Cocalico swimmers earn 14 medals at Districts

By on March 9, 2016
Cocalico’s Eric Guthridge posted a 56.21 in the final heat to claim the seventh-place  medal in the 100 back Saturday at Districts held at Cumberland Valley High School

Cocalico’s Eric Guthridge posted a 56.21 in the final heat to claim the seventh-place
medal in the 100 back Saturday at Districts held at Cumberland Valley High School

As it turned out, the District Three Swim Championships were quite fruitful for Cocalico.

At the competition held this past Friday and Saturday at Cumberland Valley High School, while the Eagles didn’t capture any golds, Cocalico swimmers earned medals in 14 events.

In boys’ AA action, Eric Guthridge and Michael White both earned two individual medals and four total to lead the way. Guthridge earned the highest place of any Eagle swimmer on the weekend when he captured a silver medal in the 100 fly (53.36).

All together, the Cocalico boys medaled in eight events and finished tied York Suburban for sixth place in the team standings with 153 points.

“It’s great,” Cocalico Coach Matt Woods said of the boys’ performances. “We had 10 boys here competing out of 15 on the roster, which is phenomenal to have 10 boys that were able to make the meet. We had a great weekend, we had so many best times and people moving up and it was just a great solid team effort from everyone this weekend.”

Cocalico’s Morgan Haines swims to a seventh-place finish in the 200 free Friday at the  District Meet at Cumberland Valley High School.

Cocalico’s Morgan Haines swims to a seventh-place finish in the 200 free Friday at the
District Meet at Cumberland Valley High School.

On the girls’ side, Sophie Guthridge and Morgan Haines both were quadruple medal winners, claiming two individual medals while helping a pair of Cocalico relays reach the podium as well.Untitled1

The Lady Eagles placed seventh in the AAA team standings with 99 points, which pleased Woods in the end.

“I thought they all swam very well,” Woods said of the girls. “We had a lot of season best times and our relays both dropped times. When your team is swimming season best times at districts, you are always happy.”

Eric Guthridge, who placed seventh in the 100 back with a time of 56.21, was a seven seed going into the 100 fly but turned in a personal best time of 53.36 to capture the silver, finishing just behind Lampeter-Strasburg’s Collin Anderson, who took gold in 52.83.

“Like we said, you see the places and of course you want the kids to place well and get that medal as gratification, you want to see your kids do well because you want that for your kids,” Woods said. “But in reality, times are times. And for (Guthridge) to just be able to swim that 53 which he hasn’t touched before and be able to perform at that level … first or eighth, if he swam 53, he would have been ecstatic with it. So that’s where it is.”

White produced a seventh-place medal in the 100 free (48.41) and was eighth in the 200 free (1:49.87), and with Guthridge, helped the 400 free relay (which also included Hunter Keck and Jake Musselman) tie for fourth (3:19.45) and the 200 medley relay (which also included Keck and Collin Higinbotham) take seventh-place honors in a time of 1:42.32.

“He’s a sophomore and he dropped time in both his 200 and 100 from last year at the District Meet,” Woods said of White. “He’s a really competitive kid, he always swims better when there’s people around him and people pushing him. Both of those times looked really good. He had his fastest split at the end of that 400 free relay, which pulled us into a tie for fourth place. He looked really good in that, so it was a phenomenal meet.”

Keck added a fifth-place medal in the 100 breast, touching the wall in 1:01.68. And rounding out the boys’ medal winners was the 200 free relay squad of Higinbotham, Musselman, Luke Ilgenfritz and Brady Martin, which earned eighth place with a time of 1:33.76.

On the girls’ side, sophomore Sophie Guthridge had an outstanding weekend, breaking the school record in the 100 butterfly on her way to earning a sixth-place medal with a time of 57.07. She also won a fourth-place medal in the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.37.

In the relays, Guthridge teamed with Haines, Maddie Vanaskie and Lydia Bearinger for a seventh-place medal in the 200 medley relay (1:51.17), and joined up with Bearinger, Ashley Zimmerman and Haines to win seventh place in the 200 free relay (1:41.23).

“She had some fantastic swims,” Woods said of Guthridge. “Her butterfly was a school record and a personal all time best time so she was very happy. I think she feels like she can get into that 56 range at States if all goes well. The backstroke was an added bonus. She tends to focus more on fly at practice, but after seeing her split in the medley relay on Friday, I knew she was going to pop a fast time on Saturday. I think she surprised herself with that time… And in typical Sophie fashion, we were talking about ways to improve her backstroke race two minutes after she was done. That makes me very excited to see her perform at States.”

Haines also was “on” this weekend. She took seventh place in the 200 free with a time of 1:55.28, but her most impressive feat may have been taking eighth in the 100 free out of the slow heat with a time of 53.14.

“Absolutely,” Woods said when asked to comment on her 100 free swim. “I was preaching to her to attack that first 25, and she really did. I wish she would have been in the faster heat, she was a body length ahead of everyone after her first turn. It would have been nice to have someone match that speed to give her that extra push through the rest of the 100. She made it to States in the 200. If she attacks the start of that race like she did the 100, her 200 time is significantly going to drop and she can definitely compete for a spot in the finals.”

Looking ahead to States, which will be held at Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium next Wednesday and Thursday, March 16-17, Cocalico will send five individuals and at least one relay team and possibly two to the competition.

Sophie Guthridge (100 fly & 100 back) and Haines (200 free) will represent Cocalico on the girls’ side while Eric Guthridge (100 fly & 100 back), Keck (100 breast) and White (100 free) all will compete in individual events in the boys’ competition.

Also, the boys 400 free relay squad of Keck, Musselman, Guthridge and White also qualified. In addition, White is an alternate in the 200 free, as is the Cocalico boys 200 medley relay of Guthridge, Keck, Higinbotham and White.


Social media editor and staff writer for Ephrata Review and Lititz Record Express.

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