HAZLETON — Add the defending district swimming champions to the insurmountable list of flu sufferers this week.
Wyoming Seminary’s swimming team was ravaged by influenza this week. Six swimmers were out of the lineup due to the outbreak (plus another to injury), leaving the Blue Knights in a tight spot against a formidable Hazleton Area program Thursday in Wyoming Valley Conference competition.
With a hodgepodge lineup of what healthy swimmers remained, the Blue Knights split the meet. The Wyoming Seminary girls prevailed with a 105-65 victory and the boys were upset 97-67 by the Cougars.
“We are a little beat up,” Wyoming Seminary coach Philip Mercatili said. “The boys’ side was decimated today. I had one kid in an event in a couple of different places because we didn’t have the numbers.”
Paul Flowers paved the way for the Cougars’ victory by setting the tone with an emphatic win in the 200 IM. Wyoming Seminary’s Yonah Wasik led by 2.1 seconds through the halfway point. Flowers took over in the breaststroke, using a three-second advantage in that heat. He held off a late Wasik charge to win by 22-hundredths of a second in a season-best time of 2:03 flat.
Flowers stuck to his strength once again by winning the 100 breast by 16 seconds in 1:04.71.
“He has been working really hard,” Hazleton Area coach Michele Yakubowski said. “He has been staying healthy. He is so coachable. He just pretty much does whatever we ask of him. Hopefully it will stay that way right through to districts. You can’t ask for a nicer kid to work with.”
Yakubowski said her boys team was let down by the flu breakout because they were looking forward to having a competitive meet with the reigning WVC champions.
Hazleton Area’s Anthony Goulstone notched a pair of wins in the distance events. He registered a 1:55.92 to win the 200 free by 21 seconds. Goulstone recorded a first place in the 500 free in 5:02.34.
Freshman Skylar Roehrig swam three out of four consecutive straight events, propelling the Wyoming Seminary girls with a pair of first place finishes. Facing stiff competition in the 100 free, she raced to a 54.51 second finish for a comfortable win. Roehrig knocked off last year’s regional champion Marina O’Hara by nearly eight seconds in the 100 back, finishing in a time of 1:01.92.
“It was a lot today for her,” Mercatili said. “She has put some really great times for a freshman. She has the poise you want and the competitiveness you want in someone that is going to be put up there in those kinds of events.”
Wyoming Seminary won all 11 girls events.
Aside from postseason and tapering, the flu outbreak is hitting the Blue Knights in the thick of competition. Wyoming Seminary leads the WVC girls standings with an undefeated record through nine wins. The Blue Knights suffered their second loss of the year and are in third place.
“We’re beat up in that respect,” Mercatili said. “We’re coming up on our last couple of weeks. There is good, intense training. We had some missed times today, some people come up short where we really needed it. But there’s no quit in anybody.”
Wasik took first place in the boys 100 butterfly in 57.18 seconds. He beat his personal record, set at the Dallas meet, by six-tenths of a second. It is already faster than his performance at last year’s state meet.
“This week has been a ringer week,” Mercatili said. “I’ve been putting him through it. Because we had a meet on Monday and two days of practice. Then we lifted Tuesday and Wednesday. I expected them to be pretty exhausted today, and he still went out and swam his fastest.
Wyoming Seminary’s Kylee Kobicka earned an impressive win in the girls 50 free, winning in 25.47 seconds. Her teammate Tara Kupsky won both the 200 IM (2:13.11) and 100 fly (1:00.6).
Berwick 98, Coughlin 56
Berwick had a pair of four-time winners and a three-time winner.
Sydney Lloyd, Mia Doll and Courtney Turowski each swam a leg on the Bulldogs’ first-place 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. Lloyd (100 and 200 free) and Doll (200 IM and 500 free) each picked up a pair of indivual wins while Turowski won the 100 backstroke.
Raven Bozek and Rosie McGrane each won a pair of events to pace Coughlin. Both swam on the vicotrious 200 free relay while Bozek finished first in the 50 free while McGrane took first in the 100 breaststroke.
Hill picks up two
Colin Hill won the 50 free and 100 breaststroke to pace Berwick in an exhibition meet against Coughlin. Jacob Yacuboski also won a pair of events for the Bulldogs, taking first in the 200 and 500 free.
Coughlin’s Jack Miller won the 100 free.
Hazleton Area 97, Wyoming Seminary 67
200 Medley Relay — 1. HAZ (Anthony Goulstone, Paul Flowers, Justin Reyes, Dylan Gould) 1:49:05, 2. SEM; 200 Free — 1. HAZ Goulstone, 1:55.92; 2. SEM Thomas Rydzewski; 3. HAZ Noah Ancharski; 200 IM — 1. HAZ Flowers, 2:03; 2. SEM Yonah Wasik; 3. HAZ Brandon DaGrosa; 50 Free — 1. SEM Bobby deLuna, 24.25; 2. HAZ Gould; 3. HAZ Dionel Alonzo; 100 Fly — 1. SEM Wasik, 57.18; 2. HAZ Reyes; 3. HAZ DaGrosa; 100 Free — 1. SEM deLuna, 54.97; 2. HAZ Gould; 3. HAZ Alonzo; 500 Free — 1. HAZ Goulstone, 5:02.34; 2. SEM Nathan Tindell; 3. HAZ Cody Manherz; 200 Free Relay — 1. SEM (Wasik, Charlie Wright, Ameen Bader, deLuna) 1:41.3; 2. HAZ; 3. HAZ; 100 Back — 1. HAZ Reyes, 1:02.67; 2. SEM Tindell; 3. HAZ Ancharski; 100 Breast — 1. HAZ Flowers, 1:04.71; 2. SEM Rydzewski 1:20.71; 3. HAZ Steven Domanski; 400 Free Relay — 1. HAZ (Flowers, Reyes, DaGrosa, Goulstone) 3:34.59; 2. SEM; 3. HAZ
Wyoming Seminary 105, Hazleton Area 65
200 Medley Relay — 1. SEM (Aviah Dahlgren, Madi Federici, Kylee Kolbicka, Noam Wasik) 1:56.29; 2. HAZ; 3. SEM; 200 Free — 1. SEM Dahlgren, 2:05.12; 2. SEM Paige Jackett; 3. HAZ Maggie Yannes; 200 IM — 1. SEM Tara Kupsky, 2:13.11; 2. HAZ Hayley Sanko; 3. HAZ Alissa Platukis; 50 Free — 1. SEM Kolbicka, 25.47; 2. SEM Wasik; 3. HAZ Marina O’Hara; 100 Fly — 1. SEM TKupsky, 1:00.6; 2. SEM Kolbicka; 3. SEM Federici; 100 Free — 1. SEM Skylar Roehrig, 54.51; 2. SEM April Kupsky; 3. HAZ Megan Llewellyn; 500 Free — 1. SEM Dahlgren, 5:29.47; 2. SEM Jackett; 3. HAZ Yannes; 200 Free Relay — 1. SEM (Roehrig, Kolbicka, AKupsky, TKupsky), 1:44.761; 2. HAZ; 3. HAZ; 100 Back — 1. SEM Roehrig, 1:01.92; 2. HAZ O’Hara; 3. HAZ Stephany Malaga; 100 Breast — 1. SEM Federici 1:12.96; 2. HAZ Llewellyn; 3. HAZ Platukis; 400 Free Relay — 1. SEM (Roehrig, Dahlgren, AKupsky, TKupsky) 3:51.85; 2. HAZ; 3. SEM