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Boys swimmers remain unbeaten

As the winter sports season winds down, Emmaus swimming and diving teams have just one final meet before they begin preparing for districts. The final meet of the season is a rematch against rival Parkland, who the Emmaus boys beat earlier in the season. After that meet comes some time off before the divers compete in the District 11 meet on February 27 at Emmaus and swimmers compete on March 6 at Parkland High School.

The Emmaus boys are 7-0 on the season and have been led by a strong mix of experienced swimmers and younger swimmers who have taken opportunities to contribute to the team’s success.

“They work together as a unit and push each other every chance they get. Even the upper classmen continue to develop in some other areas which is a great example for the younger ones to follow,” said head coach Tim O’Connor.

Against Parkland, senior Luke Rautzhan put on an impressive display by winning the 100 and 200-yard freestyle events and then being a part of the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams that also placed first. Rautzhan was joined by classmate Nick Soares and juniors Alex Magditch and A.J. Lamack on the 200-yard freestyle team, while seniors Connor Shriver and Michael Iacobelli along with junior Seth Metzger teamed up to take the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Soares and Shriver were also part of the 200-yard medley relay team along with Magditch and Andrew Taylor. Soares and Shriver had three first place finishes, adding in top spots in the 100-yard butterfly for Soares and the 100-yard backstroke for Shriver.

“Some of those guys like Connor Shriver, Michael Iacobelli, Nick Soares and Luke Rautzhan have been solid from the start of the season for us. We’ve also seen seniors Dylan Strella, Owen Mont and Davin Glynn showing a lot of improvement lately,” said O’Connor, who also pointed out the contributions of juniors Magditch and Seth Metzger throughout the season, with Lamack, Bobby Perose, and James Manley turning some heads as of late.

The sophomore class has shown steady improvement throughout the season with Taylor and Jack Reppert leading the way and Ethan Ferris and Ryan DeJohn showing steady and more consistent improvement, especially in recent meets.

Districts will have a slightly different look to them this season because of COVID-19. Each event - both individual and relay - will be limited to eight swimmers.

“We will be taking the top eight times from District 11 for each event and having one heat for the individual events, two heats of four with the relay teams” said Swimming and Diving Chair Ray Ramella of Nazareth High School. “Our plan right now is to do a girls’ session and a boys’ session for each day.”

In diving, participants will be limited to eight boys and eight girls per classification. Only the champions in each swimming and diving event will move on to states to limit the number of student-athletes attending the state championships, also because of COVID restrictions.

Districts this season will not have any spectators allowed, but both Emmaus and Parkland will livestream the events.

All of the regular season meets, including the final one this afternoon against Parkland, have been virtual meets with teams swimming separately in their own pools and the times being combined to provide the final outcome of each event and meet.