Events: Sprints, backstroke, relays
All in the Family: Carly, who resides in Wilkes-Barre, is the daughter of James Ray and Lynn Bayersdorfer. Her two older sisters, Jamie and Ashley, were also members of Coughlin’s swimming team.
Statistically speaking: Ray went 8-for-8 last week, emerging as the winner in all four individual events and four relays she swam over two meets against Nanticoke and Dunmore. Ray won the 50 freestyle event twice, along with the 100 freestyle (against Nanticoke) and the 100 backstroke (against Dunmore). Ray also helped Coughlin’s 200 freestyle relay team win twice, and was also part of Coughlin’s winning 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams during the week.
A fast finish: Ray accumulated her eight wins on back-to-back nights, swimming a time of 26.74 against Nanticoke in the 50 freestyle Wednesday and then following with a time that wasn’t far off, 27.18, on Thursday against Dunmore. In that Nanticoke meet, Ray — who was a district medalist last season — also swam an impressive time of 1:08.79 to capture the 100 backstroke and won the 100 freestyle against Dunmore in 1:01.78. She also anchored all three Coughlin relay teams as they pulled out victories, taking the 200 freestyle relay to first-place finishes twice in the two days.
Coach’s Corner: “She’s very competitive and wants to win,” Coughlin coach Donnie Williams said. “She’s more determined than anything else. She’s a very hard worker. She won’t settle for anything less than the best. When she won the backstroke against Nanticoke, it was a real good time for her and for our school. I can just about put her in any event, except maybe the breaststroke, and she will do quite well. She gets bummed out if there’s not a first place in there.”
Did you know? Following in her sisters’ footsteps, Ray is an avid reader in her spare time. “Novels, fiction, anything,” she said. “My sisters did it, too. Being the youngest, you do whatever they did.” Well, maybe not the breaststroke. “Both my sisters swam it,” Ray said. “I never got into it.”
From her angle: “It’s always nice to win,” Ray said. “After an event, you’re always tired. But my events (mainly the sprints) are definitely the least-tiring. Kudos to people who swim the IM and the fly. I can swim distance events if I had to, but I feel like my body is built more for the sprint events. I grew up with two sisters — it’s always ‘Be better than them.’ I’ve always been like this. I like to win. It’s a good feeling.”
Week in review: It was another good game for Tunkhannock boys basketball standout Austin Yanora, who went off for 47 points in a victory over Berwick for the highest-scoring game by a player in the Wyoming Valley Conference so far this season. Maybe Pittston Area’s Tyler McGarry couldn’t quite match that, but he did hit a career high with 36 points in a victory over Tunkhannock. Sal Biasi keeps cracking the 30-point mark for Hazleton Area, scoring 32 in a victory over Coughlin. Tunkhannock’s Sean Soltysiak hit for 30 points in a victory over Wyoming Valley West, and Lake-Lehman’s Adam Dizbon was right behind with 29 points in a victory over Holy Redeemer. Meanwhile, Valley West’s Larry Anderscavage drilled seven three-point field goals during his 25-point performance against Berwick. And GAR’s smooth Isaiah Francis put on a dunking display — with four slams and 25 points — in a victory over Nanticoke. …
Crestwood star Rebecca Rutkowski broke into her All-State form for a couple of big games for the Comets, scoring 24 points against projected WVC Division I contenders Wyoming Valley West and Berwick. Rutkowski also added 20 rebounds against Valley West, helping Crestwood take control of the division. Meanwhile, in Division II, Holy Redeemer’s Alexis Lewis dazzled with 32 points against Northwest as the Royals remained unbeaten against WVC competition. Lake-Lehman’s Cayle Spencer scored 25 points in a victory over Meyers, then came back with 18 points — including her career 1,000th — in a victory over Wyoming Area. In that loss to Lehman, Meyers’ Quieterriua Gross put up 32 points for Meyers. And Brea Seabrook kept GAR thinking Division III title with 27 points in a victory over MMI Prep. …
Blink and you missed them on the wrestling mat. It took just 11 seconds for GAR’s Devin Reese to record a pin against Meyers at 132. In that same match, Meyers 106-pounder Colin Pasone put up a 12-second pin in a 106-pound match against GAR and Nanticoke’s Nelvin Villafranca threw down a 12-second pin at 113 against GAR. And Lake-Lehman’s Jake Tomolonis came up with a 19-second pin against Meyers that left the Black Knights at the top of the WVC Division II standings. In the individual match of the week, Coughlin’s Bobby Hawkins won a tough battle of last year’s regional qualifers with Pittston Area’s WVC tournament champ Tyler Lutecki in a thrilling 126-pound match that was decided by a single point. …
Plents of boys made their points in the swimming pool. Tunkhannock had a pair of four-time winners in its victory over Holy Redeemer, with Matt Miller taking the 50 and 100 freestyle events, Joey Moffitt winning the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM and both combining to give the Tigers a relay sweep. Wyoming Valley West’s Ed Zawatski keeps zooming along, taking victories in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle and lead the team’s two freestyle relays to victory against Dallas. Wyoming Area’s Michael Murphy had a strong day while winning the 200 IM, the 100 backstroke and swimming on two winning relay teams against rival Pittston Area. Hanover Area’s Dave Williams and Jayce Temperine teamed up on the winning 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams against Lake-Lehman, and both won their two individual events in that meet. And Hazleton Area’s Troy Valkusky led the charge to a big victory over Holy Redeemer with victories in the 200 IM, 100 backstroke and on two relay teams. …
While Carly Ray swept all of her events over two days, her Coughlin teammate Hannah Redding wasn’t far behind, winning seven times — including four relays — during an inspiring week for the Crusaders. Hazleton Area’s Felicia Grego sparked a victory over Holy Redeemer with victories in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke and on both freestyle relay teams. And her Cougars’ teammate Rebecca Yannes had two relay victories and wins in the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke in that same meet. Pittston Area’s Mia Nardone snapped up victories in the 200 IM, 100 butterfly and on two relay teams in a victory over rival Wyoming Area. Hanover Area swimmers Sara Belles (sprints) and Alicia Saltz 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke) both added two relay victories to their ledger in a meet against Lake-Lehman. Also, Meyers’ Sydney Rentsch (200 IM, 100 backstroke) and Tunkhannock’s returning state qualifier Morgan Manglaviti (100 freestyle, 200 freestyle) added their names to the list of four-time winners.