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Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

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Northern Valley Demarest Swimmers Win First State Title Under Rookie Coach

The Northern Valley/Demarest boys swim team won the program's first state title on Sunday under first-year head coach Samantha Puso.
The Northern Valley/Demarest boys swim team won the program's first state title on Sunday under first-year head coach Samantha Puso. Photo Credit: Submitted

DEMAREST, N.J. – The top-seeded Northern Valley Demarest Boys Swim Team won the program’s first ever Group C state title under first-year head coach Samantha Puso on Sunday.

“It feels great to know that all our hard work pays off,” Puso, 26, told Daily Voice. “Every person on our team was able to contribute to this team’s successful season.”

The Norsemen defeated Haddonfield (Camden County), 90-80, at The College of New Jersey – winning in the final event: the 400 free relay.

Kevin Shin, Justin Song, Lucas Keh and Tim Park completed the event – in that order – in 3:20.82.

The rookie head coach’s family – including her parents, fiancé, three sisters and more – were all in attendance.

“[They are] such a great support system,” the Mahwah resident told Daily Voice.

Puso, a former two-sport athlete at Paramus High School, began working as a volunteer coach at NVD in 2009 under former head coach Michael Ives, who happens to be her brother-in-law. She spent two years as an assistant before being promoted to her current post.

A physical education teacher, Puso, also coaches junior varsity soccer and softball at Dwight-Englewood High School.

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