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Haines grabs L-L gold
Continues Cocalico’s dominance in 200 free
Cocalico senior Morgan Haines had her mind set on continuing the Lady Eagles’ stranglehold on the 200 free at the L-L League Meet last Thursday at the Lititz recCenter.
Former Cocalico great Sam Marino got it started four years ago, winning the event in her junior season. She backed that up with a victory in her senior season, before handing the baton off to Haines, who earned her first L-L individual gold in that event a year ago.
Which brings us to Thursday, where Haines, after a solid start, didn’t even leave it in question. The West Chester University bound swimmer pulled ahead early cruised to the gold, winning it by almost two seconds with a time of 1:55.90.
It was one of four medals for Haines on the night, which also included a silver in the 100 free as well as a pair of sixth-place medals in relays.
“My goals tonight were to get first in the 200 free and place higher than fourth in the 100 free, so I am very happy,” Haines said.
Haines led the Cocalico girls to a solid fifth place in the team standings as the Lady Eagles scored 35 points to finish behind only Warwick (158), Manheim Township (102), Hempfield (50) and Cedar Crest (48).
Haines also claimed Cocalico’s lone gold and silver medals, and kept that all-important streak alive in the 200.
“Yeah, it’s an extremely fast league so for her to to be able to win back to back gold medals in that 200 freestyle is really impressive,” Cocalico coach Matt Woods said. “It’s a really tough race to swim. It’s a sprint, but it’s a long sprint. I always equate it to a 400 or 800 in track. It’s like that long sprint, so it’s a grueling race and you could really see this year that she was so determined to swim it to win it. That first 50 was so crucial. She got out to a nice lead right off the start and it was smooth sailing after that. And the 100 free, she swam really well. She said her goal was top four. I know she would have liked to win because that’s just the type of competitor she is, but it was a great time for her for this time of the year. So she swam phenomenally tonight.”
While there are bigger fish to fry down the road, Haines stated she was pleased with her night.
“It was good,” she said. “I’m sad it’s my last (league) meet but I’m very excited for the future.”
All told, Cocalico swimmers medaled in seven events. Katie Carrasco took sixth place in the 500 free with a time of 5:44.08, and she was part of two other relays that earned sixths.
The 200 medley relay team, which included Olivia Taylor, Haines, Madison Vanaskie and Carrasco, placed sixth with a time of 1:56.41. and the 400 free relay, which included Carrasco, Elise Westhafer, Nadia Stauffer and Haines, grabbed sixth with a time of 3:54.04.
Westhafer added the only other individual medal, claiming seventh in the 200 free with a time of 2:04.84.
And the Cocalico 200 free relay of Vanaskie, Stauffer, Westhafer and Olivia Voler was eighth with a time of 1:48.94.
The Section Two champion Ephrata girls collected five medals on the night en route to a 9th place finish with 18 total points.
Sydney Dundon earned a pair of individual medals, claiming fourth in the 500 free (5:30.85) and fifth in the 200 free (2:00.11). She also anchored the 200 free relay team to a seventh place finish with a time of 1:48.94. That team also included Ashley Zimmerman, Mary Campbell and Maya Chedraoui.
Sydney Morgan finished eighth in the 100 fly (1:04.63), while the relay team of Leah Weaver, Morgan, Kailee Freeman and Chedraoui placed seventh in the 20 free relay with a time of 1:48.94.
Friday night in Lititz in the L-L Boys’ Meet, Section two champion Cocalico claimed a total of 10 medals to finish fourth overall with a team score of 48.5
Zach Sherk had the only top three finish for the Eagles, winning the “fast” heat in the 100 breast with a time of 1:02.03, but finishing second to Cedar Crest’s Eli Gryboski, who posted a time of 1:01.54 in the second heat to nip Sherk.
Despite just missing out on gold, Sherk, a freshman, was pleased with his swim which saw him come on strong at the finish to capture his heat.
“I felt on my ‘A’ game,” Sherk said. “It was good to be next to fast people because they just really pushed me.”
Sherk finished with a total of three medals on the evening, earning a fourth as part of the 200 medley relay (1:41.17) which also included Hunter Keck, Colin Higinbotham and Michael White, and a seventh place medal with Jake Musselman, Brady Martin and Addison Styer in the 200 free relay (1:35.67).
“It was a pretty good night,” Sherk said. “It was my first time here and I came away with three medals out of four events, so that’s pretty good.”
In addition to Sherk, White claimed fourth place in the 100 free (48.87) and a sixth place medal in the 200 free (1:49.72).
Keck tied for fourth in the 100 breast (1:03.16), Higinbotham was seventh in the 50 free (23.57), and Musselman captured both a seventh (100 free, 50.69) and an eighth (200 free, 1:53.41).
The final medal for Cocalico came in the 400 free relay where the team of Musselman, Higinbotham, White and Keck placed fourth with a time of 1:03.16.
“It was another phenomenal meet,” Woods said of his team’s performance following the meet. “They really swam well. To finish fourth overall, that’s the highest the boys have finished since I’ve been coaching behind kinda the big three of Township, Hempfield and Warwick. To finish fourth is phenomenal. Our relays swam really well tonight and that was really important and that’s what propelled us to the top was those two fourth-place finishes and then our 200 free relay I think was seventh. So that was huge. And I felt like we had people medaling in almost every event, which is great. And it’s a testament to our team’s depth and why we won the Section because we had so many kids that every event, we were throwing kids out there that could win races and also get second or third place. The 200 free and the 100 free with Musselman and Michael White both placing was huge, and then also the breaststroke, was our highest point total individually with having two people in there as well. We had a lot of best times, so I’m very pleased. I’m very happy.”
As for Ephrata, the Mounts won a total of three medals on the night and placed eighth with nine team points.
Luke Emmerling had a hand in all three Ephrata medals, placing fifth in the 500 free (5:00.18), sixth in the 200 IM (2:04.63), and swimming anchor for the 400 free relay team which finished eighth with a time of 3:31.76. Joining him on the relay were Darren Schlemm, Kyle Emmerling and Dawsen Miller.
Staff writer Bruce Morgan contributed to this article.