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Sports Article
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UP Boys Topple Spring-Ford in Swimming Debut
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent

            Sean Lyman and Kai Hang had huge days as the Upper Perkiomen boys swim team finally got its season underway with a 90-80 win over visiting Spring-Ford on Tuesday afternoon.

Kai Hang swims in the 100 butterfly which he was

the winner (1:00.15) against Spring-Ford at Tues-

day's meet.

            Both Lyman and Hang swam on two victorious relay teams and each recorded two individual wins.

            Lyman, who earned a pair of medals at last year's District 1 championship meet, captured firsts in the 200 yard individual medley (2:03.54) and 500 free (5:03.54), almost 24 seconds ahead of teammate Isaac Jeffers who finished second.

            Hang was the winner of the 100 butterfly (1:00.15), winning by over a second, and first in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.97).

            Lyman and Hang swam on the victorious 200 medley relay (1:46.98) with Kevin Kovalenko and Eric Harter. Hang led off and Lyman anchored the winning 400 free relay (3:38.38) which included Harter and Colin Henry.

            Kovalenko also had a good day for the Tribe, starting the winning 200 free relay (1:40.68) and finishing second behind Lyman in the 200 individual medley.

            Others on the winning 200 free relay were Josh McKelvy, Andrew Kelly and Henry.  Earlier, Harter won the 200 free (1:56.25).

            In addition to swimming on two winning relays, Henry finished second in the 100 free (55.75), less than a second behind Spring-Ford's Patrick Baganski (54.85).

            The Rams Brendan Baganski set a new pool record with a 21.91 swim in the 50 free.

             Coach Brien Kalnoski was pleased with the Tribe's performance against Spring-Ford, especially against the uncertain backdrop created by the pandemic.  "COVID has certainly introduced an element of approaching and looking at things from a different perspective," the veteran coach said.  "It hasn't been easy, but I think the training plan that has been implemented has been good so far."

            Upper Perk was able to restart practice on January 4 and has been forced to separate boys and girls practices--and meets--for safety reasons.

            The girls will swim against Spring-Ford on Thursday. After the boys meet finished on Tuesday evening, Kalnoski held practice for the girls.

            The coach figures the team was about eight or nine weeks behind in training when practice restarted.  "I think we have approached the season from the perspective that let's work hard, do the best that we can, and enjoy the season as best that we can."

            Ironically, Kalnoski is working with the largest number of boys (14) he has had in his eight years of coaching the Tribe and more than half are freshman or sophomores.  "I have a great group of kids this year," Kalnoski said. "Bottom line, I am enjoying the season with the kids and I am confident the kids are enjoying being together and swimming."

            Given the dynamics of the pandemic situation, nothing is a given about the rest of the season. Qualifying standards for Districts and States are up in the air--if the events are even held.

            "There is a lot of uncertainty, but, as I have shared with the team, we can only control what we can control and we will get through it together as a team," Kalnoski noted.

             "We have all embraced the challenges this year.  We are working hard, staying flexible, following all of the COVID rules/procedures, and enjoying being together as a team and staying positive about everything."

            The boys next meet is scheduled for Tuesday at home versus Pope John Paul II.





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