Bethlehem Press

Friday, March 24, 2017
Press photo by Nancy ScholzJulia McCarthy was the top female swimmer at districts. Press photo by Nancy ScholzJulia McCarthy was the top female swimmer at districts.

Julia McCarthy named outstanding swimmer

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 by Katie McDonald kmcdonald@tnonline.com in Sports

Winning a gold medal in the 100 breaststroke at the District XI Class 3A Swimming Championships was something Liberty senior Julia McCarthy had her eye on since her freshman year.

“It’s something I just really wanted to do,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy clinched that gold medal in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:05.57 on day two of districts last Saturday afternoon at Parkland High School.

“The whole race, with every stroke, I was telling myself to keep going. The breaststroke is really painful,” said McCarthy. “I had the same mentality [as the 200 IM], and I just wanted a good end to my senior year.”

Soon afterward, McCarthy was presented with the Dennis McGinley Award for being the most outstanding female swimmer at the district meet.

“I was kind of wow,” McCarthy said. “I didn’t expect it.”

In other individual events, Hurricane teammates Anna Lehr placed third in the 500 free in 5:15.37, and Kay Wetmore placed fifth in 5:22.83. Freedom senior Rileigh Ellis came in sixth place in 5:22.89.

In the 100 free, Freedom senior Reilly Ward placed third with a time of 54.79, and Liberty junior Kendra Smith came in fifth in 55.09.

Ward also won a fifth place medal in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:10.18.

Day two also resulted in a silver medal for Liberty’s 400 free relay team of Smith, Samantha Taylor, Abby Mack, and Lehr with a time of 3:39.96.

“I thought we did great,” said Liberty coach Reik Foust. “Most people didn’t think our girls would do as well as they did, but our girls swam out of their minds. With the boys, we sort of knew that they would do well, but it was really great to see our girls step up and perform.”

Foust also noted that two freshman girls from Liberty, Taylor and Mack, qualified for districts this year.

“Abby didn’t know what to feel, but she’s a gamer, and I’ve known that a long time,” said Foust, regarding her anchor in the 200 free relay. “Abby, Kendra, and Natalie [Richardson] had great swims in the 50, but I just had this feeling Abby would be stellar, and she was.”

Both Taylor and Mack medaled more than once at districts.

In final team scores, Liberty’s girls placed third, Emmaus placed second, and Parkland placed first.