Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Depth Gives Eagles Edge

As if facing rival Ephrata in a meet that opened the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two girls’ swimming season wasn’t enough, Cocalico had something extra on Tuesday afternoon at the Ephrata Rec Center.

And it showed in the first swim of the opening event, the 200-yard medley relay, when sophomore Sophie Guthridge returned from injury and entered the water for the backstroke leg.

“Just the mental edge to have her lead off that medley relay and start us off with a lead,” was how Eagles coach Matt Woods described it. “I know she was really happy to be competing again.

“It’s a spark emotionally for our kids because she’s a girl who is extremely competitive and extremely into it and something that kind of rubs off on other girls. Plus, she’s a great swimmer, so of course you want her back in the lineup.”

Guthridge helped Cocalico win that relay, teaming with Morgan Haines, Madison Vanaskie and Ashley Zimmerman. Although the Mountaineers took first and second in the following event, the Eagles won all but two of the final nine events and went on to post a 95-75 victory.

Haines and Lydia Bearinger helped lead the way with a pair of individual wins and were on a pair of first-place relays.

After Ephrata cut the Eagles’ lead to 16-14, Haines won the 200 individual medley in 2:19.26 and Bearinger followed by scoring the 50 freestyle in 25.93, which combined with Zimmerman’s second place finish put Cocalico up 37-25.

Expecting a close meet, Bearinger said depth in the Eagles’ younger swimmers was a difference maker.

“I was really happy with how I did, and how my team did. They all really picked it up,” the senior said. “The first and seconds are great, but the fourth and fifth places, we really needed that.”

After Guthridge won the 100 butterfly (57.43), Bearinger notched the 100 free (59.53), stretching the lead to 56-38 for Cocalico (1-0 Section Two, 1-3 overall).

“Lydia is a competitor. She wants to win,” Woods said. “She was around with those girls that started us off on this roll and knows what it takes. She’s really built herself into a phenomenal sprinter and is popping some great times already this year.”

Guthridge, Bearinger and Haines teamed with Vanaskie in the 200 free relay and Haines added a win in the 100 breast that put the meet out of reach.

“What was really exciting for the girls’ side is we were the top two teams in the sections a year ago and we really didn’t lose a whole lot,” Ephrata (0-1, 0-4) coach Mickey Molchany said. “There was a lot of hype for it. I thought we swam well, they swam awesome.”

Eagle boys win

Taking first and second in four races — including sweeps for the top three spots in both the 100 fly and 100 breaststroke — helped Cocalico post a 109-57 decision against the Mounts.

Cocalico (1-0 Section Two, 2-2 overall) opened a 39-22 lead after the 50 free, an advantage that jumped to 52-24 after the 100 fly, led by Eric Guthridge.

Four different boys nabbed individual wins, and Cocalico took first and second in the 200 free relay. Hunter Keck was on the winning medley and 200 free relay teams, plus won the 100 breast to lead the way.

Sophomore Luke Emmerling took first in both the 200 IM and 100 backstroke for the Ephrata (0-1, 0-4) boys.