While the Upper Perk High School swim team suffered a loss against Owen J. Roberts Tuesday night, with final scores of 98 to 36 for both boys and girls, many of the swimmers dropped time to get personal bests or qualify for district events.
The meet started well for Upper Perk’s girls in the 200-meter medley relay, with OJR racing two disqualified relays, bringing the relay team of Christina Williams, Kristin Kilroy, Jackie Hammill and Kirsten Siwy in first.
Siwy continued a winning streak for the girls, earning first in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 2:08.24 and first again in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 57.82.
The girls kept racking up points throughout the meet, with Hammill finishing second in the 200-meter individual medley (IM).
During the 50-meter freestyle, a pool record was broken by OJR swimmer Sam Feiser. The previous time of 22.16 was replaced by Feiser’s time of 21.78.
The boys team swam well against OJR as well, with junior captain Brandon Umstead earning first in the 200-meter IM. He went on to win another close contest, the 100-meter backstroke, when he pulled ahead at the last minute with a time of 55.96.
Sophomore Mitchell Cairns qualified for districts in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 2:03.7. In previous meets, Cairns had qualified in the 500-meter freestyle and the 200-meter individual medley.
“It has been a good season,” said Cairns. “Coach [Brien] Kalnoski has really worked the team and it shows in my times along as with the whole team.”
Kalnoski is a new addition to Upper Perk’s team staff; he was an assistant coach with Boyertown’s swim team for 16 years. Kalnoski co-heads the program with coach Kyle Kuser, who is in his second year with Upper Perk’s water polo and swim teams.
“We’re swimming well,” said Kalnoski. “We trained well over the holidays. We’re swimming well even when we’re tired.”
Kalnoski stresses the importance of swimming under exhaustion to his swimmers at practice to prepare them for intense meets where they’ll have to swim their hardest.
“We were tired,” said Kuser. “Some people were tired for the first time. For where we are in the season, we swam very well.”
Both coaches agree that although the scores were low, Upper Perk had a successful meet after a long holiday break and will continue to look for improvement.