After taking team gold in the District 11 Swimming and Diving Championships earlier this month, the girls’ swimming team came into states looking for a strong finish. The Hornets got what they hoped for with a medal performance in the 200-yard medley relay and some good finishes in other events this past Friday and Saturday at Bucknell University in Lewisburg.
The senior-laden team of Katie Champagne, Chelsea Gravereaux and Abby Heilenman teamed with freshman Lauren Sharp to finish fifth in the 200-yard medley relay.
The Emmaus swimming and diving team is well represented at the PIAA championships, which will held this weekend at Bucknell University. Seven swimmers, six relay teams and one diver will represent the Green Hornets at Kinney Natatorium on Friday and Saturday.
Diver Brendan McCourt, a junior, is the highest seeded individual. At least year’s meet, McCourt finished seventh in the competition, making him the highest-finishing sophomore in the event dominated by senior and junior divers.
The last time that a team other than Emmaus won the team championship at the District 11 Swimming and Diving Championships, it was almost a completely different world. A computer company named Apple had just introduced the first iPhone, but it hadn’t yet been released. John McCain, Rudi Guiliani, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were all running for president and the final Harry Potter book was being published.
That was 2007 and with their team championship last weekend in districts, the streak continues, reaching 12 straight years.
As it turns out, this was the year. Throughout the swimming season, members of the girls swimming and diving team from Emmaus were slow to make predictions about breaking the 10-year grip that the Parkland held on the District 11 championship.
When asked about the possibilities of knocking off Parkland, the Hornets would generally offer a wry smile with a response along the lines of “we’ll see.” On Saturday, those wry smiles turned to huge, joyous ones and the Emmaus girls swimmers talked about having won their first District 11 team championship since 2008.
Brendan McCourt won the District 11 Diving Championship for the second time in two years this past weekend. While he was happy about the win and a second gold medal, he readily admits that it wasn’t his best performance and wasn’t as satisfying as his first taste of gold.
“I came in hoping to beat my personal best or at least beat my score from last year in districts, but I didn’t even do that,” lamented McCourt, who scored a 516.45 this year after notching a 520.80 last year as a sophomore. His personal best – and the school record – for an 11-dive performance is a 551.
The Emmaus girls swimming team has the strongest group of senior swimmers that its had in a long while.
The group includes swimmers who helped to break Parkland’s grip on the EPC swimming and diving championship two years ago when they beat Parkland to win the EPC title.
They’ve also had to watch as Parkland’s girls have won 10 straight District 11 championships and 18 of the last 19 district crowns.
A long, tough season for the Emmaus girls basketball team ended last week with a 37-24 loss to Whitehall, spoiling Senior Night for four senior members of the girls basketball team.
Hornet players, Ky Anthony and Anne Glowacki, along with student-coach Mal Burns and trainer Phoebe Haberstumpf, were all honored for their time with the team.
Anthony scored two points in the loss, just under her season average.
The Emmaus girls swimming and diving team beat Central Catholic and then won a quad-meet against Pocono Mountain East, Pocono Mountain West and East Stroudsburg South this past Saturday. The wins have the Hornets at 10-1 overall and 10-0 in the EPC this season.
Rival Parkland, who Emmaus swims against next Thursday, is at 8-1 overall and 8-0 in the EPC, while Easton (8-1, 7-1) and Liberty (9-2, 7-2) are following Emmaus and Parkland.
The Emmaus boys swimming and diving team took wins over Central Catholic, Pocono Mountain East and West and East Stroudsburg South last week to move its record to 10-1 on the season and 10-0 in the EPC.
Emmaus stands atop the conference standings with Northampton (9-2, 8-1) second, followed by Parkland (8-0-1, 7-0-1) and Nazareth (8-1-1, 7-1-1).
Throughout a difficult season, Emmaus girls basketball head coach Kelsey Gallagher has looked for positives to point out to her players.
Sometimes, it comes down to just a play here and there and other times it comes down to how they battled against a tough team. After a recent 44-15 loss to Parkland, it was Parkland coach Ed Ohlson who had some good things to say about Emmaus.
“They’ve got some nice young players,” said Ohlson. “It’s going to be interesting to see how they develop over the next couple of seasons. I really liked that number 40. She’s tough.”