SWIMMING PREVIEW Tatum, boys look to defend D11 title
Led by Eric Tatum, the Salisbury boys swimming team capped off last season with a District 11 2A championship and a fourth-place finish in the P.I.A.A. Championship Meet.
With a good chunk of that squad back from a season ago, the boys will look to build off that success in search of back-to-back district titles and another opportunity at a state trophy in Jason Reinhard's first season as head coach.
"We have a mix of kids that have been training for several months [and] some who are just getting back into it," said Reinhard. "The ones that have been training have gotten a lot stronger. The ones that are getting back to shape, they're still getting back to where they were last year, but once they do I'm confident they'll be able to surpass what they did last year."
Tatum, a senior, leads a Falcon team that will remain relatively the same. Tatum was the state champion last year in the 100 fly and won the Dennis McGinley award as the top swimmer at the district meet.
He was a district champ in the fly and 100 free and was also a part of the team's 400 freestyle relay team that took home first place in districts.
For a Falcon team that finished fourth in the state, just seven points behind second place Mars Area, it was Tatum that led the way. He finished seventh in the 100 freestyle and was a part of the 400 freestyle relay team that came in fourth at Bucknell.
"They're always up for racing each other and other teams," said Reinhard. "They bring an intensity every meet [and] every race. They always want to win."
Reinhard expects junior Jon Anderson, who placed 13th in states last year in the 100 free and was a part of the 400 free relay team, to have a big impact for the Falcons as well.
"Jon Anderson is making a lot of improvements," said Reinhard. "He trained very hard throughout the whole year and you can see. So I expect he'll make a big jump at the states."
Senior Garrett Collins and junior Tim Costantini were a part of that 400 free team and will both be back for the Falcons looking to grab a state medal in the event.
On the girls end, the Falcons lost their top swimmer from a year ago in Katie Cialkowski who finished in 15th place in the 100 free. She was a member of the team's 400 freestyle relay team at states too.
Cialkowski will certainly be missed, but Reinhard would like to see the girls get another chance with a relay team at the state level come 2013.
"Our goal is to get a relay again [at states]," said Reinhard. "We graduated our top senior, who was also on that relay. So it's going to be a pretty good challenge to get that relay back in, but that's our goal."
Senior Danielle Guttman is the lone returning swimmer who swam at the state level from last season, and will lead the girls this year. She finished 16th in the 500 freestyle and will look to improve on that mark this season.
Reinhard, who was previously with Emmaus, is excited to take on the job as the Falcons' coach. One of his main goals is to see improvement from both teams throughout the year.
"I learned a lot from Emmaus coach Tim O'Connor," said Reinhard. "It wasn't necessarily things that he would tell me, [but] it's just seeing what he did, how he handled the kids, how he approached them at practice [and] what he did at meets."