Parkland Press

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Swimmers prepare for meet vs. rival Emmaus

Thursday, December 19, 2013 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in HS Sports

Parkland swimming coach Rob Robitaille is impressed with how his teams have opened the season.

Possibly the best part of the early season for Robitaille has been that he's getting good results all around and doesn't have to rely on just a few swimmers to carry the team.

"I believe that both teams have been swimming very well against our early competition," he said.

"It's difficult to single out any single performance seeing as it takes every athlete pushing the other at practice to drive the times we've seen to this point."

Even though it's early in the season, Robitaille is seeing his swimmers hit times that they might not be expected to hit this early in the season. The boys side has been developing well, which is necessary for a young team that had a lot of key holes to fill coming into the season.

The girls side took losses too, but Robitaille was confident in its ability for success coming into the season.

"On the women's side we have had many great swims from our athletes comparable to what people would expect from big winter meets this time of year," said the third-year head coach.

"Our boys are having great swims, many posting personal bests, or right at those times, and continue to motivate and support each other to continue to develop. Overall, both teams are performing well for this time of year."

Recent snow storms have knocked out a couple of meets for Parkland, including a Tuesday night meet at Northampton that would have provided a good gauge of where the team stands at this point in the season.

Looking ahead, the annual rivalry meet with Emmaus is looming for this Saturday and could go a long way toward determining the Lehigh Valley Conference Champion, as both teams are always in competition for that title.

"Honestly, anything can happen when you put Emmaus and Parkland in the same sporting venue together," said Robitaille. "The atmosphere that the rivalry brings with it will always have either side having a healthy respect of the other's abilities.

"Our kids will prepare for what will be Emmaus' absolute best effort. To prepare them for anything less would be disrespectful to our competition.

"I'll be happy at the end of Saturday, no matter the result as long as our times show growth in ability, and give us further options for districts."

One key for Parkland is that they are blessed with a strong group of young swimmers that is being mentored by the upperclassmen on the team. The strong senior group is helping the younger swimmers to develop quicker than they might normally be able to do because of the strong leadership.

"Our younger boys are continuing to develop their talent. I think that most of this can be credited to a great upper-class that has been supporting them and sharing their knowledge and experiences. With the upperclassmen pushing the younger talent and the increased workload that comes with the training, the younger boys talent is expected to continue to develop like it is," said Robitaille.