EHS girls clinch second-straight Section Two swimming title

By on February 7, 2018
Ephrata’s Sydney Morgan competes in the girls’ 100 butterfly last Thursday vs. Conestoga Valley. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Ephrata’s Sydney Morgan competes in the girls’ 100 butterfly last Thursday vs. Conestoga Valley. Photo by Missi Mortimer

The Ephrata girls swim team completed an undefeated Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two schedule last Thursday. The Lady Mounts (6-0 league, 7-2 overall) out-scored Conestoga Valley (3-3, 4-5) 97-73 at the Ephrata Recreation Center.

The Buckskin boys (5-1, 5-4) broke a tie with the Mounts (4-2, 5-4) to finish second in the section (to champ Cocalico), earning a split for the meet. CV outscored Ephrata 94-75, leading wire-to-wire for the win.

In both contests the Bucks finished first in two of three relays and five of eight individual races. The difference boiled down to team depth for each victory.

The Ephrata girls duplicated their undefeated Section Two record of 2016-17 despite trailing by as many as six points through the first three events. That’s when freshman Maddie Fritz (first, 26.29), sophomore Mary Campbell (third) and senior co-captain Maya Chedraoui (fourth) earned 11 team points in the 50 freestyle to tie the match at 31-31 at the break.

“It wasn’t necessarily our top swimmers stepping up,” explained a soaking-wet third year head coach Mickey Molchany, who had jumped in the pool with his section champs. “It was our second and third places that really helped our score. It was even the fourth and fifth places that made the difference.”

The two teams split the 16 team points in the first race of the second half, the 100 butterfly, upping the score to 39 all.

From that point on, it was all Ephrata.

Lady Mount freshman Alyssa Fedorshak swam a team season best time of 57.55 to capture the 100 freestyle. Fritz and junior Leah Weaver finished second and fourth respectively to rack up 12 team points and a 51-43 lead that would never be headed.

Fedorshak would also go on to win the 100 backstroke (1:03.09) while teaming with Fritz, senior Sydney Morgan and fellow freshman Kierra Parsons to run away with the meet’s final event, the 400 free relay in 3:59.65.

“As a freshman, it’s definitely a great experience,” said Fedorshak. “I think just the title ‘Section Champs’ is an incredible accomplishment.”

Her backstroke victory, paired with Weaver (2nd) and soph Kailee Freeman (4th) to build a 16 point lead with two races remaining.

This was the final home meet for seven senior girls, but the cupboard is certainly not bare for the future if this result is any indication.

“My very first year coaching summer swimming was when they (the seniors) were 13,” added Molchany. “It was that group that I really bonded with. They really got me to where I am. I’d like to think I got them to where they are too.”

“It’s sad,” added Fedorshak, when asked about the prospects of losing her senior teammates after this season. “I’m going to miss their personalities. Having them laugh with us at practice. And they’re so encouraging at meets.”

“I knew they (the freshmen) were going to be huge assets to our team,” described Molchany. “They exceeded my expectations. I’m really excited to see what they can do in the next few years.”

Before exploring future success, the Lady Mounts will compete in this Saturday’s Lancaster-Lebanon League Meet at the Roy G. Snyder Natatorium at Wilson High School in Berks County.

When asked who to keep an eye on from the girls’ team Molchany offered the following:

“Definitely Alyssa (Fedorshak) in the 200 free and the 100 backstroke. The 100 back will be the higher place for her. Maddie Fritz in the sprint free and the 100 breast. Anya (Emmerling) and Kierra (Parsons) in the 500 free. Possibly Anya in the 200 IM and Sydney Morgan in the 100 fly.”

Conestoga Valley’s Nick Lynam won two individual events (100 Free, 200 IM) and participated in two victorious relays (200 medley, 400 free) to keep just enough lead throughout the meet for the visiting Buckskins. Ephrata closed within eight points with three events remaining, but could come no closer.

Junior Kyle Emmerling led the way for the host Mounts by capturing the 100 butterfly (56.67) and winning the 500 freestyle (personal best 5:04.80) in comeback form before partnering with freshman Thomas McGillan plus seniors Asher Brunner and Luke Emmerling in the 200 free relay victory.

The biggest challenge was the relay, which took place a scant 10 minutes after the grueling 500 free.

“That was really tough,” explained Kyle Emmerling. “It’s always tough doing back-to-back events like that. Especially when it’s the 500, because it’s so long.”

In addition to the relay, McGillan also captured the 200 freestyle, his fourth 200 free win of the season, in a time of 1:51.46.

The Mounts scored individual seconds in the 200 IM (Luke Emmerling, 2:05.77), the 50 free (senior Dawsen Miller, 24.33), the 100 free (McGillan, 50.39), the 100 backstroke (Miller, 1:01.55) and 100 breaststroke (Luke Emmerling, 1:05.66).

While the girls are flush with freshmen for the future, McGillan is the only frosh on this year’s squad.

“We have some recruiting to do,” said Molchany. “A lot of our seniors weren’t swimmers when they were young. I think with how the guys did this year, was huge for our program. That will make the recruiting part a little bit easier for us.”

“I’ve been swimming summers with them since I was five or six,” added Kyle Emmerling, about losing the seniors. “They’ve been long time friends. I’ll just miss them in general.”

The boys also travel to Wilson this Friday evening for the league meet.

“Luke Emmerling is a returning medalist in the 200 IM and the 500 free,” explained Molchany. “I think Kyle (Emmerling) wants to do the butterfly and the 500 freestyle. Thomas McGillan will compete in the 200 free and 100 free.”

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