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  • Local Bowling News
  • Tribe Boys Fall in Fourth Quarter
  • Tribe Wrestling Qualifies for District One Team Duals
  • Hang Earns USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Honor
  •  Perkiomen Swimmers Drop Meet to Blair
  • Kuhns Repeats as MAC Wrestling Champion
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  • Fisher, Lesko Receive All-SEPA Honors; Freed Named Co-Coach of Year
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Swimming Progressing Despite Small Team Size
Written by Ernie Quatrani Correspondent
2015-12-16

            The defending PAC-10 champions, Owen J. Roberts Wildcats, brought out the best in the Upper Perk swim teams on Tuesday at the Tribe's natatorium. 

                Owen J. cruised to easy wins in the boys' and girls' meets thanks in large part to a huge numbers advantage but did not dampen the enthusiasm of Tribe coach Brien Kalnoski, who remained very pleased with the program's progress.

                "We're doing remarkably well for this point in the season," said the third-year coach.

                Leading the way for the girls was senior Kirsten Siwy, who celebrated her 18th birthday with wins in the 200 freestyle (2:03.39) and 50 freestyle (26.12).

                Siwy was especially happy with her time in the 50 because she finds it hard to reduce time in the short race, but against Owen J. she recorded an in-season best time. Part of the reason might have been swimming against an elite team.

                "I like competing against PAC-10 teams. They have strong competitors," Siwy said after the meet.

                Another factor could have been Kirsten's commitment to Dryland training.

                "Dryland helps us with our explosiveness so we can get off the blocks faster. Our legs are stronger to kick off the walls."

                Siwy, who has verbally committed to swim at King's College next year, is looking to build on a junior year that saw her set school records in the 100 and 200 freestyles at the state championships.

                Kirsten is aiming to break the two minute mark in the 200 and medal at States and for this time of the year, Siwy feels she is heading in the right direction.

                "This season's definitely an improvement."

                Another veteran, Melissa Kilroy won the 100 backstroke in 1:10.44.

                Kalinoski is working with five freshmen on the girls squad and has been immensely pleased with their progress.

                Bailey McCausland made the district cut in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:16.54, .02 seconds behind Owen J.'s Emily Hughes.

                For the boys, Tyler Reed took the 50 free (23.95); Joel Williams won the 100 butterfly (1:01.09); Cameron Junk won the 100 breaststroke (1:14.01)

                Freshman Kyle Kovalenko's 100 breaststroke time would have seeded him second in Districts last season.

                Six of the seven swimmers on the boys team have already posted qualifying times for Districts and the seventh, Dan Miller, should soon.

                "That would be the first time in 18 years of coaching that I had 100 percent of the kids qualify," Kalnoski noted.

                 The veteran anchor of the boys team is senior Mitch Cairns, another state qualifier last year. This year, he has already done his fastest in-season times in the 500 free and the 200 free.

                Not only have many individuals qualified for districts, the six relay teams for the boys and girls have also made the cut already.

                Kalnoski is happy to get seeding times out of the way so his athletes can concentrate on just swimming.

                "I think that's a lot of the pressure for the kids," he said.

                Kalnoski, with an eye constantly on the postseason, has done things a little bit differently this year. "Dryland started earlier, morning practices start earlier, Saturday practices are starting earlier, the yardage is more. So, they're doing more and they're being stressed more, but their times are as fast, if not faster, than last year at this time in the season."

                With Christmas break approaching, Kalnoski will be ramping up the level of difficulty in practices and expects times to dip a bit before the end of the season taper to get ready for districts and states.

                "Our focus has always been on the postseason," Kalnoski noted.


 

 

 

 

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