East Penn Press

Saturday, June 23, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONEmmaus’ Patrick Kuzdal swims the backstroke during an early-season meet. PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONEmmaus’ Patrick Kuzdal swims the backstroke during an early-season meet.
PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONEmmaus’ Colby Kocon swims the butterfly during a December meet. PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONEmmaus’ Colby Kocon swims the butterfly during a December meet.

EHS swimmers compete at BU

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Every January, Bucknell University plays host to some of the top high school swimming and diving teams for the New Year’s Challenge. As usual, Emmaus was invited to this year’s event and came home with strong finishes for both the boys and girls teams. The boys team placed third behind Wilson West Lawn and North Allegheny, while the girls placed fifth in the team standings, with Wilson West Lawn grabbing first on the girls side as well.

The meet sort of kicks off the competition after the holidays and seemingly vaults teams into the final push toward states, which are held at Bucknell in mid-March.

“I was very pleased with how our kids fared on Saturday,” said Emmaus coach Tim O’Connor “This month of competition usually shows us who is ready to compete for the end of the season, and this is such a great meet. Kids from all the programs are simply there to race.”

Emmaus picked up first place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle on both sides. Chelsea Gravereaux took first for the girls, while Nick Soares grabbed first in the boys event. Reilly King finished seventh for Emmaus in girls and Emmaus had Connor Shriver place eighth and Luke Tautzhan finish ninth for the boys.

Gravereaux also finished first in the 100 freestyle, while Katie Champagne took top honors in the backstroke and finished third in the 50 freestyle.

Patrick McAllister finished third in the backstroke, while Jack Sharp finished fifth in the 500 freestyle and Ricky Thomas took sixth in the men’s butterfly. Evan Bova grabbed a sixth-place finish in the breaststroke.

O’Connor said the coaching staff was able to pick out some of the stronger overall performances when they went over the results on Sunday.

“There were many good swims and dives performed by our team, however, ones that stood out to us were Nick Soares and Katie Champage overall had solid meets,” said O’Connor, who also pointed to Abby Heilenman battling to tie for seventh in the breaststroke as one of the more exciting races at the meet for Emmaus.

O’Connor was also happy with the girls 200-yard freestyle relay team of Gravereaux, Champagne, Heilenman and King finishing in first a little more than a second ahead of a team from Wilson West Lawn. Champagne, Gravereaux, King and Peyton Rautzhan finished second in the 400 freestyle relay for Emmaus.

On the boys side, McAllister, Bova, Thomas and Colby Kocon teamed up in the 200 medley relay and finished third, while McAllister, Shriver, Devin Metzger and Michael Iacobelli took third in the 200 freestyle relay. Emmaus picked up a fourth place finish in the 400 freestyle relay with a team of McAllister, Thomas, Soares and Kocon.

The meet may help O’Connor and his staff to start sorting out some of the internal competition on the boys team for spots on relay teams. Through the early part of the season, different swimmers have taken their shot at putting themselves in the lead for relay team positions.

“Our boys relays have so much competition on our own team to get on them,” said O’Connor. “I really appreciate the great effort and intensity our boys are bringing to those events.”

On the season, Emmaus is 5-0 in both boys and girls dual meets. Emmaus hosts Central Catholic Thursday and then has another big team meet at the Wilson Relays hosted by Wilson West Lawn on Saturday. After that, Emmaus is at Freedom next Tuesday.