Berkeley Aquatic Club sent 89 competitors to national event.
Wednesday, January 30
Eighty-nine elite athletes from Berkeley Aquatic Club competed at CeraVe Invitational Meet, one of the few long-course swimming events held in the United States during the winter. Held at Rutgers University from January 11 to 13, CeraVe is a meet with a long history, as Berkeley Aquatic Club has been hosting this meet for 22 years, with CeraVe serving as the sponsor for the past four. CeraVe has become synonymous with fast times and one that for years has attracted Olympic swimmers, which in the past have included Scott Goldblatt, Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones, Rebecca Soni and Katie Hoff, while this year’s meet featured swims by Olympic medalists Katie Ledecky, Lia Neal and Ian Silverman. Moreover, swimmers and fans alike were able to …
Bronze medalist Tom Wilkens of Middletown tells kids he achieved success by being a '24-hour athlete'
Tom Wilkens of Middletown is proof that you don't have to be tall or have extremely large hands to win an Olympic medal in swimming. "I'm living proof that someone growing up right here on the Jersey Shore, who isn't too tall or isn't too strong, can go on to achieve their dreams," he said. Speaking poolside at the Oceanport Lions Swim Club on Wednesday, Wilkens, a bronze medal winner from the 2000 Sydney games, told the swim team that a series of small choices throughout his life led to a victory over another swimmer, as it turns out, by a distance only the size of the thickness of his medal itself. When Wilkens began his swim career at age 7, he said, he was a short, skinny, dorky little kid with glasses. "I wasn't even the best swimmer …