Parkland Press

Saturday, March 28, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSON Katherine Weeks swims the breaststroke during Saturday's Last Chance Meet at Emmaus. PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSON Katherine Weeks swims the breaststroke during Saturday's Last Chance Meet at Emmaus.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Parkland's Shannon Bonner swims the 200 freestyle during last week's meet against Salisbury. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Parkland's Shannon Bonner swims the 200 freestyle during last week's meet against Salisbury.

Swimmers are headed to postseason

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by CHUCK HIXSON Sepcial to the Press in HS Sports

Even as swimmers were competing for spots in districts at the recent Last Chance Meet held at Emmaus High School, more snow was falling outside, serving as a reminder of how much chaos Mother Nature has brought to the winter sports season.

Snow wiped out the final two practice days before the meet, but Parkland was able to see some progress among its swimmers and add to its list of candidates for spots in the District 11 championship meet, which is coming up on February 28-March 1 at Parkland.

Every sport has had to adjust itsschedules and fit in practices around snow storms and it has perhaps disrupted swimming the most.

"I thought things went really well, considering that weather had something to play with it," said coach Rob Robitaille. "You try to strategize around it, but there's not much you can do when you don't know that you're going to have off two days in a row. I thought it went really well though, because we had some kids drop a lot and set their all-time bests and others right where they should be."

The meet is for individual competition only and doesn't include relay teams seeking to improve on their times for districts. Most of the competitors are younger swimmers, fighting for their first trip to a district meet, but a few upper classmen competed as well, looking to improve on the times that they have already set.

Simply qualifying for districts doesn't guarantee a swimmer a spot. Each swimmer can compete in only two individual and two relay events and teams are also limited on how many swimmers they can enter into events.

In other words, Robitaille will have some decisions to make on just who he's going to send to districts, which he believes is going to be a battle ground.

"Districts is out there, really," said Robitaille, referring to the level of competition. "I think it's an even meet between us, Liberty and Emmaus and I think it's going to be a battle. We'll put it out there, we'll put our kids in a position to race and put our top talent in there and let them try to do well for themselves."

Districts will also give swimmers the chance to qualify for the PIAA meet held at Bucknell University next month. Robitaille looked at the Last Chance Meet closely to see how some of his competitors can compete in pressure situations.

"They all swam well with the conditions that were presented," said Robitaille. "At the end of the day, all you can do is try as hard as you can and put the weather and adversity behind you and do as well as you can. From that respect, they all did well."