For 26 years, Cary Lehman has been a fixture on the local high school diving scene as a coach, including the last 19 seasons with Parkland. That all came to an end with the conclusion of the PIAA Diving Championships at Bucknell University last Thursday when Lehman announced he would be retiring from coaching.
Three Parkland swimmers and three divers returned from Bucknell University with medals from the PIAA Class 3A Swimming and Diving Championships held last week at Bucknell University. Among those collecting medals were seniors Gavin Webb and Annie Walls in swimming events and senior divers Lexi Lehman and Alexa Brinker.
A familiar problem reared its head as the Parkland girls basketball team headed into play in the PIAA Tournament.
That problem was consistent shooting, which hampered the team through parts of the season, especially late in the schedule and into the postseason. The result was a 60-25 loss to Spring-Ford, the fourth-place team from the highly competitive District One.
After a one-year absence, the Parkland girls swimming and diving team returned to the top of the District 11 podium, winning the team gold medals at last week’s District 11 Swimming and Diving Championship.
The Lady Trojans have won the girls team title in 11 of the last 12 seasons. Trojan girls swimmers also came away with four individual gold medals and picked up gold in two of the three relay events.
The Parkland boys swimming and diving team finished second in the team standings last weekend at the District 11 Swimming and Diving Championships held at Parkland. Senior Gavin Webb and junior Shawn Kushner both came home with gold medals and the automatic bid to compete in states that comes with them.
Ethan Radio took gold at the East Penn Conference diving championships recently at Parkland High School and came into the district diving meet as one of the favorites for the top spot.
Radio put together another impressive showing and finished with a final score of 470.65, good enough for a silver medal and a trip to states. The top spot went to defending state champion Brendan McCourt, who set an Emmaus pool record with a score of 562.70.
Each of the last four District 11 diving championships have had Lexi Lehman and Alexa Brinker in the top two spots. Lehman won first in 2017, followed by Brinker in 2018 and then back to Lehman in last year’s event.
Had the pattern continued, Brinker would have garnered another gold medal this season, but it was Lehman who won the event with Brinker coming in second in this year’s district meet, held Saturday at Emmaus High School.
Both divers earned spots in the PIAA championship which takes place at Bucknell University next month.
After a win in the quarterfinals of the District 11 Class 6A girls basketball tournament, Parkland had locked up a spot both in the district semifinals and in states. The Trojans looked to advance to the district championship game, but things went off the rails for them Tuesday night at Catasauqua High School when they lost a 52-26 decision to top-seeded Nazareth.
“We just didn’t look ready to play and that comes back on me,” said Parkland head coach Ed Ohlson after the loss. “We have to play better than we did tonight and be better prepared or we’ll be in a lot of trouble.”
Friday night was just one of those nights for the Parkland girls basketball team.
The Trojans traveled to Nazareth High School with a number of players under the weather and others who were just worn out physically. The result was that the longer the game went, the more worn down the Lady Trojans became, allowing the Blue Eagles to pull away from them for a 43-32 win in the quarterfinals of the EPC tournament.
The two teams had just met four days earlier and battled through a double-overtime game that Parkland came away from with a key win to end the regular season schedule.
Senior Lexi Lehman followed up her win in the East Penn Conference midseason meet with a gold medal at the EPC Championships last weekend at Parkland High School.
The top three spots were captured by Parkland divers, with Alexa Brinker finishing second and Kate Gottwald coming in third.
On their initial dives, Brinker edged out Lehman with a 34.40 compared to a 34.00 for the defending champion.