Several Salisbury swimmers will compete in this weekend’s PIAA Class 2A Championships at Bucknell University.
Salisbury junior Mahlon Reihman is the top seed in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:41.05.
He is also seeded first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 46.05.
HERSHEY – Alex Nicholas’s season has been anything but ordinary.
Due to low numbers on the Salisbury wrestling team, the senior spent much of the year training with wrestlers from a variety of Lehigh Valley area high schools.
The unusual circumstances never bothered Nicholas, who captured 285-pound Class AA District 11 and Southeast Regional titles in consecutive weeks, and entered his first PIAA Wrestling Championships this past weekend with a sterling 30-1 record.
Zachary Thatcher brought the Hellertown community to life last fall, helping to lead Saucon Valley further than any other program in school history.
The Panthers won the Colonial League and the District 11 Class AAA championships, and advanced all the way to the PIAA state semifinals.
And Sunday night at the 2016 Scholar-Athlete awards banquet for the Lehigh Valley chapter of the National Football Foundation at the Northampton Community Center, Thatcher was named the overall winner.
It has been a year the senior won’t ever forget.
The Salisbury rifle team ended its season in late January. And while the Falcons finished with an 0-10 record on the range this season, their second straight winless campaign, head coach Kevin Johnson saw the winter season as a win.
Individual scores and team results are one side of the story. But a more preached aspect of the sport of rifle from Johnson has been safety from Day 1.
Mahlon Reihman won two gold medals in individual events and set one district and pool record at last weekend’s District 11 Class 2A Championship meet at Parkland High School.
But that wasn’t the best thing he did at this year’s meet.
Heading into the final leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay, the last event of the two-day meet, Reihman dove into the pool three seconds behind the Mahanoy Area team that was leading.
When Salisbury’s Alex Nicholas defeated Northern Lehigh’s Cameron Kates a week ago for the District 11 Class 2A heavyweight title, Nicholas was able to use his athleticism to his advantage offensively. He earned two takedowns, including one in the third period that sealed a 6-4 decision.
The two met again a week later, back in the final match of the PIAA Class 2A Southeast Regional tournament. That match had a completely different style to it.
The result, however, was a familiar feeling for Nicholas.
When Salisbury and Bethlehem Catholic met in the District 11 Class 3A third-place game with a state playoff berth on the line, Bishop McDevitt players were in the stands of Allen High School’s Sewards Gymnasium watching their opponent-to-be.
On Friday, Salisbury opened their run in the state tournament against that Bishop McDevitt team, the top seed out of District 3. And while a 75-48 loss ensued in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A playoffs, ending the Falcons’ memorable season at 21-7, there was plenty to be proud of this winter season.
Through his first five dives at Saturday’s District 11 Class AA Championships, Salisbury’s Tyler Keller pulled out to a 22-point lead over the second-place diver.
After nine dives, Keller had increased his lead to a nearly insurmountable 34 points with three dives remaining.
He finished with three of his hardest dives and put together a first-place total of 417.55, well ahead of second place finisher and Falcon teammate Daniel Bujcs, who finished with 392.85 points.
In a matter of four days, Salisbury was on an emotional roller coaster in which it experienced the lowest of lows and highest of highs.
When the District 11 Class 3A tournament was set, the road to a state playoff push was paved for the Falcons. As the No. 2 seed in 3A, the Falcons wouldn’t have to square up against undefeated and presumed favorite No. 1 Pottsville until the finals. Not only that, but the Falcons’ road to a championship game appearance wouldn’t go through EPC squads Central Catholic and Bethlehm Catholic.
After Jack Reichenbach scored two consecutive field goals to cut Bethlehem Catholic’s lead to 52-49 late in Friday’s District 11 Class 3A third-place game, Salisbury found itself with a fighter’s chance after trailing by seven points just moments earlier.
And when Blake Jones caught the ball on the left wing with roughly a minute left on the clock still trailing by three, most people inside Allen High School’s Sewards Gymnasium probably expected a potential game-tying three-pointer to fly. Instead, Jones fooled everyone, even the Golden Hawks’ defense.