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Fresa Overcomes Wardrobe Malfunction at States
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-03-20

            A wardrobe malfunction disrupted Noel Fresa's performance at the PIAA Class 2A Swimming Championship. The discovery of large rip in her swimming suit nearly

Noel Fresa, displaying the medals she won during the
District One meet, earned a silver and bronze medal at
last week's PIAA Class 2A Swimming Championships.

derailed her performance in the 200 yard free relay finals last week.

            "It really messed me up," Fresa said. "I wasn't in the right mental state."

            Despite a slow start, the Upper Perkiomen junior rallied to finish third in the event on Wednesday, March 13. The following day, she added a silver medal in the 100 free during the meet at Bucknell University.

            The strong showing set a new team record and left Fresa – who won a pair of state medals in the 50 and 100 free as a sophomore – thinking about the possibility of winning multiple state titles next season. 

            "I don't like to jinx myself," she said. "But I do plan on getting better next year."

            Fresa discovered a significant large tear in her Speedo suit, described as a top of the line LZR Racer X which sells online for between $295 and $479, approximately 30 minutes before 200 free final. She said the incident triggered a deluge of "absolute panic and fear." Wearing her backup suit on the pool deck, the emotions continued to swirl. Fresa cried before the race started. 

            The tumult appeared to impact her during the event. Fresa was near the back of the pack midway through the race, when she forced herself to rally. She posted a time of 1 minute, 52.63 seconds, behind Kate Luft, a senior from Northern York, and gold medalist Karen Siddoway, a senior from Northgate.

            "I hate losing and I wasn't going to give up," she said. "I was relieved to finish third."

            The episode displayed Fresa's increasing mental toughness, according to Indians head coach Brien Kalnoski. He said the acumen will serve her well in the future.

            "My impression was that she did not let it bother her," Kalnoski said of Fresa, who set six team records this season.  "She had no choice. She was able to find the focus and toughness necessary to swim a really good race. Everything turned out fine."

            On Thursday, Fresa competed in the 100 free finals with a new suit and feeling "super excited. I just wanted to race, and it turned out really well," she said.

            Fresa sprinted the entire event, an approach she called unusual. The Marlborough resident posted a time of 50.96 seconds, behind Siddoway, who captured her second gold medal of the meet. The No. 3 in both events expelled all of her energy during her individual final race.

            "I was so tired when get I out of the pool," she said.

            On Wednesday, the Indians 200 free relay team of Fresa, Devin Romanowski, Bailey McCausland and Madison Modugno reached the finals as the No. 7 seed. However, they were denied a medal due to a disqualification. According to Fresa, the second swimmer was whistled for a false start.

            "Everyone was very disappointed, especially the seniors," she said.

            The same quartet rallied to finish ninth in the 400 free relay the following day. They won the consolation final, posting a ninth place finish. The girls finished 15th overall, their highest team finish ever in school history

            Kyle Kovalenko, the first male swimmer to represent the school in Class 3A, finished 17th overall in the 100 breaststroke on Friday. He posted his second fastest career time, of 58.24 seconds, during the preliminary round.

            "Kyle had a great career," Kalnoski said of Kovalenko, who earned a state medal last season. "He qualified for states in three of those years in two classifications, which is quite an accomplishment for our little team."


 

 

 

 

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