Whitehall-Coplay Press

Friday, February 28, 2020

Whitehall swimmers ready for season

Thursday, December 12, 2019 by Jeff Moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Whitehall’s swimming team recently began their quest for the upcoming season with an increase in their overall numbers on both their girls’ and boys’ teams.

However, the Zephyrs likely will need to be patient to see how their teams perform and improve down the stretch.

“Our girls team looks to be pretty solid,” said veteran head coach Pete Rile after the recent first day of practice. “It is typical to have about 20 girls out and we may have as many as 30. We do have a lot of new faces out for both our girls and boys.

“We have more boys out than normal and we could have as many as 20. We like our boys’ numbers and that will definitely help us.”

Senior Maddie Kutney returns as the most experienced and most productive point scorer.

Juniors Lindsay Solderitch and Lexi Bartash along with sophomore Rachel Dolan also should register their share of points this winter.

“We do have some experienced kids who should have good years,” added Rile. “We do have depth with our girls and they should have a good year.”

On the boys’ side, seniors Nik Martinovic, Sebastian Solarte, and Connor Barnes are back to set the pace as returning place setters. Fellow senior Ahmad Hamada should be a contributor this winter.

“We have six returnees among the boys,” said Rile. “We expect our four seniors to produce a good amount of points for us.”

Rile has a positive feeling about the approach and work ethic of his team.

“We have a number of kids who are swimming in the offseason,” said Rile. “When we had intramurals, we had over 20 kids show up.

“One of junior boys is on the cross country team, and he encouraged about seven other boys to come out. They are good athletes, and we’ll see how it goes for them.”

With a group that can mature, Rile envisions his teams to round back into their usual form.

“We should be a solid .500 team,” said Rile. “We are a pretty raw group and kids who are coming out that haven’t swam before. We’ll see if those ids can come along.

The Zephyrs have a scrimmage with Liberty Dec. 5 before the open the season with defending district champion Emmaus Dec. 10.

“That (Emmaus meet) will give a chance to see what we have,” said Rile. “It is a nice way to start the season for us.

“We believe we have some swimmers here who can do well in leagues and states.”

Whitehall lost to Emmaus in a meet from Tuesday.

Winners for the Zephs were: Sabastian Solarte in the 100 with a time of 52.45; Madelyn Kutney in the 100 back with a time of 1:07.47; Kenny Dai in the boys 100 back in 1:19.11; Rachel Dolan in the 100 breaststroke in 1:26.70; Connor Barnes in the boys 100 breaststroke in 1:18.37.

The Whitehall girls 200 freestyle relay team also won with a time of 2:00.55. The team was made up of Lexi Prentice, Lexi Bartosh, Alexis Quach and Lindsay Solderitch.

The girls 400 free relay also took first with a time of 4:16.40. It was made up of Bartosh, Emily Thomas, Solderitch and Kutney.

The boys 400 free relay team won in a time of 4:11.02. It was made up of Wayne Streat, Barnes, Solarte and Ahmed Hamada.