Boys will have spots to fill
While the boys swim team can’t match the raw numbers of their female counterparts, there’s still a possibility that they may reach a new record high and that should bode well for the upcoming season.
Head coach Pete Rile said that they currently have 13 boys on the roster, and that number may grow if things proceed as hoped heading into the season. If that occurs, 14 swimmers will also be the most he’s seen during his tenure.
Rile said that historically low numbers have impacted the overall success of their boys’ team.
“That’s always been the thing that’s hurt them,” said Rile. “They always have talent, but not enough guys.”
Rile said that they have a solid number in which to compete, but still have some holes to fill.
The boys were 8-8 last season and will look to build off a strong returning cast.
Seniors competing this year include, Nathaniel Dolan, Ziyad Khafagy and Frederid Tirado Cardona. Both Dolan and Ziyad Khafagy have district experience, and these three seniors will anchor the upcoming campaign.
The junior class making waves this season will be Daniel Jablonski and Michael Nguyen. Of those two, Jablonski returns competing at districts in the freestyle. Rile said that Jablonski’s experience should help them as they look to navigate another tough season competing against their Eastern Pennsylvania Conference rivals.
“He’s probably our highest seeded returnee, so that should help,” said Rile.
The sophomores making a splash include, Alberto Cervoni Robles, Ahmed Hamada, Nikola Martinovic and Sabastian Solarte-Vigil. Among that group, those with district experience are Martinovic and Solarte-Vigil.
The freshmen cast includes Connor Barnes, Eyad Khafagy and Justin Lesperance.
Rile sees positives among the boys this year, noting their turnout will help them plug in swimmers in each event.
“The fact that we can now swim every event and fill everything, is a big help,” said Rile.
Rile said it’s now just a matter of gaining experience and getting stronger in every event.
He said that with the graduation of some strong seniors, achieving .500 again this year may be difficult. Their departure left some holes.
“We haven’t filled those gaps yet,” he said.
The Whitehall Natatorium doesn’t have a diving board, so those interested in diving can only compete during away meets.
Rile said that Eyad Khafagy want to dive this season and they’re trying to make arrangements with another school or club to accommodate his desire, making sure he gets the proper training.