Four Linden students recently qualified to swim in the prestigious Junior Olympics held at Rutgers University. 

Marleigh McDonald, right, a fifth-grader at School No. 8, qualified to swim in eight of nine events in the 10-and-under age group, including freestyle, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and individual medley events. From there, she qualified to swim against other top finishers in the Eastern Zone Championships in Rochester, N.Y., competing in the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke.

“Not only has the sport of swimming taught her the importance of goal setting, perseverance, determination and dedication,” said her mother, Kim McDonald, “it has also taught her the importance of a positive work ethic and resilience that she can apply to her studies at school since she must be able to manage her time effectively so she can complete her homework and attend practice.”

Filip Salek, left, a seventh-grader at McManus Middle School, qualified for Junior Olympics in 50-, 100-, and 200-yard breaststoke in the 11-12 age group. Lukas Mikulenas, second from left, a former Soehl Middle School student who competes with the Linden High School swim team, qualified for the 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 200 breaststroke. Jakub Szulimowski, second from right, a seventh-grader at McManus, qualified for the 50 breaststroke.

All of the swimmers compete with the Jersey Gators Swim Club in Cranford.