WAYNESBORO – The Waynesboro Area Senior High School varsity boys’ and girls’ swim teams got the new year off to a successful start on Tuesday afternoon as they swept the Shippensburg Greyhounds at Waynesboro Area YMCA.
The boys team won 10 of 11 events en route to a 116-45 victory, while the girls squad also won 10 of 11 events on their way to a 104-65 win.
“We’re getting ready for a tougher part of the season,” said Waynesboro coach Sharon McIlquham, whose team is now 2-1 in dual meets. “they have some tough dual meets coming up. So they’re definitely in that mode where they are going to prepare for this part of the season.
“We’ve been working on technique since last season. We’ve been fine tuning everything from starts to their under waters on their turns; so all of that is a progression, and it’s all coming together.”
It was the second home meet of the first official year of the high school swim teams, with another scheduled for next Tuesday against Susquehanna Township.
Waynesboro’s 200 meter medley relay teams kicked things off with wins.
The girls team, consisting of Maddy Stoops, Belle Hess, Eve Phillips and Brenna Naddeo, finished nearly 12 seconds ahead of Shippensburg, touching the edge of the pool with a combined time of 2:14.97 after each swimmer completed two laps.
Gabe Blake, JB Bonner, Aiden Hess and Brenner McIlquham finished 21 seconds ahead of their Shippensburg counterparts, completing the combined eight laps in 2:07.59.
The lead continued to grow from there. But, just as important as points for each team was improving on times and preparing for continued competition with sights set on the “second” season – the postseason.
Bonner coasted to a win in the boys 200 freestyle with a time of 2:14.11. He also won the 400 freestyle in 4:44.75 and swam a leg on the winning 400 freestyle relay team that won with a time of 4:46.24.
Brenner McIlquham was a double winner as well. The junior sprinter captured firsts in the 50 freestyle (27.81) and the 100 freestyle (1:03.7). He teamed with Bonner, Parker Hull and Owen Shockey in the 400 freestyle relay.
Joining Bonner and McIlquham in the two-win club was Hess. He took first in the 200 individual medley in 2:40.56 and the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:14.29.
Blake won the 100 backstroke in 1:15.51, while Owen Shockey was second in the 100 breaststroke in a photo finish against Shippensburg’s Nicholas Fundanish. Fundanish touched the edge of the pool in 1:33.18. Shockey was next in 1:33.82.
On the girls side, Phillips won the 200 freestyle (2:16.46) and the 100 butterfly (1:07.31). She was also part of the first-place 200 freestyle relay team (2:00.85) that also included Emma Swanson, Hess and Mya Beck.
Swanson placed first in the 50 freestyle (29.90) and the 1090 backstroke (1:14.42). Beck was the best in the 100 freestyle, finishing with a time of 1:05.04. Stoops won the 400 freestyle (5:17.15), and Hess won the 100 breaststroke (1:30.92).
Beck, Stoops, Brenna Naddeo and Swanson combined to win the 400 freestyle relay in 4:34.66.
McIlquham has been keeping her eye on the up-and-coming contributors on the boys team, and she’s thrilled at the development of first-year swimmers. McIlquham said. “ We have a lot of new swimmers that are very talented athletes – swi
“Some of our newer swimmers have really been developing much quicker than we anticipated,” McIlquham said. “Swimmers from the football team, the cross country team, the soccer team that have come out and joined the team, swimmers like Gabe Blake, Owen Shockey, Parker Hull and Bryan Benedict. They have come on very strong for us and have developed a lot quicker than we anticipated. On the boys side that has been a great addition to our team.”
And, on the girls side, some experienced swimmers keep getting better.
“Emma Swanson and Mya Beck were our two top sprinters last year, and I’m very pleased with where they are with regards to their times,” Coach McIlquham said. “They are already swimming faster this year than they were last year. I’m looking forward to seeing what they will do at the end of the season. And when you put them together with the other two girls on the relay, the relay team is already swimming faster this year than last year. Last year they were finalists in the District 3 championships; so we’ve already been setting goals and talking about this year based on where we were last year and the improvements we’ve made this year.”