Swim teams prep for postseason
The District 11 Class 2A Swimming Championships are set for the last two days of February at Parkland High School.
What swimmers around the area have been aiming for, including Salisbury’s athletes, is earning a district-qualifying time in their respective events for that meet in nearly two months. Despite coming up short in some recent meets in the team score, a number of individuals have captured that goal.
Senior captain Shane Artis is one who qualified on the boys’ side in a recent meet against Central Catholic. Head coach Mackenzie Sikora is hoping a number of others are also able to qualify.
“[Artis] qualified for the boys 200-meter IM with a time of 2:39.27 [against Central Catholic],” Sikora said. “He also made consideration time for the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6:14.22.”
The boys’ side did come up short in a 118-41 loss against the Vikings, but the individual success has been evident throughout the season on both sides. The boys also lost against Quakertown on Friday, 103-30. Artis also set four new season-best times in his events against in that meet.
On the girls’ side, Julia Graver was the first swimmer to earn a district-qualifying mark. The junior captain also did so in a new event against Central Catholic.
“This is her first time swimming breaststroke for the year in a meet, and she qualified for districts with time of 1:17.25,” Sikora said.
A number of first-year swimmers on the varsity stage are also impressing Sikora early in the season and have chances at making districts. First-year swimmer Olivia Hoeing has shown success in the mid and long-distance events.
“This is her first year in competitive high school swimming,” Sikora said. “She dropped 22 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle in one week. She’s hoping to soon get a district qualifying time. She also has consideration time for the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:28.88.”
Freshman Ella Defazio has a district consideration time in the breaststroke event after finishing in 1:27.02 against Central Catholic.
As a team, the Lady Falcons came up short against Central Catholic (116-31) and Quakertown (109-54) as well.
“Both sides have been looking great,” Sikora said. “We have a lot of new swimmers who keep improving times, and they are putting in the work at practice.”
Including Tuesday’s meet against Allen in which results were not available at time of press, the Falcons have six meets remaining this winter before districts. And Sikora is hoping a number of others will not only continue to improve on their times, but also earn a trip to the postseason stage.
“Salisbury is a very young team with only a few returning veterans and many new first-time swimmers,” Sikora said. “Conditioning has been a priority, and we are starting to see times drop and the team chemistry build.”
Up next is a trip to Tamaqua on Friday for a meet at 4:30 p.m.