East Penn Press

Friday, April 3, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZLuke Rautzahn took first place in two individual freestyle events at districts, while also swimming on two winning relay teams. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZLuke Rautzahn took first place in two individual freestyle events at districts, while also swimming on two winning relay teams.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Nick Soares took first place in backstroke at the District 11 Championships. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Nick Soares took first place in backstroke at the District 11 Championships.

EHS boys win District 11 title

Thursday, March 5, 2020 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Make it lucky number 13 for Emmaus as the Hornet boys captured gold in the team standings at the District 11 Swimming and Diving Championships this past weekend. The meet was held at Parkland High School and determines automatic bids to compete in the PIAA championships later this month at Bucknell University.

The boys came into the swimming portion of the championships trailing Parkland 61-20 in the team standings after the diving portion was held the previous weekend at Emmaus. Brendan McCourt took gold in diving, but he was the only Emmaus diver competing, while Parkland had multiple divers picking up points for them.

The Emmaus boys passed Parkland in the team standings after the 50-yard freestyle event where Devin Metzger took gold, Alex Magditch finished fifth, Ethan Ferris was eighth and Cooper Kocon finished tenth, all picking up points for the Hornets. Every boys event in the meet was won by a swimmer from either Emmaus or Parkland, with 10 of the 12 gold medals going to Emmaus swimmers.

“This is amazing,” said Metzger after his win. “I never thought I would be standing here wearing a gold medal. I’m really at a loss for words right now. It was a really close race and this is just insane. It’s bonkers.”

Gio Germano picked up a gold in Friday’s portion of the event in the 100-yard butterfly and Michael Iacobelli (200-yard IM) and Luke Rautzhan (200-yard freestyle) also grabbed gold medals on day one.

“I knew it was going to be a good race,” said Rautzhan of the 200-yard freestyle. “We’ve all worked really hard this year and today it was time to just go out and do it and show how hard we’ve worked for this.”

In Saturday’s competition, Rautzhan added a second gold in the 100-yard freestyle and Iacobelli took silver in the 100-yard breaststroke. Nick Soares won the 100-yard backstroke to get gold, with teammate Connor Shriver finishing second to take silver. Germano tied for third with Nazareth’s Gabe Laslo to get a bronze medal.

In relays, Emmaus boys took first in all three relay events, including the 200-yard medley and the 200 and 400-freestyle relays. The relay wins meant that Iacobelli left with three gold and one silver medal, while Rautzhan, Germano and Metzger left the event with three gold medals to show for their work. Magditch and Soares had two gold medals, while Shriver had a gold and a silver around his neck.

During the meet, Soares was given the award as the top swimmer in the EPC this season and he was also given the Dennis A. McGinley Award as the top swimmer in the District 11 championship.

“I had no clue,” said Soares of his standing in the points race for the McGinley award. “Nobody said anything, and it didn’t even enter my mind. All of our guys worked so hard to get ready and they’re all doing great and I was just focusing on how well our team was doing.”

The gold medalists receive an automatic spot in the PIAA championships March 11 and 12 at Bucknell University. Other top finishers wait to see whether their times were strong enough to get them a bid-in entry to states.

McCourt’s win in the district diving event means that he will get the opportunity to defend his state championship at Bucknell.