Ephrata girls swim to Section Two crown

By on February 1, 2017
Ephrata’s  Courtney  Weaver  comes  up  for  air  during  last  Thursday’s section-clinching win over L-S. Photo by Steve Heydt

Ephrata’s Courtney Weaver comes up for air during last Thursday’s section-clinching win over L-S. Photo by Steve Heydt

The Ephrata girls’ swim team is the Section Two champion.

The Lady Mounts defeated Lampeter-Strasburg 95-75 last Thursday at the Ephrata Rec Center, completing the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two schedule with an undefeated 6-0 record.

On the boys side of the slate the Mounts saw a narrow three point lead evaporate on the next-to-last event, falling to the Pioneers 87-82.

The Lady Mounts championship is their first since 2011, the first year the league split into two sections. It is also the first year since then that the title is not in the hands of the Cocalico Lady Eagles.

“Winning against Cocalico is a goal we’ve set every single year,” explained senior co-captain Carly Snyder. “Being able to beat Cocalico and win the championship is icing on the cake.”

Ephrata Coach Mickey Molchany joined the celebration by jumping in the pool fully clothed, with his team.

“We’ve been talking about this since last year,” added Molchany. “We have a lot of depth. It’s been nice that we can put people in different events and not have them burn out for one event. Our relays have been awesome.”

Two of those relays, the winning 200 medley and the 400 freestyle relays were anchored by senior Sydney Dundon, who also won two individual races. She touched first in the 100 backstroke (1:04:89) and the 100 butterfly (1:05:49).

“She’s been incredible all season,” gushed Molchany. “No matter where I put her or what I ask her, she always gets the job done. She’s been huge when we’ve had meets come down to the last relay.”

Other Lady Mount winners included freshman Kailee Freeman in the 200 freestyle (2:13:67) and fellow freshman Mary Campbell in the 100 breaststroke (1:17:01). The Ephrata girls won four of eight individual races plus two of three relays.

The four L-S wins came from Hailey Welchans and Catherine Horner. Horner outswam the field by nearly a lap in capturing the 500 freestyle (6:00:79) and also showed her versatility by winning the 200 individual medley in 2:29:04. Welchans was the queen of the sprints, touching first in the frantic 50 free (27:30) and the three turns of the 100 free in 100:93.

While the girls were battling for the upper hand in the pool, Snyder almost missed out on the competition. And not just this meet, but her entire senior season.

“I had an inflammation in my left shoulder,” explained Snyder. “It started right before our first meet. As the season went on, I wasn’t swimming in meets, but was trying to swim in practice. Unfortunately, it just made both shoulders worse.”

While on the sidelines, Snyder found a way to contribute to the championship season, completing her captaincy duties at the same time.

“I have definitely been able to be the cheerleader for our team,” she said. “I am always standing on the end of a lane, cheering whoever it is on.”

She was also able to share her experience with the younger swimmers.

“I was able to see what they were doing,” she said. “Whether it’s stroke and technique, or just boosting their spirits.”

And even though she wasn’t 100% in the final two meets, the relay contributions meant the world to Snyder.

“To get back in the pool is an absolute blessing,” Snyder said. “Swimming is my therapy, especially swimming with these student athletes. Every moment in the pool will be cherished.”

As the records might indicate, the boys’ final score was close Thursday.

The victory was within reach for the Mounts (2-4 League, 2-7 overall), who led from the first relay through the ninth event. Twice by more than 10 team points, and eventually by only three over Lampeter-Strasburg (also 2-4, 2-7).

Then came the dagger in the back that was the 100 breast stroke. The Pioneers swept the top three places, grabbing an almost insurmountable 81-74 lead. The Mounts would have to place first and second in the final event, the 400 free relay to win the day.

Ephrata’s team of senior Darren Schlemm, sophomore Kyle Emmerling, plus juniors Dawsen Miller and Luke Emmerling won the event (3:36:48) but L-S grabbed second and third to clinch the team win.

“I thought we needed to win the 200 free relay in order to win the meet,” said Molchany. “I knew it was going to be close, but I thought we (Ephrata boys) had the advantage. When they swept the breaststroke, that really killed us.”

The Mounts had two double winners as they took five of eight individual races. Schlemm touched first in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events, with times of 51:93 in the 100 and 1:52:69 in the 200 free. Miller captured the 50 free sprint in 24:77 and the 100 backstroke (1:02:54). Luke Emmerling (2:06:23) led his brother Kyle to a one-two finish in the 200 IM.

With the completion of the dual meet season, the next competition for Ephrata is the Lancaster-Lebanon League meet at the Lititz Rec Center. The section champion girls swim on February 9 at 7 p.m. while the boys compete in leagues the following night.

Like the Ephrata girls, the Cocalico boys enter their regular season finale needing a win over CV Thursday at home to clinch the Section Two crown.

Both the Eagles and Buckskins enter Thursday’s meet with identical 5-0 records so the winner of the meet will claim the title.

Cocalico took care of business Tuesday night with a convincing 117-52 win over Manheim Central.

Michael White earned four wins on the day, including individual victories in the 500 free (5:26.26) and 200 IM (2:11.69) to lead the Eagles in that one.

On the girls’ side, Cocalico improved to 3-2 with a 128-41 win over the Barons.

Morgan Haines captured both the 200 free (2:05.44) and 500 free (5:29.15) to pace Cocalico.

 

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