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PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SHCOLZ Emmaus' Chelsea Gravereaux and Abby Heilenman are part of Emmaus' contingent of state-qualifying swimmers. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SHCOLZ Emmaus' Chelsea Gravereaux and Abby Heilenman are part of Emmaus' contingent of state-qualifying swimmers.

Emmaus girls take second place in D-11

Thursday, March 8, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The Emmaus girls swim team captured four individual gold medals and two more in relays at the District 11 Swimming Championships over the weekend. The event, usually held at Parkland High School, was moved to Emmaus after a power outage at Parkland Friday night forced the postponement of the schedule and necessitated moving the meet to Emmaus.

Katie Champagne and Chelsea Gravereaux each captured two individual gold medals at the meet. Gravereaux took gold in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100 freestyle, while Champagne finished with gold in the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.

“It feels really good,” said Champagne, who was the only swimmer with a qualifying time of under one minute in the backstroke coming into districts. “I knew I had some good competition and I didn’t know what to expect and they really brought it, so it’s exciting. I’m looking forward to states and to see how everyone else does there, too.”

Champagne and Gravereaux have both been to states before and at least have an idea what to expect. Gravereaux was somewhat subdued about her district gold stating that it’s just part of what she wants to accomplish this season and the best is yet to come.

“It’s good,” she said. “It’s always special, but I still have my goals and the season isn’t over yet, but I still have states, so there’s time. I’m really excited for states. I’ve had an individual and relay shot at states both years now, so I’m really excited for both events.”

Gravereaux and Champagne, both juniors, are both part of the 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay teams that captured first-place finishes at districts and a spot in states. In both relays, they were paired with fellow junior Abby Heilenman and freshman Peyton Rautzhan.

In addition to her relay gold, Heilenman added a bronze medal in both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle events. Reilly King also collected two individual medals with a third-place finish in the 200-freestyle and a fourth-place finish in the 500 freestyle.

The Parkland girls took the team championship for the 10th straight season. Finishing behind Emmaus was Liberty, Southern Lehigh and Nazareth rounding out the top five.

First-place finishers are guaranteed spots in states, which are scheduled for next week at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. Other medalists will have to wait to see if they are granted spots in the competition based on their district-meet times when compared to swimmers from other districts from around the state.