East Penn Press

Sunday, May 31, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZThe Hornets’ Luke Willard swims the breaststroke leg of the medley relay against Parkland. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZThe Hornets’ Luke Willard swims the breaststroke leg of the medley relay against Parkland.

EHS boys cruise past Parkland

Thursday, February 6, 2020 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The Emmaus boys swimming and diving team extended a streak of conference championships that goes back to before some of the younger team members were even born. For 16 straight seasons, Emmaus has dominated the conference with this year’s team locking up a perfect 12-0 overall record and finishing 11-0 in the EPC.

This year’s championship came with a 123-63 win over Parkland in the Hornets’ season finale.

Emmaus jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back.

In the opening event, the Hornets had relay teams grab the top two spots in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of Nick Soares, Michael Iacobelli, Gio Germano and Devin Metzger easily won the medley relay with a time of 1:36.36, besting a younger team with A.J. Lamack, Cooper Kocon, Connor Shriver and Alex Magditch by nearly three seconds. Emmaus relay teams also grabbed the top spot in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle events.

“We had a really good day,” said Soares. “We all worked hard this season and we encourage each other a lot and I think it showed.”

It was a good day indeed for Soares, who not only was on two first-place relay teams, but also picked up individual wins in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke events. Rautzhan matched his teammate with two first-place finishes in relay events and wins in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle events.

“We had a number of swimmers who really were at the top of their game for us today,” said Hornet head coach Tim O’Connor. “These guys push each other in practice and they’re always cheering each other on and if someone has a bad race they don’t let them focus on that, we just move ahead. I’m really proud of the entire team and just how hard they really have worked this season.”

Emmaus had a commanding 44-18 lead going into the diving event. Parkland may have a deeper team of divers, but what they don’t have is Brendan McCourt. The defending District 11 and PIAA champion put on a show in diving and won easily with a score of 354.05, which broke the team and pool records that he set last season and was also a personal best.

“I think he really wanted this today,” said O’Connor of his senior diver. “He wanted to have a big performance today and end the season with a statement and I think that he did just that.”

Emmaus swimmers picked up sweeps of the top three spots in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly events. In the 50-yard freestyle, Magditch, Kocon and Ethan Ferris took the top three spots, while Rautzhan, Metzger and Magditch finished one-two-three in the 100 freestyle. In the butterfly, it was Germano, Shriver and Matthew Greer taking the top three spots to stretch Emmaus’s lead. Shriver finished with two second-place finishes on the day in the butterfly and the 100 backstroke events.

With the regular season over, swimmers will try to qualify or reset their qualifying times for districts in the Last Chance Meet on February 15. District championships will be held February 28-29 at Parkland High School and states take place at Bucknell University in March. For divers, the EPC diving championship is Saturday at Emmaus and district diving will be held at Emmaus on February 22.

“I think that we’re in pretty good shape for districts,” said Soares. “We’ll keep working to get better and I think we’ll do well again in districts.”