One streak ends, another continues

By on January 18, 2017
Ephrata’s Sydney Dundon swims to one of her individual wins in the last Thursday’s victory over Cocalico. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Ephrata’s Sydney Dundon swims to one of her individual wins in the last Thursday’s victory over Cocalico. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

The Ephrata girl swimmers out-pointed their competition from Cocalico for the first time since 2011 while the Eagle boys continued their winning ways against the Mounts that started the same year.

Each team calls the Ephrata Rec Center home for both practice and meets, but last Thursday it was the Cocalico teams standing on the visitor side of the pool.

The Lady Mounts took the lead for good in the third event, the 200 Individual medley. Ephrata junior Sydney Morgan won the race in 2:26:55, but it was the third and fourth place finish in that contest that would earn the depth points that would continue throughout the meet, won by the Lady Mounts 96-74.

The Eagle boys led wire to wire, winning all three relays and five of eight individual races while piling up depth points on their way to a 110-60 victory.

“We really talked about breaking Cocalico’s section streak (girls, five years),” said Ephrata head coach Mickey Molchany. “That’s been our goal from day one. They (the girls) just really wanted it.”

“They were definitely the better team on paper,” admitted Eagles head coach Matt Woods. “I think you saw that extra motivation, knowing that it has been so long since they won. It’s always extra fun when you beat Ephrata, and they’ll say the same thing.”

The Lady Eagles stayed within striking distance through the 100 freestyle as senior Morgan Haines touched in 55:35 for the win.

“She (Haines) swam really well in the breaststroke (also a win) and the 100,” added Woods. “They kept her away from their big guns, and that’s the smart strategy to do.”

After the 100, the Lady Mounts won the next three events, swelling the lead from ten to 22 points. Senior District qualifier Sydney Dundon took the 500 freestyle in 5:37:76 and anchored the 200 free relay in 1:48:81. She was fronted in the relay by junior Ashley Zimmerman, freshman Mary Campbell and junior Maya Chedraoui. Sophomore Leah Weaver captured the 100 backstroke, as the team victory was within reach.

Molchany acknowledged the experienced swimmers on his girls’ team, while also crediting the youngster’s contributions.

“We have a lot of juniors and seniors who have been on the losing end against Cocalico, but we knew we were getting the three freshmen,” Molchany said. “They’ve been swimming with our Rec Center program throughout and they are fighting for the same positions as the upper classmen.”

Other Ephrata winners on the girls’ side include Dundon in the 200 free (2:02:81, Zimmerman in the 50 free (27:23) and the win-punctuating victory in the meet’s final event, the 400 freestyle relay.

“That was our best time of the season,” said Molchany. “For weeks, I’ve been saying, come-on guys, we’ve got to get this time down.”

Cocalico won the meet’s opening event, as Haines, fellow senior Madison Vanaskie, junior Katie Carrasco and sophomore Olivia Taylor combined for the 200 medley relay win in a time of 1:58:79.

The Eagle boys remained unbeaten in Section Two play as experience and depth proved too much for the Mounts. Senior Hunter Keck came from behind in the anchor leg of the opening medley relay to set the tone for the match. Joining Keck for the win (1:46:95) were juniors Colin Higinbotham and Addison Styer plus freshman Zach Sherk.

Cocalico junior freestyle specialist Michael White won both the 100 (49:50) and 200 (1:52:23) freestyles, while anchoring both the 200 and 400 free relay teams to wins. Keck took the 200 IM (2:09:96) while leading off the 200 free relay. Higinbotham touched first in the mad dash of the 50 freestyle at 22:92 and Sherk captured the 100 breaststroke in 1:04:78.

“We had some really good times,” noted Woods. “It was good to see them get up for this meet. The boys have killer instinct for days. They are screaming and yelling at their teammates to go faster.”

Ephrata boy’s wins came from junior Luke Emmerling in the 100 butterfly (55:70) and the 100 backstroke (58:43), plus senior Darren Schlemm in the 500 freestyle at 5:24:34.

Both coaches realize they have a team with a shot at the Section Two title.

“Time-wise, we might even have some better times than I expected at this point,” explained Molchany, of his girls squad. “We’re still undefeated in the section, which is where we want to be. We’re also hoping to get more district qualifiers than last year.”

“Everything is going to point to the CV meet (boys) at the end of the year,” added Woods. “That will probably determine the section championship. We’re really excited for that.”

In addition to Thursday’s meet, Cocalico also was in action Tuesday at home where it scored a boys/girls sweep against visiting E-town.

The CHS boys dominated in a 118-52 victory while the Lady Eagles pulled out a hard-fought 89-81 decision.

Up next for the Mounts is a Thursday afternoon meet at the Rec Center hosting Conestoga Valley, before going on the road Tuesday at Elizabethtown. The Eagles travel to Lampeter-Strasburg on Monday.

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