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Walp competes at District 11 meet

Maliya Walp didn’t qualify for states in her swimming events, but the Catasauqua freshman did achieve her share of highlights this season.

At the recent District 11 swimming championship, Walp - an independent swimmer for the school - swam in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke in which she finished 12th and seventh respectively. Walp clocked a time of 27.34 in the 50, and 108.18 in the 100.

Even though they were her most familiar events, Walp knew it would be a difficult road ahead all season. It isn’t easy being a true one-person show, but Walp has been a school ambassador for her sport.

“I focused on these two events because these events were the events that I swam the most and thought I could qualify for in districts,” she said. “This season wasn’t the easiest because as an independent swimmer for Catasauqua, and swimming in AAA meets, I was only able to swim two events per meet and for most of my events I had to swim by myself.

“That became a challenge for me because I didn’t have any other swimmers next to me to push me. But in the end, I had my personal best times in these events at the meet at home against Stroudsburg.”

Being a lone swimmer, Walp trained with the Northampton swim team. Along the way, her love of the sport helped her endure many challenges.

“I swim and practice with the Northampton swim team, and they were so supportive of me and cheered me on the whole season. I can’t thank Catasauqua and the Northampton swim team enough for allowing me to be a part of the team and for the opportunity this year. Swimming has always been my passion and I’m glad I get to represent my school.”

Walp plans to continue her passion, and she is optimistic swimming can find a home in the Catasauqua athletic directory. Walp also will continue with her other swimming interests.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my journey as an independent swimmer for Catasauqua for the rest of my high school years,” she boasted. “I will also continue to swim with my club team, KIDS Swim Club, and participate in a lot of USA swim meets this year.

“I believe we can get some more kids interested in swimming next year at Catasauqua, and we someday can hopefully have a team.”

Press photo by Nancy Scholz Maliya Walp swims during the District 11 swim meet last weekend.