Parkland Press

Friday, March 23, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZJames Connolly swims the breaststroke at districts. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZJames Connolly swims the breaststroke at districts.

Boys swimmers take second place

Thursday, March 8, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The Parkland boys swim team collected five individual medals and one relay medal at last weekend’s District 11 Swimming Championships, which were moved to Emmaus High School after a power outage at Parkland. Overall, the boys finished second in the team competition trailing Emmaus 489-313.5 at the end of the weekend.

Matt Ceh finished with two silver medals placing second in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. Ceh was also part of the 400 freestyle relay team that captured fourth place. In taking two silver medals, Ceh was a combined 37-hundredths of a second out of first place in the two events, including placing second to Liberty’s Jake Evert by just six-hundredths of a second in the 100 freestyle.

“I felt like I was behind a little bit in the beginning, but I closed well,” said Ceh after his swim in the 100-freestyle. “It felt better than in previous years and it’s still a best time for me, so I’m pretty satisfied.”

James Connolly, Gavin Webb and Adam Kucharczuk teamed up with Ceh in that event to give Parkland their only medal in relay events. With his three medals over the weekend, Ceh was given the Dennis A. McGinley Award as the top male swimmer at districts.

The award is named after the longtime coach of the Dieruff swim team who helped lead the Huskies to state championships in 1945 and 1946 as a swimmer and then coached four state championships with the school, producing five all-American swimmers.

“I’ve never won any event at districts, so it’s kind of shocking,” said Ceh after receiving the honor. “I didn’t even know how it was determined, so I wasn’t thinking about it at all.”

In individual events, Parkland took silver in the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke with Webb finishing second in the 500 and Connolly taking second-place in the 100 breaststroke. James Zhang captured fourth-place in the 200 IM.

The District 11 Diving Championship was held a week earlier with Alexa Brinker taking the gold medal and Lexi Lehman following closely in second place. Freshman Logan Choma finished second in the boys diving competition followed by teammate Kole Cannon. Emmaus’ Brendan McCourt won gold in diving. The top two finishers in diving are guaranteed spots in the PIAA Championship.

Gold medal winners in swimming are guaranteed spots in the PIAA Championship which takes place next week at Bucknell University. Other medalists will have to wait to see if they qualified for states when their times are compared with swimmers from across Pennsylvania.