Whitehall-Coplay Press

Friday, March 23, 2018

Swimmers prep for District 11 meet

Thursday, February 22, 2018 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

Now that the regular season has wrapped up for the Whitehall swimming team, they’ll be preparing to take a large pool of talent to the district tournament that gets underway next weekend at Parkland High School.

The girls finished the season at 9-7, while the boys posted a 6-10 mark. The girls ended on a strong note, defeating Allentown Central Catholic 86-84, while the boys dropped their contest against the Vikings, 95-74.

Head coach Pete Rile said that it was an exciting girls meet which was underscored by the 400 freestyle relay which they needed to finish one-two to pull out the win. Rile said that they tailored their lineup to facilitate that outcome, and praised everyone throughout the meet who put them in position to defeat ACC.

“Wins weren’t possible if swimmers didn’t perform earlier in the meet,” said Rile.

He said that the boys were hamstrung by illness and that affected their overall performance.

While the girls finished with a winning record, he felt it was a tough since they had the talent and ability to earn double-digit wins. He also said that they lose Stephanie Setar, a valuable member of the team who was a consistent point producer for the Zephs. That leaves a hole which will have to be filled by underclassmen.

Rile believed that the boys could have also added a few more victories to their total, but were missing key swimmers at crucial junctures throughout the season. They also will have to plug in a number of new swimmers next season, and in doing so will have to find a way to replace the many points produced by senior Ziyad Khafagy.

That meet didn’t mark the official end to their season as head coach Pete Rile said that they competed in a “last chance” meet which was held at Emmaus last Saturday. In that meet, they were able to qualify two more swimmers as Trish Bartos qualified in the 50 freestyle, and Rachael Alulis got her ticket punched via the 500 freestyle.

While those two earned a direct route, Rile said that they also “had significant drops in time for others to aim for consideration times.” And in so doing, the Zephyrs will have the following girls competing at the District XI AAA meet which will be held at Parkland High School. That list includes Madelyn Kutney (So.) – 200 Free and 100 back qualifying times; Katie Lutterschmidt (Sr.) – 200 free, 500 free – consideration times; Martha Giletto (Jr.) – 200 IM, 100 Free – qualifying times; Rachael Alulis – (Jr.) – 200 IM (consideration), 500 free (qualifying); Trish Bartosh – (Jr.) – 50 free (qualifying), 100 Back (consideration); Lindsay Solderitch (Fr.) – 50 free, 100 Breast (consideration times), and Steph Setar (Sr.) – 100 Fly, 100 Back – both qualifying times.

The Zephyr girls will also compete in a number of relays, including the Relays the Medley where they’re seeded ninth, the 200 Free where they’re tenth, and the 400 Free where they’ll be ninth. Rile said that their best seed is Setar who is fifth in the 100 backstroke.

As for the boys, Daniel Jablonski has qualified in the 200 and 500 freestyle events, while Nikola Martinovic is under consideration for the 50 free, Ziyad Khafagy has qualified in the 100 butterfly and the 100 freestyle, and Sebastian Solarte is under consideration for the 100 fly.

The boys will also represent in the relays where they’re seeded eleventh in the Medley Relay, thirteenth in the 200 free, and ninth in the 400 freestyle. Their highest seed is Jablonski who is fourth in the 200 freestyle.

Rile said that the postseason offers the opportunity for a number of swimmers to medal in their respective events. Out of that bunch, he wouldn’t be surprised if a state qualifier emerges.