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Students were political canvassers, escape room artists, physicists, fashionistas, inventors, thought leaders, collaborators, activists, change agents, and boat builders, among many other identities, during Project Week 2019.

Darlene Fung '19 Named Swimmer of the Year

Senior Darlene Fung has always been a talented member of the Girls' Varsity Swim Team, even as a freshman. But over the last two years, she has turned up the heat, proving her dominance in the sport and her rightful place in New Jersey high school record books. Capping off a tremendous season, during which she led her team to their first-ever NJSIAA Non-Public A finals appearance, she won both the 50 and 100 freestyle at the Meet of Champions in early March—for the second consecutive year. (She set the meet record in the 50 free last year, and came just shy of breaking it again this year.) Darlene was also part of the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams, both of which took third at the state-wide meet.

As reporter Evan Slavit wrote, "In almost every meet Pingry swims, Fung's presence essentially assures four first-place finishes." For her achievements, Darlene, who will swim for Harvard in the fall, earned's Swimmer of the Year honors.

Head Coach and biology teacher Deirdre O'Mara feels the acknowledgement is more than deserved, "I was not her coach or her teacher in her early years at Pingry, but all of the biology faculty knew this generous, intelligent young scholar. Since she was a swimmer, I, of course, paid attention to her swimming, but I was aware of her affinity for science as she got involved in our extracurricular science opportunities—a true scholar-athlete in the making. I have watched her over the last few years become the complete package—incredibly smart, interested in everything, motivated, articulate and yet humble, empathetic, measured, and compassionate. She is a beautiful person, inside and out. . . [and] her swimming is nothing short of fantastic. She finished her senior year with two state titles along with a state record in her signature event, but meanwhile, during the dual meet season, she swam every event that we needed to her to swim . . . Harvard swimming will benefit not only from her performances in the pool but her ability to be a great teammate and how she creates a positive dynamic for those around her. I am very grateful that my freshmen had a year with her! 

Congratulations, Darlene!

Read more about the honor, and look back at her performances at Meet of Champions and Preps.

Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer,