “Being a freshman and breaking two records is incredible. She’s an awesome teammate and we’re always pushing each other to do better and go faster in practice.”

Johnson repeated as the league champion in both events she won Sunday. She swam 55.37 in the 100 butterfly to break the previous record of 55.53, set by Keri Masterson in 2005. In the 500 freestyle, she swam 4:54.55, just missing the league record of 4:52.62 she set last season.

“This past summer, I focused a lot on my strength training and my technique for the butterfly and freestyle,” Johnson said. “My time today in the 100 is faster than I went all last season, so I think I’m at a good place heading into states.”

Cash and Johnson also joined Hannah Harkins and Fiona Walsh on Sacred Heart’s 200 freestyle relay team, which took first with a 1:39.08.

“They’re both so team-oriented and they love swimming for their high school,” Sacred Heart coach Mary White said of Johnson and Cash.

St. Anthony’s won the team title for the eighth straight season. The Friars’ Emily Bardak won the 200 individual medley (2:07.97), Briana Gellineau won the 200 freestyle (1:51.46), Michaela Rutigliano took first in the 100 backstroke (58.32) and Amanda Heinz won the 100 breaststroke (1:06.83).

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