Despite not having any athletes advance to the state championships, first-year Abington Heights head swimming coach Zack Haney feels the season was a success.
“Considering everything they had to go through this season with a new coach, using a different pool and having limited practice time, everyone impressed me,” Haney said. “I’m pretty sure everyone dropped time and we had a whole lot of lifetime bests.”
The Abington Heights girls squad finished sixth out of eight teams and the boys finished fourth out of seven during the District 2-4 Class 3A Swimming Championships March 3-4 at the Wilkes-Barre CYC.
“The idea that we had a solid district performance and were competitive meant a lot,” Haney said. “We may not have gotten any state qualifiers, but we had a lot of happy, excited swimmers. They were ecstatic to swim the times they did and seeing all their personal improvements was rewarding as a coach.”
Senior Leah Byman placed third in the 100 freestyle in 56.09, three-tenths of a second behind Wyoming Valley West’s Chelsea Mackiewicz. She also placed fourth in the 100 butterfly in 1:05.25.
Senior Kelsey Jackson finished seventh in the 500 freestyle in 6:16.24.
Senior Karley Feather placed eighth in the 50 freestyle in 27.72.
Senior Jasmin Patel finished 15th in the 100 butterfly in 1:19.53.
“The seniors didn’t let all the stuff that happened get to them,” Haney said. “They enjoyed themselves and worked hard. For Leah to have a third and fourth-place finish was a good way to end a difficult season.”
The girls 200 freestyle relay team, consisting of Byman, April Sokalsky, Feather and Jackson had the fastest time in District 2, and placed second overall in 1:45.33
“It’s a testament to how tough these kids really are,” Haney said.
Sokalsky, a junior, placed third in the 200 freestyle in 2:05.39 and fifth in the 100 backstroke in 1:05.57.
Junior CC Donahoe finished 14th in the 500 freestyle in 6:52.11.
Junior Samantha Wilkerson placed 15th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:25.62.
Junior Rachel Lorah finished 15th in the 200 individual medley in 2:52.34.
Sophomore Sarah Bath finished ninth in the 100 backstroke in 1:10.39 and 11th in the 200 freestyle in 2:23.42.
Sophomore Kyra Sladicki placed 10th in the 500 freestyle in 6:27.82 and 13th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:22.87.
The girls 400 freestyle relay team placed seventh in 2:10.10.
In the boys competition, senior DJ Weiland finished fifth in the 200 freestyle in 1:55.94 and sixth in the 100 backstroke in 59.69.
Senior Ben Vale placed fifth in the 100 butterfly in 56.22 and ninth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.28.
Senior Shane Cummings finished fifth in the 50 freestyle in 23.68 and 13th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.03.
Senior Chris Suh finished seventh in the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.74 and ninth in the 200 individual medley in 2:12.76.
Senior Zach Karabin placed 13th in the 100 backstroke in 1:07.92 and 15th in the 100 butterfly in 1:08.56.
Sophomore Josh Przekop placed second in the 50 freestyle in 23.23 and sixth in the 100 butterfly in 57.50.
Sophomore John Frantz placed sixth in the 500 freestyle in 5:19.58 and eighth in the 200 individual medley in 2:12.74.
Sophomore Jack Wasko finished ninth in the 500 freestyle in 5:38.64 and 15th in the 100 freestyle in 56.76.
Freshman Jarred Ocwieja placed seventh in the 100 freestyle in 52.73 and eighth in the 50 freestyle in 24.25.
The boys 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams each placed fourth.
“The seniors made some triumphs and the underclassmen really stepped up,” Haney said. “Some of them were new to the team or the sport, and a lot of them dropped a large amount of time. The sky is the limit for their growth.”
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