Bobeck wins long and short events
Sarah Bobeck is that rare swimmer who competes at high levels in both sprints and long distance.
She showed that once again last weekend, taking gold in both the 50-yard and the 500-yard freestyle events at the District 11 Class 2A Swimming Championships. The event was abruptly moved to Emmaus High School after a power outage at Parkland High School disrupted the meet’s opening night scheduled for Friday.
Many swimmers, including Bobeck, noted that the increased energy inside the smaller facility gave them a little added boost in the pool. Bobeck admits that the 50 is her favorite event and she needed every bit of energy she had to get the win, besting Central Catholic’s Angie Castano by just one-hundredth of a second to take gold.
“The 50 is always a close race, but it’s never been that close for me,” said the Salisbury junior with a laugh. “It’s so great to have everyone in here cheering you on. Even if you know it’s not for you, every scream sounds the same so you just have to act like everything is for you. I think the tight space helps me and makes it work for me.”
If Saturday’s gold came by the length of a fingernail, on Sunday, it was a seemingly simple swim for Bobeck, who took the 500 by more than six seconds over North Schuylkill’s Kylie Mallams.
Bobeck left the meet with a total of three gold and a silver thanks to Salisbury’s first-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay and second-place finish in the 200-freestyle relay. Both relays had Bobeck teamed with fellow junior Madison Jewell, freshman Kerry Seiler and senior Madaket Chassard. In addition to her performances in the relays, Chassard finished fourth in the 200 freestyle.
“It’s awesome and definitely rewarding, especially since we’re not all year-round swimmers,” said Chassard. “It’s very difficult because this involves endurance and it’s all about the agility and work that you put in during the season.”
Chassard has been impressed by the younger swimmers on the Salisbury roster and believes that they can accomplish a number of good things over the next few seasons.
“I think that especially the freshmen are really good and everybody works so hard,” said Chassard. “We all push each other and encourage each other and the younger swimmers have made this season pretty special for me.”
The Salisbury girls team finished fifth behind Central Catholic, Blue Mountain, Moravian Academy and North Schulykill in the team standings.
Tim Sechler-Stone took fourth in the 100 backstroke event to give the boys team, which finished eighth in the team competition, their highest finish of the weekend.
By virtue of the first-place finish in the two events, Bobeck automatically qualifies for the PIAA Swimming Championships held later this month at Bucknell University.
Salisbury’s 400-relay team also qualifies, but others will have to wait to see if they are awarded a spot in the competition once their times are compared to those of other swimmers and relay teams from across the state.