L-L Champs! Warwick girls capture 22 medals while winning first League title

By on February 15, 2017
Senior Emma Schouten reacts to Warwick’s strong showing in the 500 yard freestyle race. In addition to Schouten’s gold, senior Anna Lance captured bronze and junior Allison Wyand earned the fifth place medal. Photo by Mike Shull

Senior Emma Schouten reacts to Warwick’s strong showing in the 500 yard freestyle race. In addition to Schouten’s gold, senior Anna Lance captured bronze and junior Allison Wyand earned the fifth place medal. Photo by Mike Shull

Hours prior to the L-L League Girls Swimming Championships last Thursday, Warwick’s Emma Schouten and Lauryn Ober got themselves psyched during breakfast.

“We just talked about, ‘We’ve got to do this,’” Schouten recalled.

Do it, the Warwick girls swimmers certainly did.

The newly-minted Section One champs added some more hardware to the trophy case by claiming their first-ever L-L championship at the Lititz recCenter, winning seven gold medals and scoring 158 total points while snapping Manheim Township’s seven-year hold on the title. The Lady Streaks were second with 102 points.

Along the way, Schouten shattered the L-L record (1:04.75, held by former Warwick star Emily Cameron since 2010), and the meet and pool marks en route to gold in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.61, with Ober taking silver in that event in 1:05.95.

Ober, meanwhile, also claimed gold in the 200 Individual Medley in 2:06.65, breaking the L-L Meet record of 2:07.43, held by Hempfield’s Katie Reifenstahl since 2005.

And the 400 free relay &tstr; comprised of Catherine Chen, Tyler Mandrell, Ober and Schouten &tstr; broke the L-L, meet and pool records with a gold-medal winning time of 3:35.87.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said Schouten, who also took first in the 500 free (5:04.81) and 200 medley relay (1:47.60). “(Coach) Mark (Daum) was on Cloud Nine tonight. I think honestly every time we swim, we’re like, ‘We’ve got to do it for Mark Daum.’ He’s awesome.”

Actually, Daum was just glad that his team wasn’t hexed after officially clinching the Section crown with a 112-58 win on Jan. 31.

“(Athletic Director) Ryan (Landis) didn’t jinx me because at the end of the Cedar Crest meet, he had some (proof) for the banner that’s going to hang in the gym,” Daum smiled. “He said I hope you’re not superstitious, but he put Section champs and League champs on it.”

To become League champs, they had to overcome what Daum called a “lights out” performance by Manheim Township, led by Amy Yunginger’s gold in the 100 butterfly (57.37).

“It took our kids to rise to the occasion and they did,” Daum remarked. “Our kids swam lights out too. That was the meet of their lives as far as the team that came together. Definitely a highlight in the history of Warwick swimming.”

Speaking of lights out, the Warwick’s 200 medley relay &tstr; Mandrell, Ober, Emma Oberholtzer and Schouten &tstr; were exactly that, touching the wall in 1:47.60 for gold in the opening event.

“I knew out of the gate they were on,” Daum said. “Sometimes they fade, but they didn’t.”

Added Schouten: “We said, ‘This (medley relay) sets the tone. Everyone will feed off of this event and it was one best time after another.’ It just kept coming. It was a lot of fun.”

Ober and Mandrell each finished with three gold medals, as the Lady Warriors swept top honors in all three relay events.

The 200 I.M. was where Ober captured an individual win, pulling away from Manheim Township’s Griffin Relford to touch the wall in 2:06.65. Relford was runner-up in 2:11.63.

Coming off her medley relay split which was close to her PR, Ober was pleased.

“Very happy, especially with the medley,” she said. “My time, I never would have thought I’d have been able to do that at this point in the season. It was, like, .10 off my best ever, so I’m really happy with that.”

That gave Warwick a 40-38 lead, and they added to it in the 50 free, where Mandrell picked up a silver medal in 24.40 seconds, just behind Donegal’s Jenna Park, who took top honors in 24.16.

Later, Mandrell claimed a gold in the 100 back, to go with two firsts in the medley and 400 free relays.

In all, Warwick captured 22 total medals, capitalizing on their depth with place-finishes from 12 different swimmers &tstr; Chen, Maya Hartzler, Anna Lance, Mandrell, Ober, Emma and Katie Oberholtzer, Ella Schnupp, Schouten, Morgan Stuhltrager, Brina Uhlin, Allison Wyand.

“Maya Hartzler, lifetime best time, Anna Lance, lifetime best time in the 200 free,” Daum said. “Morgan Stuhltrager, a freshman that came out of nowhere and got third in the 100 fly. Every single kid contributed to this. You can’t say it was just the kids who were at the top of the psych sheet. It was top to bottom, every single kid won this and they all deserve the credit.”

Stuhltrager’s bronze in the 100 fly (1:01.98) was sandwiched between Uhlin’s silver medal (58.43) and Hartzler’s fourth-place finish (1:02.45), as the Lady Warriors opened up a commanding 20-point lead over Manheim Township, 67-47.

After Hempfield’s Sophie Lear edged Cocalico’s Morgan Haines in the 100 free, Warwick took gold in the final five events to win going away.

Schouten started the run with a winning time of 5:04.81 in the 500 free, nearly 11 seconds ahead of runner-up Paige Newman (5:15.73), of MT, and then the foursome of Chen, Uhlin, Katie and Emma Oberholtzer took the 200 free relay in 1:41.42.

Mandrell’s gold in the 100 backstroke (58.50) was next, and that set the stage for a Schouten (1:04.61) and Ober (1:05.95) placing 1-2 in the 100-yard breaststroke. Schouten’s finish, of course, was one for the record books.

“Just instant happiness,” Schouten said of her reaction. “I looked at Mark and said, ‘Oh my goodness, we just went 1-2. We did it again.’ Then I realized, I just got Emily Cameron.”

Asked if they were feeding off each other in that event, Ober said, “Always.”

For Schouten, breaking the 100 breaststroke record has been a goal for a long time.

“Since, like, freshman year and this is my last time swimming in this pool, so I was like, I have to do it and I just gave it my all,” Schouten remarked. “It’s hard to swim the 100 breaststroke after 500 free, but it was fun.”

Thank goodness for Schouten and her 400 free relay teammates &tstr; Chen, Mandrell and Ober &tstr; that they had a quick break for awards prior to their final event. Following the break, all they did was step up with a record-breaking performance, touching the wall in 3:35.87, more than a second ahead of Manheim Township (3:40.26).

“We were seeded a little bit behind everyone else,” Ober said, “and we were just like, ‘OK, we’ve just got to keep it up.’ We didn’t let up … All of that was just adrenaline. It was nice that there was a break, but it was still tiring.”

“I think we were swimming on emotion,” Schouten said. “Definitely adrenaline was pushing there.”

It was the perfect ending to the Warwick girls’ first-ever L-L League championship.

“The 400 free relay was the exclamation point,” Daum said. “Just an absolutely sensational meet and then they went and did that. It was beyond words what they did tonight. I would have never dreamed it, expected it, predicted it. I knew we were looking good, but it worked out they were just sensational.”

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