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Shriver, relay team earn state medals

Emmaus swimmers are not used to being kept off the team standings board at the PIAA Swimming and Diving championships.

On the opening day of the competition at Bucknell University last Wednesday, the Hornets not only did not have a swimmer reach the medal stand, but they were unable to get any swimmers through to finals to gain team points.

That night at a team dinner, head coach Tim O’Connor challenged his swimmers to be better the next day and the pep talk helped.

“I didn’t have a very good swim [Wednesday] in the 200 free,” said Shriver, a senior. “But I talked to my coach and had to be sure to do my best to get that out of my head for [Thursday]. You can only do as well as you think you are going to do.

“I was hurting a little mentally going into districts and coming in here, so I knew I had to push myself mentally and that helped.”

Shriver had competed on the opening day in the 200-yard freestyle and finished 17th, just missing the finals by 0.09 seconds.

The top 16 swimmers reach the finals with the top eight picking up medals.

The next day Shriver got the Hornets their first finalist and medal winner when he took seventh place in the 500-yard freestyle. He cut his qualifying time in the event by nearly three seconds and turned in a time of 4:36.82.

That momentum carried over into the final event of the meet as Shriver joined fellow senior Logan Hartman, junior Griffin Messenlehner, and sophomore Andersen Borst in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team finished with a time of 3:10.22 to place seventh and again reach the medal stand.

“I’m really proud of us because I knew we did our best and we worked really hard this season and had the right attitude coming in here,” said Hartman.

While Shriver barely missed the finals on Wednesday, Hartman finished 25th in the 200-yard individual medley.

Borst cut nearly a full second off his qualifying time in the 100-yard butterfly, while his time of 51.88 left him in 24th position.

Emmaus’ 200-yard freestyle relay team finished 21st and the 200-yard medley relay team was disqualified in their preliminary heat.

In Thursday’s competition, Messenlehner finished 22nd in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 52.50 for Emmaus.

Even with the day one setbacks, the Hornets boys’ team was the highest finishing Lehigh Valley-area school in the team standings, finishing 17th with 36 points. North Penn won the team competition with 204 points.

PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSON Logan Shriver earned a pair of medals at last week's state championship meet, with one coming in the 500-yard freestyle and another in the 400-yard freestyle relay.