Jablonski leaves big impact on swim team
In his final appearance as a varsity swimmer at Whitehall, Daniel Jablonski made sure it was a memorable one.
Jablonski established four new school records at the District XI AAA Swimming and Diving Championships, cementing his legacy as the best boy swimmer in school history. He finished third in the 500 yard freestyle in 4:48.25 to set one of those marks. He also finished fifth in the 200 yard freestyle, touching in 1:46 for another record. He completed his historic accomplishment swimming two relays, competing in the 200 yard freestyle relay where he clocked a 22.71 during the first leg, and then registered a 23.61 in the 400 freestyle relay’s opening leg to close the book on an outstanding high school swimming career.
Jablonski owns every freestyle record, setting marks in the 50, 100, 200 and 500. He also has individual school records in the 200 Individual Medley and the 100 backstroke. He’s also part of all three relay teams that have the best marks in the program’s history.
With nine records to his name, Jablonski has become synonymous with Whitehall’s boys swimming. It represents such an enormous impact on a program that it leaves few rivals among his peers who have competed at Whitehall.
Jablonski said that he enjoyed the atmosphere at Parkland’s Natatorium which hosted the AAA Championships a few weeks ago. He said that it was a lively setting where eight lanes, a warm-up pool, and a raucous crowd added to the experience. He said it provided an immediate bump to his spirit as opposed to last season’s district meet at Emmaus.
Jablonski said that some issues forced them to adjust their relay lineup heading into the championships, but they managed to finish in the top-ten in the 200 freestyle relay, and top-15 in the 400 freestyle relay.
“It was still fun; I did what I wanted to do,” said Jablonski.
What he did was set four records and finish third in a grueling race among a talented field of AAA swimmers. Getting to the podium in the 500 relay was something he was determined to do after not medaling last year.
However, the state championships still eluded him. He knew it would be a tough task to make it in 3A, noting he would need to shave about two seconds to qualify.
“I suffered a setback last year and I was really fighting the beginning of the season to get back there, and I didn’t even think I could really get close to where I was my sophomore year,” said Jablonski. “But thankfully I’m back where I am now.”
Jablonski characterized his 200 freestyle race as “OK,” saying he got caught down the stretch, winding up fifth. In the 500 he achieved his goal by finishing third and setting the school record, something he was aiming for in the event.
While swimming the 200 relay, Jablonski said that he broke Jordan Rivera’s 50 freestyle record by 5/100 of a second. Both he and Rivera were teammates a couple of years ago, establishing a good camaraderie where they supported one another, with Rivera congratulating Jablonski on his accomplishment once he heard the news.
“I was very excited too, and as soon as I saw that, I was just ecstatic,” said Jablonski.
Jablonski will continue his swimming career at New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Division 1 school is in Newark, N.J., and Jablonski will most likely compete in the freestyle races, but that’s still not completely set.
This spring he’s competing in tennis where he’s part of the No. 2 doubles team with Daniel Lim. He said that both his parents play tennis and the sport has been a part of his life for a long time.
He said that he’s enjoying his time competing on the court.
“It’s still fun for me to play, and as I senior I thought, why not,” said Jablonski.
Jablonski expects to see his game rise, and given his competitive nature, his opponents should take note.