Shante Rios, looking stealthy, prepares to surface during the swimming of the breaststroke in the girls' 18 and under 200 medley relay.
Swimmers chalk up best season in a long time
Last Thursday the Upper Perk YMCA summer swim team was defeated by Laurelwood, also part of the Tri-County League, by a score of 225-329 in their last duel home meet of the season.
Before the meet began, the Otters recognized their senior swimmers. These swimmers consisted of Blade Umstead, Jordan Williams, Felicia Sloyer, Zak Kibler, Matt Rose and Colin Junk. The end of the swimmers' careers with the summer swim team were celebrated with both laughter and tears.
“Congratulations seniors. You will be missed, but you will be remembered,” head coach Corrine Guntz acknowledged.
Although headed into Thursday’s meet the team knew Laurelwood was an extremely strong team, they still intended to use the events to their advantage.
“Our goal at this meet is to qualify for the championships and to drop individual swimmer’s times. I believe in these kids and know that they believe in themselves,” stated Guntz.
It was not until the fourth event, the girls' 9-10-year-old 100 meter medley relay, that Upper Perk was able to capture a first-place finish. This event was won by Julianne Redmond, Michaela Greczek, Breanna O’Connor and Tori Williams with a time of 1:27.53. Greczek also captured first during the 9-10-year-old 50-meter freestyle with her time of 38:19.
Brandon Umstead flies through the water as he swims the butterfly leg of the boys' 200 medley relay in last Thursday's meet against Laurelwood.
Upper Perk was ultimately able to win 27 out of the 66 events at the meet. Other top times were earned by Julia Cupitt, Alexis Sloyer, Madison Modugno, and Kaylee Heimes during the girls' 11-12-year-old 200 freestyle relay (2:12.19), Justin Heimes during the boys 9-10-year-old 25-meter butterfly (17.80), and Colin Henry who swam the boys 8-and-under 25-meter backstroke (29.05).
The Otters ended their regular season with a 2-4 record, earning two more wins than they had in the past two years combined. These wins occurred against the swim teams of Nine Oaks and North End.
The main focus of this season was to work on teaching the younger swimmers to stroke correctly to make their scores count, thus making the team more successful.
“I think I have really improved this year, I am a stronger swimmer now. Before I couldn’t do butterfly and now I can swim it in races,” commented 12-year-old Madison Cairns.
The swimming championships will be held this Saturday extending through Tuesday at the pools of Hillside, North End, and Upper Perk. The seniors, ages 13 and up, will swim Saturday. Then the swimmers who have previously qualified for the “A” championships will swim Monday, and the “B” championships will take place Tuesday.
As a whole, the team expects to witness great improvements in swimmers' times at the championship races.