There are many ingredients that go into making a state swimming champion.
Salisbury's boys hope that this year they've found the right recipe.
The Falcons departed for Bucknell University Tuesday with a legitamate chance at returning to Allentown with a PIAA trophy.
"We've looked at it to see where other teams stand and its going to be tough," head coach Jason Reinhard said. "There's no favorite across the state. Everyone's on pretty equal footing. The team that goes out and can hold their times is going to take it."
The Salisbury boys basketball season began with a 13-point loss to Blue Mountain on the road.
It came to an end on Friday night at South Philadelphia High School with a 79-34 loss to District 12 runner-up Imhotep Charter in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A tournament.
In between, there was plenty of winning and plenty of improvement for the Falcons.
As the near capacity crowd at Parkland High School came to a hush for the announcement of the Dennis McGinley awards for top boys and girls swimmers at the District 11 Class 2A championships, Salisbury's Eric Tatum quietly went about his business.
The Falcon senior was less concerned with hearing if he'd become a two-time winner and more focused on the 400 free relay, as he was swimming his warm up laps when his name was called.
"I was over in the warm up pool getting ready when I heard them announce my name," Tatum said. "I just kind of jumped up there to accept it.
Four years ago the Salisbury boys swim team introduced a new pre-meet ritual, forming two lines and performing the Haka, a New Zealand war chant meant to intimidate the opposition. The chant has kicked off the District 11 Class 2A championships since then, igniting the crowd and the athletes, who focus their attention on the Falcon swimmers.
For the past two years, the boys have also taken part in the final ritual of the meet – stepping on the podium to collect the team championship trophy.
The Salisbury boys swimming and diving team got a leg up in the race for a second consecutive District 11 title when Dennis Bonner and Daniel Bujcs finished second and third, respectively, at last weekend's diving championships.
If the seeds for Friday and Saturday's District 11 swimming championships are any indication, the Falcons are in great shape to defend their crown.
Kyle Gonoude and Garrett Collins are opposites when it comes to cross country racing.
Gonoude prefers the grueling task of racing the hills. Collins would rather show his speed on flatter straightaways.
Together the two have proved to be a fairly formidable duo and last Wednesday showcased their skills once again at the Colonial League championship meet held at DeSales University.
Bolstered by Gonoude's second place finish, the boys team finished third out of the 14 teams competing.
Several months have passed since Eric Tatum became the first Salisbury swimmer to win a state gold medal.
But in a school year of many accomplishments for the Falcon athletic program, none shined brighter that Tatum's winning swim in 100 yard butterfly in the pool at Bucknell in March.
For his efforts, the senior-to-be is the Salisbury Press Male Athlete of the Year.