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WHS boys get win over Eastburg S

Whitehall’s boys swim team cruised past East Stroudsburg South with a 114-50 victory on Jan. 17, posting nine out of 12 first-place finishes in their meet at Whitehall.

Zephyr junior Gabe O’Brien led off in the 200 medley relay to open the boys side of the meet, and anchored the 400 free relay to end the contest.

O’Brien, along with Alex Madden, Aaron Stinner, and Andrew Deutsch took first in the medley relay in 1:57.75.

Ian Thomas won the 200 freestyle in 1:57.50, Stinner won the 100 butterfly in 54.26, Deutsch took first in the 100 free with a time of 56.40, and Habib Leyos placed first in the 500 free in 7:37.75, all for the Zephyrs.

Gary Marrucci, Deutsch, Thomas, and Stinner combined to win the 200 free relay in 1:37.12.

O’Brien was the winner of the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:12.14, and Stinner took first in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.18.

“It’s one of my new main events,” said O’Brien. “We’ve been working in practice on reaching my stroke farther, getting more glide, and flip turns. It felt a lot better.”

Thomas, Kenny Dai, Marrucci, and O’Brien ended the boys meet on a high note with first-place points in the 400 free relay.

“I saw Gary coming in, and then I saw the (East Stroudsburg) guy not too far behind him, so I knew I had to kick it in, and then during my second or third lap I saw my coach give the signal to go, and I just went,” said O’Brien. “I know we were up by a lot, but it felt good to come in first.”

The girls meet came down to the 400 free relay as the Zephyrs and Cavaliers were tied, 78-78, but the Cavs’ first-place finish was enough for their team’s 86-84 victory.

“No matter the outcome, a swim meet that comes down to the 400 free relay is always fun,” said Whitehall coach Pete Rile. “To watch the people in the stands and watch the swimmers, they’re excited.”

Kyra Giedl led off the 400 relay for the Zephyrs, followed by Ryann Giedl, Alexis Quach, and Emma Sargent, who took second place.

Giedl, Kelly Wallitsch, Giedl, and Megan Wallitsch won the 200 free relay earlier in the meet with a time of 2:02.74, three seconds better than South’s relay team.

“We were pretty close to the team next to us, but we were ahead a little bit. It was close, and it was hard, but we pushed through,” Ryann Giedl said.

Kyra Giedl was the lone girls individual event winner with a come-from-behind victory in the 100 butterfly and a best time of 1:14.27.

“I was pretty tired from the IM, but Coach told me I had to get under 1:15, so the whole time I was thinking I have to go under 1:15,” she said. “I saw I was close to [South’s Katharine Amundsen], so I knew I was going to be able to pass her in the last couple laps. I just used all the energy I had left to finish strong. As soon as I touched the wall, I pushed off, and I started going really fast. I was so relieved because I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it.”

Neave Doyle and Alexis Quach’s second and third places in the 100 back put the Zephyr girls ahead, 71-69, until South tied the score with a first place in the 100 breast with Jenna Giedl and Sargent taking second and third, respectively.

“They came in and not only did a lot of best times, girls and boys across the board, they were dropping by two or three seconds in the 100. They’re putting it together. We’re getting down to the last four meets of the season, so it should be going that way,” said Coach Rile. “The hardest part right now is that we’re training and sprinting pretty hard to try and get the times we need to get to districts, but we’re running out of meets.”

A race for second place in the boys 100 free came down to Dai and South’s Kenny Garrett, won by Garrett, but Dai was able to grab third-place points nonetheless.

“Even though he got touched out, he dropped a second or two to get to that point, which was outstanding,” Rile said. “[ESS’s Kenny Garrett) was clearly better by time, but Kenny (Dai) made a race out of it. That was the exciting part.”

In addition, Stinner, Madden, and Deutsch went 1-2-3 in the breaststroke.

“Strategy-wise, we thought we had more depth, a couple more top times than they had. We thought it was going to be a much tighter meet than it was. Then again, the boys swam well and they had some holes we never saw coming,” said Rile. “In the last couple meets, we lost a lot of touches, and right off the bat, we were winning those today. We were out touching them more, which was excellent.”

Whitehall swimmers Ian Thomas, Kenny Dai, Gary Marrucci, and Gabe O'Brien cap off their meet against East Stroudsburg South with a first-place finish in the 400 free relay on Jan. 17, 2022.
Whitehall's Kyra Giedl races to a first place finish in the 100 butterfly during the Zephyrs' swim meet against East Stroudsburg South on Jan. 17, 2023.