Motivated Eagles rout Spar tans
Blue Mountain girls make most of preparation for North Schuylkill
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.
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.