By a fingertip

By on January 4, 2017

 WHS girls edge Township 92-91 for the first time in ‘decades’

Warwick senior Emma Schouten earns the second of her two individual wins in Tuesday’s victory over Manheim Township, swimming to a first-place finish in the girls 500 freestyle in a time of 5:14.25. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Warwick senior Emma Schouten earns the second of her two individual wins in Tuesday’s victory over Manheim Township, swimming to a first-place finish in the girls 500 freestyle in a time of 5:14.25. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Swim angry.

That was the approach senior Emma Schouten and her teammates on the Warwick girls swim team had going into the 400 free relay Tuesday night.

Leading 88-81 against Manheim Township in their Section One opener, all the Lady Warriors needed was no worse than a second-place finish to lock up a long-awaited victory over their back-yard rivals.

“Tyler Mandrell just came off the 100 backstroke,” Schouten said, “she was exhausted, but we were still a team.”

And when the foursome of freshman Brina Uhlin, juniors Maya Hartzler and Mandrell, and Schouten touched the wall in 3:45.70, Warwick (4-0 overall, 1-0 L-L) had its second-place finish.

And a down-to-the-wire, heart-pounding 92-91 victory at Ken Barshinger Natatorium in Neffsville.

“It’s been decades, let’s put it that way,” Warwick coach Mark Daum said, talking about the last time the Lady Warriors have knocked off Township.

“Right away, after the 400 free relay, it was just happy tears,” Schouten smiled. “It’s so exciting, and the fact that (Township) had the diving points and we still came out by one point … nothing better.”

Indeed, the Township girls and boys each pocketed 13 points from a diving event which included no Warrior competitors. The result was that the Lady Streaks erased a 36-26 deficit and went up 39-36, while the MT boys turned a 32-30 hole into a 36-32 advantage.

The Blue Streaks went on to earn a 92-84 decision in the boys meet, handing the Warriors (0-1 L-L, 3-1 overall) their first loss of the season.

“I am so proud of those kids,” Daum said. “What they had to overcome … I mean, I don’t know what sport you start off 13-0 in. And we made up 13 points and they did it. All the credit to them. They were pushed and they rose to the occasion … That’s as close as you can get, obviously. You can’t get a fingernail in between there.”

After the WHS foursome of Mandrell, Emma Oberholtzer, Ober, and Katie Oberholtzer took the 200 medley relay in 1:51.74, Schouten picked up the first of her two individual wins, touching the wall first the 200 free in 1:57.63, with Anna Lance picking up a third (2:06.41), to make it 19-11.

Then when Ober recorded the first of her two individual golds, finishing tops in the 200 Individual Medley (2:09.86), and Emma Oberholtzer took the 50 free in 25.44 seconds, the Warwick girls extended their lead to 36-26. Overall, the Lady Warriors took first in seven of 11 contested events.

The 10-point advantage evaporated, however, in the diving competition, with Township’s Shannon O’Hara winning with 153 1/2 points and helping her squad pull in front 39-36.

Lady Blue Streak Amy Yunginger, who later claimed the 100 backstroke in a pool record 59.49 seconds, grabbed the 100 fly in 57.74 seconds and Paige Newman was victorious in the 100 free (54.81), barely ahead of Mandrell (55.14), as Township clung to a 55-52 edge.

But Schouten’s win in the 500 free (5:14.25), coupled with Lance’s bronze (5:27.85), pushed the Lady Warriors back in front to stay, 62-61.

“I felt good,” Schouten said. “I just need to get out and hold my pace … Going into that 500 free, we knew we had to get work done and Anna and I both knew at Leagues last year, we went 1-2 and we knew we could do some damage again.”

They did more damage in the 200 free relay, thanks to the first-place efforts of Katie Oberholtzer, Ober, Emma Oberholtzer and Schouten (1:41.62), and although Yunginger took the 100 back, Mandrell (1:01.56) and Brina Uhlin (1:04.05) went 2-3 in that event, as Warwick maintained a 77-76 edge with two events left.

That set the stage for the 100 breaststroke, where Ober touched the wall first in 1:07.46, Emma Oberholtzer (1:11.85) added a third, and Ella Schnupp picked up two key fourth-place points.

Asked if she felt some pressure, Ober said, “Yes, I did, but it’s a good pressure. I just wanted to do the best I could just to get as many points as I could. I felt pretty well. A little tired at the end.”

“I knew when the breaststrokers were done,” Daum said, “they had scored enough points to get us to the last relay race so we only needed second instead of first. So I knew we were in good shape barring a false start going into that last relay.”

Township won the event behind Newman, Eva Salembier, Morgan Wylie-Thal, and Yunginger.

But for the Warwick girls, there was no false start. Only tears of joy.

“Amazing,” Ober said. “We really just wanted to get every point that we could, even if it was the one point, like it was. That one point decides meets.”

Just as it did this time.

“I’ve never experienced a meet like this,” Schouten added. “I’ve been around high school swimming since my brother (Colin competed), so 12 years and I’ve never seen a meet this close.”

“Swimming them every year gives us a big push,” Ober said, “but it’s so much fun swimming them because we know most of them from our club teams and stuff. It’s just a good push.”

The Warwick boys, too, gave a good push. Trailing 47-37 after the 100 fly and 55-45 following the 100 freestyle, they rallied, as Cade Uhlin (5:03.36) and Ryan Hohman (5:10.15) went 1-2 in the 500 free, the 200 free relay (Colin Sensenich, Reid Harpel, Adam Deckard, Keir Uhlin) took first in 1:33.01, and then Joe Moll (53.47) and Oliver Lance (54.49) finished 1-2 in the 100 backstroke, tying things at 73-all.

“I’m just proud of all our kids,” Daum said, “our girls and our boys, and many of those kids swim with our (Five Star) Club on Township, so I’m proud of kids in all lanes, one through six.”

MT regained the lead by sweeping the top three spots in the 100 breaststroke, led by Alexander Paparo (1:04.51), and then Warwick’s Moll, Hohman, Cade and Keir Uhlin combined to win the 400 free relay (3:23.69), but it wasn’t enough.

In the end, the Warriors took first in six of 11 events. Keir Uhlin was a double winner in the 100 free (49.40) and 200 free (1:49.81), and Moll added a second win in the 200 IM (2:00.76).

“We just ran out of gas there at the end,” Daum said. “But I think of the 11 contested events &tstr; not counting diving &tstr; we won at least half.”


One Comment

  1. Nancy Brenton

    January 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    “Indeed, the Township girls and boys each pocketed 13 points from a diving event.”

    Take a look at the math again. With only one male diver, Township won 6 points, not 13 from diving. You say so in the next sentence: “While the MT boys turned a 32-30 hole into a 36-32 advantage”, ie, they went up from 30 to 36 after the diving.
    Township boys won without the diving points with final score being 92-84, a difference of 8.

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