Divide and conquer.

That’s the motto for the Hudson Explorers Aquatics Team coaching staff these days.

When the team’s national-level swimmers were competing in Atlanta and many of the team’s younger swimmers were racing in Pittsburgh, a small but mighty group of HEAT middle school swimmers traveled to Lakewood for the annual seventh- and eighth-grade invitational Saturday.

"From the 12 swimmers represented, we had 10 lifetime bests and a number of swims that were just off a personal best," first-year HEAT coach Paige Kelly said.

Among those great swims included a couple of major achievements. Noah Bartlett, 12, broke the 30-second barrier in the 50-yard freestyle for the first time, notching a time of 28.98 seconds.

Also breaking a big barrier was Maria DiMauro, 13, who dropped her 500 freestyle time below the seven-minute mark for the first time, clocking in at 6:55.12.

"Meets are a wonderful learning opportunity," said Kelly, a former HEAT standout herself. "I am very excited to see how the rest of the season goes."

The following HEAT swimmers placed in the top eight in their division in individual events:

Seventh-grade girls;

• Mina Karas, 13, 50 butterfly, fifth, 35.47; and 200 freestyle, sixth, 2:32.53;

• Gina Rubiano, 12, 100 individual medley, second, 1:15.40; and 50 breaststroke, third, 38.97;

• Grace Swartzendruber, 12, 500 freestyle, second, 6:42.28; and 100 IM, fourth, 1:18.41;

• Libby Thomas, 12, 100 freestyle, second, 1:09.09; and 100 IM, fifth, 1:21.51

• Susan Zamary, 12, 50 backstroke, third, 34.25;

Eighth-grade girls

• Celine Omega, 13, 100 freestyle, second, 1:02.84; and 50 backstroke, seventh, 33.39;

• Maria DiMauro, 13, 500 freestyle, seventh, 6:55.12;

Seventh-grade boys;

• Noah Bartlett, 12, 100 freestyle, fourth, 1:08.13; and 50 freestyle, fourth, 28.98;

Eighth-grade boys

• Sam DeAngelis, 14, 100 IM, fifth, 1:17.52; and 100 freestyle, seventh, 1:07.34; and

• William Cook, 14, 50 butterfly, fifth, 42 seconds; and 200 freestyle, sixth, 3:09.92.