Mo­ti­vated Ea­gles rout Spar tans

Blue Moun­tain girls make most of prepa­ra­tion for North Schuylkill

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - SPORTS - BY LEROY BOYER STAFF WRITER lboyer@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com

ORWIGSBURG — North Schuylkill’s girls’ swim­ming vic­tory over Pottsville last week raised some eye­brows across the Schuylkill League.

It also served as mo­ti­va­tion for de­fend­ing lea gue girls’ cham­pion Blue Moun­tain.

T he Ea gles spent ex­tra hours pre­par­ing for Thurs­day’s dual meet with the un­beaten Spar­tans, even get­ting to­gether as a group to de­velop a lineup. The ex­tra work paid huge div­i­dends in a sur pris­ingly easy, 112-68 vic­tory over North Schuylkill.

The Blue Moun­tain boys com­pleted the sweep with a 122-54 vic­tory.

“I knew that ( Nor th Schuylkill) was go­ing to be tough com­pe­ti­tion, be­cause Pottsville is usu­ally our big­gest ri­valry,” said se­nior Erica Dono­hue, who won the 100-yard but­ter­fly and 100 breast­stroke and swam on two win­ning re­lays .“We knew we had to step up our game.

“We have a lot of new swim­mers this year, so we tried our best to get them pumped up. We sat down and helped out with the events and picked out who was best at what. We put our best ef­fort for­ward. We were re­ally mo­ti­vated. We’ve been there for each other all week.”

The Ea­gles (5-2, 4-0 SL) also over­came ad­ver­sity, as head coach Sandy En­glert had to spend a few days away from the team due to a fam­ily emer­gency. She gave her girls a ton of credit for Thurs­day’s vic­tory.

“When we heard that Pottsville lost, all the girls were shocked,” En­glert said. “They came into prac­tice the next day and said, ‘They’re not beat­ing us.’

“They’ ve been get­ting to­gether, work­ing with each other and help­ing each other. Please see EA­GLES, Page B4

... They did the lineup for this meet as a team. They did a re­ally good job.”

Blue Moun­tain got a boost early from se­nior Gabby Krause. Swim­ming the anchor leg of Blue Moun­tain’s B re­lay in the 200 med­ley, Krause caught the last swim­mer of North Schuylkill’s B quar­tet over the fi­nal 25 yards with a 28.34 split in the 50 freestyle to give the Ea­gles third place — ba­si­cally a four-point swing.

Three events later, Krause was clocked in 28.27 in the 50 freestyle to pace a Blue Moun­tain sweep of the top three places. The 13-3 event mar­gin pushed the Ea­gles’ lead from 25-21 to 38-24 af­ter four events.

“In the be­gin­ning of the sea­son, Gabby was kind of tak­ing it slow, hav­ing fun and be­ing so­cial,” En­glert said. “About three weeks ago, it clicked for her. She’s been work­ing so hard.

“Af­ter her times against (Schuylkill) Haven, I knew at this meet she was go­ing to achieve what she wanted.”

Dono­hue helped Blue Moun­tain win seven of the last nine events with her two in­di­vid­ual vic­to­ries and by pac­ing Blue Moun­tain’s vic­to­ri­ous 200 freestyle re­lay. Jac­que­line O’Neill cap­tured first in the 100 freestyle, while Leanne Der­rick won div­ing and Mal­lo­rie Duk­men hit the wall first in the 100 back­stroke.

Start­ing with the 50 freestyle, the Ea­gles out­pointed the Spar­tans in seven straight events to pull away.

“(Dono­hue) was tex­ting me all week, ask­ing me where we could win,” En­glert said. “She kept plot­ting it and telling the other kids. She’s stepped up as a se­nior and re­al­ized that this is her last year. She’s been re­ally push­ing the kids.

“She has a nat­u­ral tal­ent. Now that she’s get­ting older, I hope she uses more of it.”

The Spar tans (5-1, 3-1) stayed in the meet early with vic­to­ries by Rylee Bolin­sky (200 freestyle) and Br inn DeAn­gelo (200 IM). Nor th Schuylkill only won two events the rest of the way, how­ever, as Kylie Mal­lams cap­tured the 500 freestyle and the Spar­tans’ 400 freestyle re­lay placed first.

Boys’ Swim­ming Blue Moun­tain 122 Nor th Schuylkill 54

ORWIGSBURG — Mark Bo ran broke the school record in the 100 but­ter­fly and swam on three win­ning re­lays as the Ea­gles tuned up for next week’s first-place show­down at Pottsville with a win over the Spar­tans.

Bo­ran was clocked in 55.35, break­ing Nathanael Marino’s record of 55.73 set in 2015.

Joey An­tolick (200 free, 500 free) and Reg­gie Craw­ford (200 IM, 100 free) were dou­ble-win­ners for North Schuylkill (3-3, 1-3).

ANDY MATSKO/STAFF PHOTO Blue Moun­tain’s Erica Dono­hue swims the breast­stroke por tion of the girls’ 200-yard med­ley re­lay against Nor th Schuylkill on Thurs­day. Blue Moun­tain won 112-68.

ANDY MATSKO/STAFF PHOTO

Nor th Schuylkill’s Reg­gie Craw­ford swims the boys’ 200-yard in­di­vid­ual med­ley dur­ing Thurs­day’s Schuylkill League dual meet at Blue Moun­tain. Craw­ford won a pair of events, but the Spar tans dropped a 122-54 de­ci­sion to the Ea­gles.

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