East Penn Press

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZEmmaus’ Devin Metzger swims the butterfly during a recent meet. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZEmmaus’ Devin Metzger swims the butterfly during a recent meet.

Boys swimmers improve to 4-0

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The Emmaus boys swimming and diving team upped its record to 4-0 on the season with a convincing 103-52 win over Allen. Emmaus swam many of the later events in the contest as exhibition events in a show of sportsmanship after building up a big lead over the Canaries.

Early on, Emmaus swept the top three spots in the 200-yard medley relay with the team of Michael Iacobelli, Jake Young, Evan Bova and Matthew Gertner taking the top spot. In individual events, Gio Germano won the 200 freestyle with teammates Alex Magditch and Kyle Kurrwachter finishing second and third.

Emmaus didn’t face any competition in the 200 IM or the 100 butterfly. The Hornets swept the top three spots in the 50 freestyle with Bova and Dylan Strella finishing behind Nick Soares, who finished just .28 seconds ahead of Bova.

Bova came back to win the 100 freestyle ahead of teammates James Manley and Young. Soares also won the 500 freestyle ahead of teammates Devin Metzger and Owen Mont.

In diving, Brendan McCourt easily won with a score of 292, with James Mont and Drew Stenger finishing second and third.

Coach Tim O’Connor has been happy with how the team has responded and kept working through the recent holiday stretch, which can be a pitfall for some teams.

“I’m a creature of habit and I love routine and I love getting up at four and doing morning practice with them and going through my day at school,” said O’Connor. “I know it’s rough on them, but in all sports, kids need that routine.

“Sometimes, going into break or long weekends even, when they get out of their routine, they don’t do as well. They think the extra rest should help them but getting out of the routine is counterproductive.”

O’Connor also pointed out that coaches and athletes in winter sports are knocked off their routines by two holiday breaks – and possibly a third depending on when Easter falls – and they have to endure the rigors midterms and deal with illnesses, which are more rampant during the winter months.

Young is one of the swimmers who hasn’t slowed down and having a bit of a disruption may have actually helped him as he nurses a sore shoulder. The senior plans to attend the Pennsylvania College of Technology to major in metal fabrication after graduating in the spring. For now, he’s looking to continue to improve his times and serve as a leader for the younger swimmers on the team.

“I just keep trying to improve and get better and better and I think I’m doing really well right now,” said Young of his senior season. “We’re working really well together and doing things that are helping create team bonding and it’s going well.”

In addition to swimming, Young runs cross country for Emmaus and has added running triathlons to his routine.

“I got into that through coach O’s [O’Connor’s] brother, Pat,” said Young. “He started a traveling group at EMAC and I tried it and actually loved it.”

“Jake has really become a multi-dimensional athlete and is a good part of our team and he really enjoys being part of a team,” said O’Connor. “He does everything that we ask him to do. You can never question his effort and I love that about kids.”