Swim teams have a new look
The Salisbury swim team opened its season last Friday against Moravian Academy with a new look, starting at the top with first-year head coach Mackenzie Sikora. A number of first-year swimmers also made an impact for the Falcons in their first meet, despite coming up short on both the boys and girls sides.
The Moravian Academy girls defeated Salisbury, 117-53. The Lion boys came away with a 123-34 win at KidsPeace.
“I have a bunch of swimmers who this is their first year doing a sport and/or just swimming,” Sikora said. “The swimmers came in with such upbeat attitudes. Knowing what outcome they want for this swim season is amazing to see.”
Senior Olivia Hoeing, who was on the basketball team last winter but missed the season due to health reasons, has come out for the swim team in 2019-20. She was the top Falcon finisher in the 200-yard freestyle, placing third overall in a time of 2:34.78. She also swam in the 500-yard freestyle (7:14.78) and took third, while also swimming a leg in each of the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay events.
Freshman Ella DeFazio is expected to make an immediate impact this winter, too. She also swam in both of those relay events, and was the top Falcon finisher in the 100-yard breaststroke. DeFazio placed third in the event with a time of 1:28.68.
“This is their first year doing high school swimming, but have been putting in work the past couple of weeks,” Sikora said. “They’ve made many improvements, and I’m ready to see them in meet settings.”
On the boys’ side, Carver Moyer headlines the list of top newcomers. He placed fourth in both of his individual events: the 100-yard freestyle (1:11.15) and 200-yard freestyle (2:48.30). He joined Shane Artis, Nicholas Jones and Nick Jewell on the boys’ 400-yard freestyle relay team that placed second overall in 5:16.07.
There are also a number of key returning swimmers that will help the team make up for the loss of several graduates. The most notable loss to graduation is Sarah Bobeck, who won two individual events and helped a relay capture gold at last year’s District 11 Class 2A meet. She also made another appearance at the state meet.
Madison Jewell and Cathryn Fitzsimmons also graduated last year and were members of the 200-yard freestyle relay unit that competed at states and placed 27th. The good news is that junior Julia Graver, who also swam a leg of that relay at states, returns to the lineup this winter. She placed seventh in the 200-yard IM at last year’s district meet.
Junior Eliza Wiener is also back and was one of 12 Falcon swimmers that competed in last year’s district meet. She placed ninth in the 500-yard freestyle.
“The strength of this team is not too many missing areas,” Sikora said. “They come to put in the work. Everyone is willing to help each other.”
Artis leads the returnees on the boys’ side after placing 11th in the 500-yard freestyle at districts a year ago. He was the boys’ top swimmer in the Falcons’ opener and was the top Salisbury finisher in both of the 200-yard (2:18.26) and 500-yard freestyles (6:20.73). He also swam in the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay against the Lions.
While districts is certainly a possibility for a number of these Falcons once again, Sikora’s main focus heading into the season is the swimmers improving on their times over the next couple of months.
“The expectations are for the swimmers to achieve personal goals throughout the season, and hopefully keep seeing times drop with good work ethic,” Sikora said.