Girls unable to overcome Trojans’ depth
The Emmaus girls swim team looked for a repeat of last season’s meet against Parkland that gave the Hornets the East Penn Conference championship. They came up short, falling to the Trojans 122-64 Saturday at Emmaus High School.
The loss was Emmaus’s first conference loss on the season, giving the Hornets a 10-2 overall record and 9-1 record in the EPC. For Parkland (10-0, 8-0), the win sets up a showdown with Easton (10-2, 8-1) on Thursday for the league championship.
Saturday’s meet opened with Emmaus getting a win in the 200-yard medley relay when Bella Buchman, Lauren Sharp, Mya Puentes and Peyton Rautzhan combined to post a time of 1:50.04, besting a team from Parkland by .26 seconds.
The win gave Emmaus a quick 8-6 lead, but Parkland came back to take the top two spots in the 200 freestyle and grab the lead. Just two events later though, Puentes and Rautzhan finished first and second in the 50-yard freestyle to tie the score 31-31.
“I liked how our girls battled back,” said coach Tim O’Connor. “We have a very young team and this is a tough meet, obviously, but they weren’t intimidated and came out and swam hard and did the things that we’ve talked about in practice.
“Parkland has a lot of depth and a lot of very good swimmers, but we battled them throughout the match and there’s a lot to be said about that.”
Parkland was able to take command of the meet when it swept the top three spots in diving. Carly Lennett was the highest Emmaus finisher, coming in fourth with a score of 161.95, followed by teammates Audrey Davidson and Gabi Guerrero.
If diving gave Parkland an advantage, it was the 500 freestyle that locked things up for the Trojans when they also took the top three spots in that event for a 79-47 lead.
“I think that’s where you see Parkland’s depth really start to take over,” said O’Connor. “We just didn’t have swimmers who could break into the top in a couple of events because they can throw so many swimmers out there who are all good.
“As our girls team gets more experience, we’ll be able to combat that a little, but right now, we’re a little thin on depth.”
Puentes was the only Emmaus swimmer to win an event and the 200 medley relay team was the only relay team to grab a top spot.
In addition to her first-place finish in the 50 freestyle, Puentes finished second in the 100-yard butterfly and was on a relay team with Rautzhan, Kera Reinhard and Avery King that placed second in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Sharp and Rautzhan had two second-place finishes in individual events, with Sharp being the runner-up in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke and Rautzhan taking second in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.
The loss ended the regular season for Emmaus. Some of the swimmers will take part in the Last Chance Meet on February 15 in an attempt to qualify or reset their qualifying times for districts. District 11 championship swimming events will be held February 28-29 at Parkland High School. The EPC diving championship is this Saturday at Emmaus and the District 11 diving championship is on February 22 at Emmaus.