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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts categorized "Swimming/diving"
Posted: July 22nd, 2014

Elliot Spaeder, an assistant coach for Cathedral Prep’s swimming team, successfully crossed Lake Erie on Tuesday.

Spaeder took off from Long Point, Ontario, around 7 a.m. The former swimming standout at Prep and Gannon University arrived 11 hours, 28, minutes, 6 seconds later at North East’s Freeport Beach.

The possibility now exists that two members of the Ramblers’ 2014-15 swimming team could achieve that feat.

Awaiting for Spaeder to arrive Tuesday was Norman Stark, a senior-to-be at Prep.

Stark aborted last Friday’s attempt to complete the same Long Point-to-North East swim that Spaeder after roughly 45 minutes. However, he indicated to Erie Times-News reporter Victor Fernandes that he tentatively plans to try again this Saturday.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 18th, 2014

Cathedral Prep student Norman Stark abandoned his bid to swim across Lake Erie on Friday morning.

Stark, a senior-to-be for the Ramblers’ aquatics program, ended his attempt roughly 45 minutes after he took off from Long Point, Ontario, around 7:30 a.m. Josh Heynes, who followed Stark in a kayak, reported the 17-year old experienced seasickness because of 1 to 2-foot rolling waves.

Heynes, who swam from Long Point to North East’s Freeport Beach in 2006 and 2011, holds the course record for that popular route at 11 hours, 16 minutes.

Stark reported he will make a second attempt at conquering Lake Erie on Aug. 1. He still plans to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 5th, 2014

During the 10 years since District 10 realigned into regions, the Erie Times-News has been selecting athletes of the year in each District 10 sport.

Here’s a look at all of the winter athletes of the year during the past decade: (Check out a decade of fall athletes Sunday on the Varsity blog. The D-10 spring athletes were posted Friday.)

Boys basketball
2004-05: Cory Knight, Cathedral Prep
2005-06: David Jackson, Kennedy Catholic
2006-07: Shawn Walker, General McLane
2007-08: Shawn Walker, General McLane
2008-09: Kyle Randall, Kennedy Catholic
2009-10: Josh Chojnacki, Mercyhurst Prep
2010-11: Adam Blazek, Cathedral Prep
2011-12: Sheldon Zablotny, Cathedral Prep
2012-13: Jaymon Mason, General McLane
2013-14: Trey Staunch, West Middlesex

Girls basketball
2004-05: Carrie Nolan, Girard
2005-06: Jence Rhoads, Slippery Rock
2006-07: Jence Rhoads, Slippery Rock
2007-08: Kirsten Olowinski, Mercyhurst Prep
2008-09: Kayla McBride, Villa Maria
2009-10: Kayla McBride, Villa Maria
2010-11: Lisa Mifsud, Villa Maria
2011-12: Lisa Mifsud, Villa Maria
2012-13: Alex Artise, North East
2013-14: Nikki Arbanas, Hickory

Wrestling
2004-05: Pat Bradshaw, Saegertown
2005-06: Adam Farrell, Fort LeBoeuf
2006-07: Kellen Harris, Sharon, and Steve Waite, Fort LeBoeuf
2007-08: Jordan Moss, Sharon
2008-09: Caleb Kolb, Grove City
2009-10: Steve Spearman, McDowell
2010-11: Mason Beckman, Reynolds
2011-12: Steve Spearman, McDowell
2012-13: Austin Matthews, Reynolds
2013-14: Sam Breese, Lakeview

Boys swimming and diving
2004-05: Billy Bauman, Cathedral Prep
2005-06: Tommy VanVolkenburg, Cathedral Prep
2006-07: Tommy Van Volkenburg, Cathedral Prep
2007-08: Jared Heine, Corry
2008-09: Joseph Stark Cathedral Prep
2009-10: Danny Roberts, Fairview
2010-11: Danny Roberts, Fairview
2011-12: Richard “R.J.” Petrella, Fairview
2012-13: Phil Emerson, Franklin
2013-14: Phil Emerson, Franklin and Brent Benedict, Corry

Girls swimming and diving
2004-05: Margo Ekstrom, McDowell
2005-06: Margo Ekstrom, McDowell
2006-07: Kelsey Herbst McDowell
2007-08: Caitlin Lehberger, Wilmington
2008-09: Marie Georger, Mercyhurst Prep
2009-10: Marie Georger, Mercyhurst Prep
2010-11: Marie Georger, Mercyhurst Prep
2011-12: Marie Georger, Mercyhurst Prep
2012-13: Lauren Barber, Wilmington
2013-14: Lauren Barber, Wilmington

Posted: April 27th, 2014

Two District 10 swimmers from western Erie County were back on starting blocks Sunday.

