Courtesy: NJIT Athletics
NEWARK, NJ – The men’s swimming and diving team will add seven new additions to their roster for the 2018-19 season.
The seven swimmers hail from three different states including NJIT’s home state New Jersey, New York and Iowa. This marks one of the largest recruiting classes in recent memory for NJIT, as well as one of the most talented with three swimmers ranking in the top 15 of their respective state.
Lane Griffis, from Riverside, Iowa, is a distance and breast stroke specialist. At the IHSAA Boys State Championships, Lane placed sixth overall in the 100 breast and eighth in the 500 free events. In 2017, Griffis was named to the MVC All-Conference Mississippi Division first team in the 500 free, and was part of the 400 free relay team that nabbed second-team. Griffis looks to major in mechanical engineering at NJIT.
Joshua Franco is another New Jersey native, hailing from Hillsborough, N.J. Franco, who was the captain of both his high school and club teams, earned first team all-conference and third team all-state in the 100 free. Ranking 11th in New Jersey Franco was also the Skyland and County champion in the 200 free and tallied second team all-state in that event. Franco looks to major in IT Security at NJIT.
Kai Legband, from Union, N.J., is the next new Highlander to start in the fall.. A sprinter, Legband was the Speedo Sectional-North-Ithaca champion in the 50 free and the 100 free. Legband’s New Jersey ranking is 12th, and he took third in the 100 free and fourth in the 50 free at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions. Legband looks to major in business at NJIT.
The next newcomer for the Highlanders, from Bridgewater, N.J., is John Battikha. Battikha won the 100 breast at the NJ SVY Champions Classic. Attending high school at Bridgewater-Raritan, Battikha was part of the 2017 High School Public A State Champion Team. Battikha looks to major in engineering science at NJIT and has been accepted to the Albert Dorman Honors College.
A stand-out swimmer at Weedsport High School in New York, Macauley Kolonko will be attending NJIT in the fall. Kolonko has accumulated four appearances at the NYSPHSAA championships, and was named Citizen’s Boys Swimmer of the Year four times. Kolonko’s accolades include a five-time all-league selection and a four-time All-CNY winner. At the Class C championships in February, Kolonko qualified for two state swim events, winning the 200 free and the 500 free. Kolonko looks to major in electrical engineering at NJIT and has been accepted to the Albert Dorman Honors College.
Another New Jersey native is Jason Paprocki from Berkeley Heights. Paprocki is a four-year letter winner in swimming at Governor Livingston High School. Paprocki who specializes in freestyle events, was also part of the Athletic Honor Society and the Mathematic Honor Society in his high school. Paprocki looks to major in computer science at NJIT
The final newcomer is Justin Andersen from Cherry Hill, N.J. Andersen a freestyle swimmer, holds three records at the South Jersey Aquatic Club, the 800 free, 100 fly and 100 back and is part of the 400 free relay and 800 free relay teams. Andersen looks to major in civil engineering at NJIT.