Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Swimmers lose to Emmaus

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

The Whitehall swim team faced another tough opponent when Emmaus plunged into their pool last week, and even though victory escaped them, the meet offered glimpses of just how good this year’s squad can be.

Head coach Pete Rile is well versed in their history against the Hornets, a team they’ve never defeated in his 30 years at poolside. It’s always a herculean task and this year was no different. The girls lost 89-67, while the boys were defeated 97-47.

However, what was most important was seeing exactly what they had up and down their lineup. That was the case in both their meets to begin the season as the Zephs faced Liberty to open the season, and then hosted Emmaus. Those two teams are arguably two of the best teams in the conference, and it gave Rile the opportunity to assess his swimmers.

“We went in to figure out what we had and where we were going,” said Rile. “So [against Emmaus] and with Liberty who we just had, we had an opportunity to swim a lot of new things and get a feel where people are, and where we thought we needed to fill holes, and where somebody could fill it. We learned a lot.”

He said the scoreboard didn’t reflect the information he gleaned from having these two meets under their belt.

“We were really happy, we had a whole lot of personal best times,” said Rile.

He put that personal best number over the first two meets in the 40-45 range.

“That’s good to see,” said Rile.

He said that the lineup remains fluid as he sees who mixes and matches best in each event. Still, the early indications are that they have some excellent talent to work with this season.

“I’m real happy with the way we’re starting out,” said Rile.

In the meet against the Hornets, Kallie Lyle was a double winner for the girls. She finished first in the 200 freestyle, teaching the wall in 2:12.24. She was also tops in the 100 backstroke, finishing in 1:07.24.

Whitehall’s other undivided winner for the girls was Sabrina Kidulic who was first in the 100 breaststroke at 1:31.59.

The girls also won the 400 freestyle relay as Trish Bartosh, Ella Holmes, Lindsay Solderitch and Brianna Raub combined for a 4:29.63 win.

The boys won four events with Daniel Jablonsky claiming victory in the 100 butterfly, posting a 56.33 mark.

In the 100 backstroke, Ahmed Hamada was victorious, touching in 1:13.99. Also, Connor Barnes was tops in the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 1:22.84.

Finally, the 400 freestyle relay saw Whitehall come out on top as Jablonski, Hamada, Barnes and Justin Lesperance combined for a 3:54.83 mark.

They also looked poised to win a fifth race as Sabastian Solarte knifed through the water in building up a big lead. However, he ran out of gas halfway down final stretch and was overtaken by the Emmaus swimmers.

Rile said that Solarte doesn’t have a lot of experience swimming the 100 freestyle; his strength lies in the 100 butterfly where it takes a lot of strength and a lot of rhythm. Rile said that he went after the 100 like a sprint race, pounding through the water with sheer brute force, and after the third lap it hit him that he’s not a sprinter.

Rile said that it’s a learning experience, and he’ll realize that he can’t approach it with the same intensity as a 50.

The boys weren’t able to fill all the spots in the 11 events and that hurt them as well. Rile said that they still have a numbers problem and that will impact their season moving forward.

Rile said that he expects both the girls and boys to be more competitive this week as they prepare for Pocono Mountain West and Stroudsburg.

In their meet against the Panthers, the girls emerged victorious, while the boys are still trying to break into the win column.