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Swimmers break more records

Swim records continued to tumble at Whitehall where Quinn Doyle, Ian Thomas, Aaron Stinner, and Gabe O’Brien broke Whitehall’s pool record in the first event of the day, the 200 medley relay, during the Zephyrs’ meet against Easton on Jan. 30.

“We were not expecting to at all,” said Doyle, who led off the relay. “I thought we were gonna get close, but I still was not expecting to break the record until I saw the time up on the board. We were excited, ecstatic. It felt great.”

The foursome recorded a time of 1:45.48.

“We weren’t going for the record, but we needed the win to start off the meet,” said O’Brien, the anchor. “We knew it was going to be a close meet, and we were down in the backstroke, came back a little more in the breaststroke, and in the fly, we were in a small lead, and I didn’t know the kid next to me at all. Normally, I know a ballpark of their time, but I had no clue, so I went all out and swam my best time ever. I was surprised about the record because we didn’t discuss it beforehand or anything. It was a surprise to all of us.”

Whitehall’s boys defeated the Red Rovers, 93-77, in team results.

During the same meet, Stinner broke his own school record and set Whitehall’s pool record in the 200 IM with a time of 2:00.24.

“I dropped one second from my pool and school record in that,” Stinner said. “That was a big meet. It basically decided if we’re gonna make history, and have the best record in Whitehall history, so might as well go for the records we can, and we had a great meet.”

Then, Thomas broke his own school record in the 50 free with a time of 21.54.

“Easton was a big meet, so we took advantage of each event and wore our tech suits, and I think it helped a little bit,” Thomas said. “It’s a plus that I got it, but I’m just happy that we were able to get the points and come away with the win. I think the Easton meet really brought all of our boys together, even the newer freshman swimmers, and it took everybody to come away with the win.”

Stinner also took first place in the 100 butterfly in 53.44, Andrew Deutsch went the distance in the 500 free in 5:38.78, and Thomas was first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.84.

On Feb. 1, the Zephyrs hosted Saucon Valley when Whitehall’s boys won, 109-58, and Whitehall’s girls lost, 96-74.

“The girls are coming off a 3-10 season last year,” said Whitehall coach Pete Rile. “This year, a lofty goal was to go .500, and I see that as certainly realistic. Going into tonight, they were looking at an 8-6 record. They were excited, they were pumped up, but they just ran out of gas at the end. We still got 30 out of 60 best times two [meets] in a row. It’s a matter of a whole lot of kids working together.”

First place finishes in girls events were won by Kendra Musselman in the 200 free in 2:13.31 and the 500 free in 6:04.81, and Kyra Giedl in the 200 IM in 2:34.15 and the 100 butterfly in 1:12.25.

In the 100 backstroke, Whitehall senior Kelly Wallitsch, Saucon Valley’s Kylie Johnston, and Saucon’s Katryna Price swam side by side for most of the race. Johnston pulled ahead and won, leaving Wallitsch and Price fighting for second-place points.

“I wanted to get at least second. I knew that I could do that, but last meet, I had just gone my best time, the goal I’d been wanting all season, 1:10, and I thought I might’ve had it, but [Kylie Johnston] ultimately beat me at the end,” said Wallitsch “I could see [Katryna Price], so I was like, I just need to focus and make sure I’m kicking, not mess up my turns. I was a little scared at first because the pad that I was starting off was really slippery. I could see everyone cheering, so I was like, I must be really close.”

First place finishes in boys events were won by O’Brien in the 200 free in 2:07.08 and the 100 free in 57.50, Thomas in the 200 IM in 2:04.17 and the 100 fly in 54.91, Stinner in the 50 free in 23.05 and the 100 breast in 1:08.99, Glenn Kline in the 500 free in 6:20.49, and Doyle in the 100 back in 1:04.96.

In relays, Doyle, Thomas, Deutsch, and Stinner won the 200 medley in 1:51.35, and Thomas, Deutsch, O’Brien, and Stinner won the 200 free relay in 1:32.92, just off the 2017 school record of 1:32.73.

“Ian went one of his better times, and we all needed to go our best times to get that record,” said Deutsch. “Every meet we were trying to get closer and closer, and we’re setting [time] goals for ourselves to go at least under 1:33, which we did. I went in and tried to kick as hard as I could, move my arms at a fast pace, and when I got to the flip turn, as soon as I pushed the wall, I blasted off with all my leg power. I was looking straight down the lane. I wasn’t even looking side to side.”

The Zephyrs have two more regular season meets to beat the 2017 time.

“We really wanted to get the record there, and it’s unfortunate that we didn’t, but we know that we can get there,” said O’Brien. “I’m hoping we can get it before districts so the weight is taken off our shoulders and just move forward and hopefully make it to states. That was our best time ever with this group.”

Kline, Habib Leyos, Doyle, and Stinner took first place in the 400 free relay in 3:55.63 to end the meet with Saucon Valley.

“Obviously a talented bunch of guys,” said Coach Rile of Whitehall’s boys team. “They’ve meshed together real well, and they had goals set at the beginning of the year. They’re doing it because they want to do it. They come in, they look at certain meets, and they say this is what we’re gonna do.”

Press photo by Katie McDonald Whitehall swimmers Aaron Stinner, Gabe O'Brien, Andrew Deutsch, Ian Thomas and Quinn Doyle have their eyes on breaking more records with two meets left in the regular season.