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Sports Article
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Upper Perk Swimming Gets Nine More District Qualifying Times
Written by Ernie Quatrani Correspondent

Jayme Fisher swims the butterfly in the girls' 200 individual medley on Dec. 22.

        The Upper Perkiomen swim teams wrapped up the calendar year with some impressive individual efforts against visiting Southern Lehigh in a dual meet last week. While the undermanned Tribe boys fell 107-43 and the depthless girls were toppled 95-58, the day was another affirmative step toward success in the post-season.

        Upper Perk swimming coach Brien Kalnoski is a realistic man with a plan, who knows that team scores are the least important aspects of the development of his young swimmers; rather, results are all about improvement and qualifying for Districts.

        "We have swum great through the first four meets of the year," Kalnoski said. "We got nine more individual District qualifying times at the meet [against Southern Lehigh]."

        Speaking of individuals, Noel Fresa had an outstanding meet for the girls, winning two individual events and participating on two victorious relays. The freshman took the 200 free (2:06.26) and the 100 free (56.91) while anchoring the 200 free relay (1:48.29) and the 400 free relay (3:59.88).

        Fresa is one of only six female swimmers who have to carry a heavy workload. The Tribe girls actually won more events than did the Spartans, but lost points because of lack of depth.

        Bailey McCausland captured the 200 individual medley (2:23.93), and Maddie Modugno touched first in the 500 free (5:57.54). Both swam on the winning 200 and 400 free relays. 

        Kalnoski praised his co-captains, McCausland and Modugno, for helping him keep the team on the right track.

        "Bailey McCausland and Maddie Modugno continue to set a great example for the girls team exemplifying the ideals of hard work, commitment and dedication to the team."

        In the male events, Joe McGillen was the only boy to take a first, coming in at 1:13.7 in the breaststroke.

        In the boys 400 free relay, Kyle Kovalenko, Cameron Junk, Joel Williams and Kevin Himmelwright, recorded a first-place time of 3:34.52.

        Southern Lehigh's Will Schell won two individual events, the 200 and the 500 frees, and was on two victorious relays, the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay.

        By the end of the day, Kalnoski was very pleased to note that the team has now qualified for 39 individual post-season events, up by 10 from this point in the season last year.

        Kevin Himmelwright and Kyle Kovalenko have six qualifying times, apiece. Joel Williams and Dan Miller have four.

        "Dan didn't know how to swim when he joined the water polo team in ninth grade," Kalnoski noted.

        "He has come a long way in the three years he has played water polo and swam for me.  Last year he had only two district qualifying times, and he didn't get his first one until the seventh meet."

        While swimmers won't be able to compete in all of those events because of PIAA restrictions, Kalnoski has plenty of options.

        This time of year is critical for the success of Kalnoski's master plan. After taking Christmas Day off, the team is spending the break doing dryland training, two a day practices and mega-yardage in the water.

        By the coach's calculations, the team had already accumulated 205 miles of practice laps, before this week.

        "The program continues to evolve.  When I look at the juniors on the team they have seen an increased workload in dryland training and have definitely seen the intensity of their swim practices increase over the past three years."

        Kalnoski, and his swimmers, are confident that the pains of December will pay off in the gains of March.






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