Whitehall-Coplay Press

Monday, January 20, 2020

Swim team gets two wins

Thursday, January 9, 2020 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

The Whitehall swim team didn’t experience a holiday hangover (the confection kind, that is), earning two big wins as soon as the calendar turned to 2020.

The Zephs defeated Freedom on Jan. 2, and followed that with a victory against Saucon Valley on Jan. 4.

In the meet against the Patriots, the girls won five events en route to the 97-73 victory. Emily Thomas was a multiple winner for the Zephs, taking first in the 200 freestyle as well as the 500 freestyle. She was also part of the victorious 400 freestyle relay team that included Lexi Prentice, Neave Doyle and Madelyn Kutney. That foursome finished in 4:22.92.

Other individual winners included Rachel Dolan who was tops in the 100 butterfly, touching in 1:11.95, and Emily Haggerty who finished first in the 500 freestyle with a 6:25.87 mark.

Head coach Pete Rile said that both Thomas and Haggerty posted great times in their races, and it was emblematic of the entire team’s performance against the Patriots.

Once again the girls leaned on their depth to defeat Freedom, racking up enough second and third place finishes to win the meet. It’s been a common theme this season, with Rile getting consistently strong performances across the board from his group.

The boys also prevailed by relying on their strength in numbers. They won just the 200 freestyle relay with Connor Barnes, Ahmed Hamada, Matthew Hilbert and Nik Martinovic. That group won in 1:457.58.

Still, that was enough to defeat the Pates 94-70, using their overall strength to nullify Freedom’s top finishes.

They did the same thing against Saucon Valley, winning 97-71. In that meet, they managed to take first in three races. Barnes was an individual winner in the 500 freestyle, hitting the wall in 6:00.25, while Sabastian Solarte also claimed a first-place finish, winning the 100 butterfly in 59.61.

The boys third win came in the 200 freestyle really as Martinovic, Peter Busch, Justin Lesperance and Billy Stergianopoulos combined to finish in 1:44.36.

Rile said that the boys had lost nine of eleven events in the meet versus the Panthers, but had the numbers and depth to secure the victory. He also said that a pivotal win toward the end of the meet helped them lock down the win.

“But a 1-2 win in the 200 free relay made a huge difference for the boys,” said Rile.

That event is 18th race of the meet, and served as the springboard to hold on for the final three races.

The girls won seven events against the panthers. They began the meet with a win in the 200 individual medley relay as Kutney, Lindsay Solderitch, Dolan and Doyle combined to finish in 2:10.40.

They kept up the pressure on the visiting Panthers, winning the 200 freestyle as Haggerty touched in 2:24.17.

Dolan earned another first after winning the 100 butterfly, hitting the wall in 1:11.70.

Kutney’s strong day continued with two more individual wins. She was tops in the 100 freestyle (1:03.11), and first in the 100 backstroke (1:00.85). Her fourth first-place finish was in the 400 relay as she teamed with Thomas, Dolan and Lexi Prentice to win the race in 4:19.35.

The other individual winner for the Zephs was Solderitch who won the breaststroke in 1:21.88.

Those wins raised the girls record to 4-1 on the season. With their two wins, the boys are now 3-2-1.