The Emmaus girls swim team captured four individual gold medals and two more in relays at the District 11 Swimming Championships over the weekend. The event, usually held at Parkland High School, was moved to Emmaus after a power outage at Parkland Friday night forced the postponement of the schedule and necessitated moving the meet to Emmaus.
Katie Champagne and Chelsea Gravereaux each captured two individual gold medals at the meet. Gravereaux took gold in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100 freestyle, while Champagne finished with gold in the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.
For a while, it looked like Emmaus had a very real shot at winning both the boys and girls Eastern Pennsylvania Conference swimming and diving championship trophies.
The boys took an early lead over Parkland and stretched it out throughout the meet, while the girls used their underdog status and put up a hard fight before eventually falling to the rival Trojans, who took the girls championship. The boys kept the EPC championship securely in the trophy case at Emmaus.
Calling it “my favorite part of the job as athletic director,” Dennis Ramella launched into a celebration of 11 student athletes from Emmaus who signed letters of intent recently. The signers represented eight different sports and earned 48 varsity letters during their high school athletic careers.
Among the student athletes who signed their letters of intent at the ceremony were Jess Hurlburt (diving), Olivia Ann Krogermeier (field hockey), Patrick McAllister (swimming), Elizabeth Ninesling (lacrosse) and volleyball players Abigail Perkins and Adelina Rivera-Woolard.
It’s very possible that a few years down the road, if you suffer an injury of some sort, someone from this year’s graduating class from Emmaus will be treating you in one way or another. Of the 11 student athletes signing letters of intent last week, five of them are heading for careers in the medical field.
Hunter Krauss (Lacrosse) and Adam LeMaster (baseball) are both heading to college to study physical therapy. Krauss will attend the University of Hartford, while LeMaster is going to be attending East Stroudsburg University.
For the 14th straight season, the Emmaus boys have captured a conference championship in swimming, but this season had to share the honor with Nazareth with the two teams finishing with identical 12-1 overall records, 11-0 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference records and 3-0 division records. The two teams also shared the title following the 2016-2017 season.
Kelsey Gallagher completed her first season as the head coach of the Emmaus girls team when her team downed Whitehall 46-44 in the season finale.
The win left Emmaus with an 8-14 record on the season and finished a campaign that fell short of where the Hornets wanted to be in wins, but may be looked at as a turnaround season for the program.
Before going into its annual showdown with Parkland on Thursday, there was one piece of business that the Emmaus swimming and diving team had to take care of before facing its ultimate rivals.
A rescheduled meet against Liberty was moved to Emmaus because of ventilation issues at the Liberty pool.
Prior to Monday’s meet, Liberty, Emmaus and Parkland all had 10-0 marks in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, but Emmaus put a blemish on the Hurricanes’ season with a 100-84 win to send the Hornets into the meet with Parkland looking for an EPC championship.
With the return of Jess Hurlburt to Emmaus diving and the continued emergence of Brendan McCourt, there has been a piqued interest in diving for the Hornets.
At the midseason Eastern Pennsylvania Conference meet, Hurlburt didn’t compete, but McCourt was there and took first place. That set the scene for this past weekend when the EPC held its Diving Championship at Emmaus High School.
The meet ended with a piece of controversy when it was ruled that McCourt had changed the order of his dives without notifying the officials.
The senior swimmers on this year’s Emmaus team had a bit of an advantage when coach Tim O’Connor rejoined the Emmaus Aquatic Club staff specifically to work with the seniors on the team.
The added work seemed to give them more insight into what it takes to compete in the sport and has helped them develop new routines, which have helped them make it through their final high school season.
High school athletes always look forward to their senior season. They are generally looked up to by the younger players and they get that last shot at a big season either personally or as part of their team.
Cayley Grabowski was no different. She had added reason to look forward to her senior season after being named to the third team EPC all-stars as a junior. The two-sport player was also going to have new coaches in both basketball and softball for her senior season with a lot of excitement surrounding the two teams.