This Is Rutherford
This is Lucas Gomes
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Photo credits: Mike Lazzara
Rutherford resident and Rutherford High School graduate, Lucas Gomes, was recently named Rookie of the Week at Montclair State University for the second time after scoring first place in two events over Staten Island’s Dolphins swim team. Gomes, a freshman at MSU, is on the Red Hawks Swim Team at MSU and has already had an incredible season. He has won a number of freestyle and butterfly events for his team and holds the sixth rank in the NJAC for the 50 Freestyle. This is Rutherford spoke with Lucas Gomes about his love of swimming and his achievements.
TIR: Tell us about where you are from and where you currently live.
Lucas Gomes: I was born and raised in Newark NJ but both my parents are from Brazil, and I am currently living in Rutherford.
TIR: When did you start swimming?
LG: When I was 11 or 12.
TIR: How long were you a swimmer with the Rebel Aquatic Club?
LG: I swam with them for a year and I also coached some of the kids.
TIR: Who have been your mentors?
LG: My mentors have been my coaches Mike Lazzara and Chris Dunn from the Rebels Aquatic Club and my father Luciano.
“It was a pleasure to coach Lucas Gomes. He was a fantastic role model to our younger swimmers. It's great to see Lucas succeed on the college level. We hope that his success will push more of the younger swimmers to continue their careers on the college level. This is a young man with a ton of talent and a whole lot of potential,” explained Rutherford Swim Association co-founder and Rebels coach Mike Lazzara.
TIR: Now that you have been swimming competitively for many years, which strokes do you prefer? Which are your best strokes?
LG: I am best at the butterfly, as well as freestyle, and those are my favorite and best strokes.
TIR: Why did you choose to attend Montclair State University? How has it been being a part of their swim team?
LG: I chose MSU because Coach Mike Lazzara helped me get onto the team. Some of my friends were already committing and it made me even more excited. I really enjoy the team morale and their attitude towards swimming and getting better.
TIR: Swimming is considered both an individual and team sport. What do you enjoy most about swimming and being part of the swim team?
LG: The friends and the memories I’ve made. Also, I enjoy how my team members all want to get faster and how competitive they are.
TIR: As a Freshman at MSU, what are your goals for the future?
LG: I want to be able to graduate with a good GPA as well as be able to break a 20.00 in the 50 freestyle as well as win Mets. Mets is a meet that we have at the end of our season with all the teams in the conference.