Bethlehem Press

Friday, December 15, 2017
Press photo by Nancy ScholzRobert Negron was part of Liberty’s winning relay team as well as the 50 free winner. Press photo by Nancy ScholzRobert Negron was part of Liberty’s winning relay team as well as the 50 free winner.

Liberty relay takes first

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

It was barely 10 minutes before the boys’ 200 free relay, when Liberty senior Anthony Delcorso was told he would lead off in the final event of day one’s District XI Class 3A Swimming Championships on Friday night at Parkland High School.

It was also more than a pleasant surprise for Delcorso, who had wanted to medal after missing out in previous years, but would he be able to duplicate that same strong start he had when he competed in the 50 free earlier in the evening?

“I went 22.7 in the 50, so up on the block [for the relay] it was nerve wracking because my time was so good in the 50 free,” Delcorso said.

Coach Reik Foust had not shared the same concern; in fact, Foust was emphatic about Delcorso’s performance.

“He was just so explosive on that start [the 50 free] that I had to start him in the relay,” said Foust.

In the end, and with two seconds to spare, Delcorso, Jase Smith, Jake Evert, and Robert Negron clinched first place with a time of 1:25.36.

“It’s nice, and I’ve wanted this for awhile,” said Delcorso. “I knew it would be close between us and Emmaus.”

The Hornets placed second with a time of 1:36.35.

“We were behind, I think, and then I pulled us ahead by a half body, and you know when Robert jumps in, we’re going to win,” said Evert. “It’s a rush of accomplishment from our work and the work of our coaches.”

Liberty’s first gold medal accomplishment was realized in the first event of Friday evening, the 200 medley relay, when Smith, Chris Chambers, Negron, and Evert combined to win with a time of 1:34.85.

“It was great,” Evert said. “I love winning the medley, and I’m a sophomore and they’re all juniors, so we’ll be even stronger next year.”

Also in the medley relay, Freedom swimmers Colin Burnette, Grayden Hogan, Al Bell, and Brian Seitz tied for fourth place with Southern Lehigh in 1:42.65.

In individual events, Negron won a gold medal in the 50 free in 20.99, and Smith placed fifth in 22.13.

“I didn’t hit the time I was hoping for, but I know I’ll do good in states,” Negron said. “I’m OK with it, I just started a little slow.”

Bell took third place in the 200 IM in 1:59.57, Liberty’s Chase Ledger placed fourth in 2:00.89, and Burnette placed fifth in 2:02.17.

“I was fine with that,” said Bell. “I knew [Emmaus’s] Ethan [Carr] was really fast, but everyone was pushing me there.”

Delcorso, Smith, Chambers, Evert, and Negron will compete at the PIAA State Swimming Championships on March 17-18 at Bucknell University.