Hanover wins title
The Hanover Stingrays swim team were perhaps more prepared for championships than they knew, and when the final results were tallied on July 22 at Soleco, Hanover took first place with a total of 1182 points, followed by Quakertown with 1105 points, Soleco with 1029 points, and Macungie with 1021 points.
Ironically, Hanover lost to Quakertown and Macungie during the regular summer swim season, to Quakertown by a lot and to Macungie by a little, but three things happened since that time.
“During the summer, we tell the kids to go on vacation if they want to. If they miss meets, that’s fine, but we had everyone at championships, and when we have everybody, we’re a force to be reckoned with,” said Hanover head coach Evan Kocon.
“Every relay dropped time. Our relays were killer. And we’re fortunate that we’re very deep in our opens. Robert [Negron] and Jake [Evert] are pretty much freaks of nature when they swim, so I was able to pull Robert off a relay, Jake off a relay, and then we could score more points in individuals.”
In girls’ relays, Audrey Bloss-Ferry, Tegan Evans, Scarlet Posavek, Leah Onia, and Addison Giesler won the 8 & under 100 free in 1:23.40. Mattie Baluta, Natalie Brezinsky, Katie Bruno, Chloe Posavek, and Bailey Barker won the 9-10 100 medley in 1:19.06.
Initially seeded in fourth place, Sarah Park, Morgan Muller, Monica Bruno, Sydney Taylor, Georgia Kounoupis pulled out a first place finish in the 11-12 100 medley in 1:07.69.
“That was huge for them and for the team,” Kocon said.
Anna Lehr, Natalie Richardson, Samantha Taylor, Kendra Smith, and Sabrina Kratzer won the 13 & over 200 medley in 2:09.59, and Onia, Brezinsky, Talia Lehr, Park, and Richardson won the 200 free crescendo in 2:05.28.
In boys’ relays, Michael Kounoupis, Chase Lewis, David Gabrielle, Gavin Bailey, and Evan Rice took first in the 9-10 100 medley in 1:22.92, and Jase Smith, Chris Chambers, Chase Ledger, Evert, and Negron were first in the 13 & over 200 medley in 1:53.33.
Second place points were won by Danny Lehr, Gianni Morales, Colin Wycherley, Umut Akus, and Bryce Bailey in the 11-12 100 medley in 1:10.63.
“We held the lead almost all day, but we knew, in the fly especially, we weren’t seeded as well in the afternoon as we were in the morning,” said Kocon. “In the free, we had a bunch of 8 & under kids who couldn’t swim in the beginning of the year, but once the little kids hit the free, I thought we were probably going to do this.”
Individual winners in the fly were Onia in 21.63, Gabrielle in 16.63, and Negron in 26.08. Winners of the free were Gianni Morales in 31.40, Evert in 54.39, and Negron in 23.58.
“Gianni Morales, he was seeded sixth, and I really worked with him, and just in a week or two, he won,” said Kocon.
Individual winners in the breaststroke were Onia in 25.31, Richardson in 36.85, Chambers in 31.77, and Samantha Taylor in 1:11.08.
Individual winners in the backstroke were Bloss-Ferry in 24.53 and Park in 34.59.
“I had high hopes; the only meet where we had everyone was Soleco, and we won, so that gave me a pretty good idea, but Quakertown is always just loaded with little kids,” Kocon said. “The morning was a little stressful, but then everything just clicked. I was exceptionally pleased with the little kids. It was a great day.”