Can Ridgewood win its 5th straight All-City Swim title?

The battle for the All-City Swim meet title looks to be wide open this year, but long time powerhouse Ridgewood Pool still may have a chance to secure a fifth straight title.

Ridgewood handily beat Parkcrest and West Side pools Saturday at Ridgewood to finish with a 7-1 record for the regular season.

But Ridgewood coach Bill Wuerger said the team will have to step it up a notch to secure another All-City title.

“Our goal is always for the swimmers to have their best performances at All-City,” said Wueger.  “Hopefully they get a lot of rest this week and are ready to swim well this weekend.  Parkcrest and Westside both have small teams, so the final score from last Saturday does not mean much.”

But Ridgewood has plenty of competition for the title this year. Ridgewood lost to Shorewood Hills 600-473 at a dual meet on July 19.  Ridgewood swam without one of its best swimmers, state record holder Beata Nelson. But Wuerger said even with his team at full strength, he considers Ridgewood the underdog this year.

“Shorewood has many talented swimmers. They do not have any weak age-groups,” said Wuerger. ” I still consider them the favorite.”

Shorewood Hills may have had a letdown following the Ridgewood meet. The team lost a close meet to Seminole pool in Fitchburg last Saturday to go into All-City with a 5-1 record. Seminole and Middleton both come into All-City with just two losses as well. So, this tournament may see the closest battle for the team title in years.

But Wuerger said another title will not be how he judges his team’s performance at the meet this week. He’s bringing 270 swimmers to the meet, which is one of the largest in All-City history.

“We added another coach this year (Maura Shea) in response to our increasing numbers,” said Wuerger. “I think we’ve done everything we can to prepare the kids.”

“If every swimmer swims their best, I will consider it a successful All-City meet,” said Wuerger.  “We have no control over how well Shorewood swims, so we’ll just focus on ourselves.”