Fairview senior Corban Murphey and Girard junior Delaney Drushel recorded the fastest male and female times for the age 16-to-19 divisions for the opening leg of the 32nd annual Highmark Quad Games. Participants took part in a 100-yard swim at Edinboro University’s McComb Fieldhouse natatorium.

Murphey was timed at 57.77 seconds for his two laps, while Drushel finished hers in 1:01.53.

– Mike Copper

Posted: March 19th, 2014

The final breakout poll of the winter ended with two swimmers that performed well at Bucknell this past week. Corry’s Brent Benedict won two state titles and was named the outstanding swimmer of the meet. He won the boys poll, while Fairview up-and-coming freshman Abby German won the girls poll.

Click below for the complete poll results.
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Posted in: Swimming/diving
Posted: March 15th, 2014

Lauren Barber defended as the state’s best Class AA female swimmer in the 100-yard breaststroke. The Wilmington junior, competing as an independent because her school has no pool or program, won back-to-back titles in that event with a championship-final time of 1:03.05.

Corry’s Brent Benedict was named the outstanding male swimmer at the conclusion of Saturday’s PIAA Class AA meet.

District 10 went 1-2 in the championship final of the boys’ 100-yard backstroke. Corry’s Brent Benedict, one day after becoming the Beavers’ first PIAA swimming champ of any kind in 20 years, added a second gold medal in his specialty. Benedict returned in PIAA record 48.69 seconds. Mercyhurst Prep rival Griffin Schaetzle was second at 49.86. Schaetzle sought to become the Lakers’ first male swimming champ at the state level.

Franklin senior Phil Emerson won the boys’ 100-yard freestyle for the third consecutive season with a time of 45.65 seconds. The gold medal was the sixth overall for the University of Kentucky recruit and fifth as an individual sprinter for the Knights. Emerson repeated as the state’s 50 free titlist Friday night.

Updates of District 10 entrants from Saturday’s PIAA Class AA swimming and diving meet at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. The top eight in each event will receive medals.

Because the media center is not immediately adjacent to Kinney Natatorium, updates will only be provided at the end of each preliminary and championship session. However, posts will be made as soon as possible if a district entrant places first or second in a championship race.

– Mike Copper

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Posted: March 14th, 2014

Wilmington junior Lauren Barber was the silver medalist to Courtney Harnish’s record-setting performance in the final of the girls’ 200-yard freestyle. Barber returned in 1:47.32, but was more than one second slower than the West York freshman. Harnish, who was seeded first going into Friday morning’s preliminaries, set a new PIAA standard with her time of 1:45.91.

The Franklin boys’ 200-yard freestyle relay, consisting of Douglas Merchbaker, Connor Virgile, Isaac Cooke and anchor Phil Emerson, combined for a second-place time of 1:27.97. District 11 Salisbury knocked off the Knights with a low time of 1:27.56.

Brent Benedict became Corry’s first PIAA swimming champion of any kind in 20 years with his victory in the boys’ 100-yard butterfly. Benedict’s time of 48.57 seconds was .01 off tying the state record set by York Suburban’s Kevin Marsteller in 2009.

Franklin sprinter Phil Emerson repeated as the boys’ 50-yard freestyle gold medalist. The University of Kentucky recruit went down and back in 20.61 seconds, only .04 away from tying the state record set by Daniel Gosek of Holy Ghost Prep in 2011.

Mercyhurst Prep’s Griffin Schaetzle (backstroke), John Mackowski (breaststroke), Joseph Swanson (butterfly) and Ryan Campbell (freestyle) were the silver medalists for the boys’ 200-yard medley relay (1:37.08). District 3 Trinity edged the Lakers with a time of 1:36.99 in the championship final.

Updates of District 10 entrants from Friday’s PIAA Class AA swimming and diving meet at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. The top eight in each event will receive medals.

Because the media center is not immediately adjacent to Kinney Natatorium, updates will only be provided at the end of each preliminary and championship session. However, posts will be made as soon as possible if a district entrant places first or second in a championship race.

– Mike Copper

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Posted: March 13th, 2014

Updates of District 10 entrants from Thursday’s PIAA Class AAA swimming and diving meet at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. The top eight in each event will receive medals.

Because the media center is not immediately adjacent to Kinney Natatorium, updates will only be provided at the end of each preliminary and championship session. However, posts will be made as soon as possible if a district entrant places first or second in a championship race.

– Mike Copper

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Posted: March 12th, 2014

Updates of District 10 entrants from Wednesday’s PIAA Class AAA swimming and diving meet at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. The top eight in each event will receive medals.

Because the media center is not immediately adjacent to Kinney Natatorium, updates will only be provided at the end of each preliminary and championship session. However, posts will be made as soon as possible if a district entrant places first or second in a championship race.

– Mike Copper

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 5th, 2014

The PIAA released the psych sheets today for PIAA Class AA and Class AAA swimming and diving championships next week at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. A total of 32 individuals will compete in each event while 24 teams will compete in each relay. Following are the top seeds and all District 10 qualifiers: (DuBois is included because it qualified through the District 10 meet.)

CLASS AAA GIRLS

200-yard medley relay: 1. North Allegheny 1:42.97; 24. McDowell 1:54.59.

200 freestyle: 1. Monica Sowinski, Latrobe 1:50.45; 32. Abby Spicher, McDowell 2:04.00.

200 individual medley: 1. Meaghan Raab, Hershey 1:59.07; 32. Mary Wassell, McDowell 2:19.91.

50 freestyle: 1. Katie Ford, Mount Lebanon 23.21; 30. Gabrielle Wayne, DuBois 24.70.

Diving: 1. Maria Lohman, Chartiers Valley 540.15; 24. Brennan McMillen, DuBois 356.10.

100 butterfly: 1. Kayla Churman, North Allegheny 54.86; 32. Heather Sternby, Meadville 1:03.40.

100 freestyle: 1. Katie Ford, Mount Lebanon 50.63; 31. Gabrielle Wayne, DuBois 53.70.

500 freestyle: 1. Sabrina Mortell, Cumberland Valley 4:54.31; 32. Mary Wassell, McDowell 5:28.54

200 freestyle relay: 1. North Allegheny 1:35.28; 24. DuBois 1:44.12.

100 backstroke: 1. Jacquelyn Du, North Allegheny 54.20; 30. Mackenzie Webber, Meadville 1:01.08.

100 breaststroke: 1. Katie Fernander, Hampton 1:03.20; 31. Jessica Cauley, McDowell 1:08.81.

400 freestyle relay: 1. Hershey 3:26.03; 23. McDowell 3:46.33.

 

CLASS AAA BOYS

200 medley relay: 1. Upper St. Clair 1:31.77; 7. Cathedral Prep 1:34.76; 11. McDowell 1:36.48.

200 freestyle: 1. Jake Sannem, LaSalle 1:39.75; 17. Robert Fenstermacher, DuBois 1:43.07.

200 individual medley: 1. Michael Thomas, Hatboro-Horsham 1:48.21; 28. Rex Riley, Cathedral Prep 1:57.22.

50 freestyle: 1. Ed Zawatski, Wyoming Valley West 20.80; 29. Zach Miller, Cathedral Prep 21.89.

Diving: 1. Ian Forlini, William Tennent 546.70; 22. Francis Kloecker, Cathedral Prep 382.25.

100 butterfly: 1. Ryan Dudzinski, Upper St. Clair 48.13; 16. Reid Morrison, Cathedral Prep 51.31.

100 freestyle: 1. Brian Lovasik, North Hills 45.36.

500 freestyle: 1. Sam Magnan, Freedom 4:30.10; 30. Robert Fenstermacher, DuBois 4:48.00.

200 freestyle relay: 1. Upper St. Clair 1:23.73; 9. Cathedral Prep 1:26.55.

100 backstroke: 1. Michael Thomas, Hatboro-Horsham 47.56; 4. Jonathan Ekas, McDowell 51.03.

100 breaststroke: 1. Michael McBryan, LaSalle College 55.93; 7. Rex Riley, Cathedral Prep 57.51; 20. Joe Marin, Cathedral Prep 59.22; 31. Bennett Steber, Warren 1:00.08.

400 freestyle relay: 1. Upper St. Clair 3:03.63; 13. Cathedral Prep 3:11.27.
CLASS AA GIRLS

200-yard medley relay: 1. Villa Maria Academy (District 1) 1:47.64; 3. Fairview 1:48.92; 11. Villa Maria (D-10) 1:51.96; 19. Grove City 1:53.75.

200 freestyle: 1. Courtney Harnish, West York 1:47.16; 2. Lauren Barber, Wilmington 1:48.50; 20. Devin Javens, Hickory 1:57.49; 22. Kendall Sundberg, Fairview 1:57.90.

200 individual medley: 1. Allie Szekely, GMA 2:01.69; 15. Abby German, Fairview 2:14.55; 17. Stephanie Loesch, Fairview 2:15.06; 23. Kelsey Urban, Harbor Creek 2:16.33.

50 freestyle: 1. Emily Zimcosky, Geibel 23.13; 14. Hannah Feucht, North East 24.53; 28. Emma Allison, Fairview 25.27.

Diving: 1. McKenzie Stelter, Mohawk 459.15; 4. Maggie Stebick, Union City 431.85; 19. Lindsay Smykowski, Fairview 328.20; 23. Katrina Amann-Ross, Harbor Creek 310.75; 27. Olivia Brown, Harbor Creek 296.40.

100 butterfly: 1. Rebecca Luft, Northern 56.43; 4. Molly Phillips, Mercyhurst Prep 58.15; 12. Abigail Parsons, Slippery Rock 59.24; 17. Meghan Terwilliger, Grove City 59.71.

100 freestyle: 1. Emily Zimcosky, Geibel 50.75; 14. Devin Javens, Hickory 53.74; 21. Katelyn Steigerwald, Franklin 54.39; 22. Kendall Sundberg, Fairview 54.45.

500 freestyle: 1. Courtney Harnish, West York 4:44.62; 21. Molly Phillips, Mercyhurst Prep 5:18.70; 31. Delaney Takoch, Hickory 5:22.57.

200 freestyle relay: 1. Villa Maria Academy (District 1) 1:37.32; 3. Fairview 1:38.29; 20. Franklin 1:43.48.

100 backstroke: 1. Allie Szekely, GMA 55.26; 7. Rachel Taylor, Fairview 58.28; 8. Hannah Feucht, North East 58.31; 11. Kathleen Lynch, Villa Maria (D-10) 59.03; 26. Abigail Parsons, Slippery Rock 1:01.37.

100 breaststroke: 1. Lauren Barber, Wilmington 1:03.94; 8. Abby German, Fairview 1:06.79; 24. Stephanie Loesch, Fairview 1:09.51; 29. Kimmi Wendelschaefer, Grove City 1:10.19.

400 freestyle relay: 1. Villa Maria Academy (District 1) 3:32.67; 11. Fairview 3:41.44; 18. Villa Maria (D-10) 3:44.30.

 

CLASS AA BOYS

200-yard medley relay: 1. Grove City 1:39.00; 2. Mercyhurst Prep 1:39.18; 6. Fairview 1:39.77.

200 freestyle: 1. Matthew Leenhouts, Fleetwood 1:41.58; 8. Griffin Schaetzle, Mercyhurst Prep 1:45.55; 20. Connor Virgile, Franklin 1:48.39; 25. Shane Kaliszewski, Iroquois 1:48.94.

200 individual medley: 1. Christopher Georgiadis, Mars 1:55.14; 12. John Mackowski, Mercyhurst Prep 2:00.44; 16. Corban Murphey, Fairview 2:01.83; 24. Ryan Elsey, Hickory 2:03.86.

50 freestyle: 1. Phil Emerson, Franklin 20.82; 3. Austin Wilson, Grove City 21.36; 5. Jay Bleday, Titusville 21.60.
Diving: 1. Bradley Buchter, Trinity 528.05; 3. Hunter Scott, Harbor Creek 495.60; 8. Hunter Truitt, General McLane 441.10; 10. Mike Allison, General McLane 433.05; 15. Stefan Kaliszuk, Harbor Creek 403.60.

100 butterfly: 1. Brent Benedict, Corry 50.25; 12. Ian Miller, Fairview 53.91; 16. Devon Pettit, Titusville 54.36.

100 freestyle: 1. Phil Emerson, Franklin 45.88; 12. Austin Wilson, Grove City 48.41; 19. Jay Bleday, Titusville 48.97; 26. Shane Kaliszewski, Iroquois 49.21.

500 freestyle: 1. Drew Damich, Chartiers Valley 4:35.88; 22. Ryan Campbell, Mercyhurst Prep 4:59.27; 28. Michael Geary, Mercyhurst Prep 5:02.77; 29. Dylan Cerroni, Sharon 5:02.96.

200 freestyle relay: 1. Salisbury 1:27.36; 5. Franklin 1:28.85; 11. Fairview 1:30.77; 22. Titusville 1:32.57

100 backstroke: 1. Brent Benedict, Corry 50.24; 2. Griffin Schaetzle, Mercyhurst Prep 51.53; 19. Ian Miller, Fairview 54.90; 22. Connor Virgile, Franklin 55.44.

100 breaststroke: 1. Ian Smith, Upper Moreland 58.42; 4. Corban Murphey, Fairview 1:00.37; 5. Thomas Somora, Grove City 1:00.41; 22. Ryan Elsey, Hickory 1:02.17

400 freestyle relay: 1. Salisbury 3:12.66; 5. Franklin 3:14.64; 17. Mercyhurst Prep 3:22.31; 19. Grove City 3:22.78.

Posted: March 1st, 2014

Swimming updates from Saturday’s District 10 meet at Penn State Behrend’s Junker Center natatorium. The Class AAA session starts at 9:30 a.m. and the Class AA session at 2 p.m.

The first-place swimmers in Class AAA and first- and second-place swimmers in Class AA advance to the PIAA meet, scheduled March 12-15 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg.

Earlier updates will appear in the previous entry section.

– Mike Copper

* Phil Emerson, despite persistently sore shoulders, anchored Franklin’s 400 free relay to a district record of 3:14.64. The Knights’ win concluded this weekend’s district action at Behrend.

* The last girls title for the Class AA meet goes to Fairview, which won the 400 free relay in 3:41.44.

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