Tide Lines

The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

VICTORS+-+Snow+might+have+set+the+District+XI+swim+meet+back+by+a+day%2C+but+it+did+not+stop+the+boys%E2%80%99+swim+team+from+becoming+district+champions.+The+boys%E2%80%99+team+outscored+every+team+at+the+meet+to+have+a+total+of+350+points%2C+enough+to+secure+the+championship+title+and+surpass+rival+Blue+Mountain+who+had+298+points.+%E2%80%9CIt+was+a+moment+I+will+never+forget%2C+for+it+was+a+moment+that+my+coach%2C+my+team+and+our+parents+have+waited+for+for+so+long%2C%E2%80%9D+senior+Christopher+Ott+said.+%E2%80%9CI+believe+it+was+the+teamwork+and+the+excellent+coaching+staff+that+pushed+us+to+compete+so+strongly.%E2%80%9D
VICTORS - Snow might have set the District XI swim meet back by a day, but it did not stop the boys’ swim team from becoming district champions. The boys’ team outscored every team at the meet to have a total of 350 points, enough to secure the championship title and surpass rival Blue Mountain who had 298 points. “It was a moment I will never forget, for it was a moment that my coach, my team and our parents have waited for for so long,” senior Christopher Ott said. “I believe it was the teamwork and the excellent coaching staff that pushed us to compete so strongly.”

VICTORS - Snow might have set the District XI swim meet back by a day, but it did not stop the boys’ swim team from becoming district champions. The boys’ team outscored every team at the meet to have a total of 350 points, enough to secure the championship title and surpass rival Blue Mountain who had 298 points. “It was a moment I will never forget, for it was a moment that my coach, my team and our parents have waited for for so long,” senior Christopher Ott said. “I believe it was the teamwork and the excellent coaching staff that pushed us to compete so strongly.”

Photo Courtesy of Mrs. Michele Turnitza

Photo Courtesy of Mrs. Michele Turnitza

VICTORS - Snow might have set the District XI swim meet back by a day, but it did not stop the boys’ swim team from becoming district champions. The boys’ team outscored every team at the meet to have a total of 350 points, enough to secure the championship title and surpass rival Blue Mountain who had 298 points. “It was a moment I will never forget, for it was a moment that my coach, my team and our parents have waited for for so long,” senior Christopher Ott said. “I believe it was the teamwork and the excellent coaching staff that pushed us to compete so strongly.”

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






For Mr. Ned Hampford, boys’ swim team head coach, the 2017-2018 season was more than he could ever have expected. This season, filled with new meet and school records, a Schuylkill League title and a District XI title, was one of the best in school history.

The team’s successful journey began early in the season when many swimmers, both new and returning, began to put up times worthy of some good competition. Freshman Zaidian Vanorden helped returning swimmers senior Josh Zelinsky and juniors Jordan Young and Zach Turnitza to earn a new meet record in the 400 free relay at the Schuylkill League Sprint Meet held in January in order for teams to get seed times for their athletes. Read more about their pre-season success here: http://www.pahstidelines.com/sports/2018/02/28/team-leaders-and-member-turnout-gear-boys-swim-team-toward-successful-season/.

But the success really began to show toward the end of the regular season and throughout the postseason. The boys were able to clinch the Schuylkill League title, their second one in a row, due to their 10-0 league record in the regular season. Many impressive swims came out of that meet, including a first place finish for both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and an individual gold in the 50 backstroke for Turnitza. Newcomer Vanorden was able to get two second place finishes in the 200 IM and 50 butterfly with a time of 2:10.26 and 25.92, respectively. The 200 freestyle relay consisted of seniors Noah Shelhamer and Josh Zelinsky and juniors Jordan Young and Zach Turnitza, while the 400 freestyle relay had the same members as the record-breaking team.

“Getting my first gold medal with some of my closest friends was a very memorable moment for me,” Shelhamer said. “Joining the swim team sophomore year was one of the best choices I made in high school because it led me to achieving great things like a fast [personal record] and a chance to succeed in big meets like leagues and districts. Being a member of the swim team and having the opportunity to compete with such talented teammates is something I will really miss.”

As a result of these swims, the relay teams were then seeded first at the District XI meet held March 3-4, while Turnitza was seeded first in the 100 backstroke, despite not swimming it at the league meet. Similarly to Turnitza, Vanorden did not swim the 200 and 500 freestyle races at the Schuylkill League meet but opted to swim those events at districts.

The relay teams went on to get the gold at the district meet, when the 200 freestyle team swam a time of 1:31.18 and the 400 freestyle team swam 3:20.33. Turnitza was able to take the silver with a time of 54.35, dropping 1.35 seconds from his seed time. Vanorden got fifth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:51.00 and third in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5.00.90.

Overall, the boys’ swim team won the District XI meet with a total point value of 350, 52 points ahead of rival Blue Mountain. This was the first time a boys’ team from Schuylkill County was able to win the entire meet since 2001.

Achieving these times allowed the relay teams, Vanorden and Turnitza to compete at the PIAA State Meet held at Bucknell University March 16-17. Turnitza was able to advance to finals along with the 400 freestyle relay. Turnitza placed 16th and the relay placed 15th.

Losing nine seniors will leave the underclassmen with big shoes to fill, but many have been competitively swimming for the majority of their lives and are prepared to train for a successful season in the 2018-2019 school year.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Featured Sports Story Carousel

    Fall sports recap

  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Featured Sports Story Carousel

    D.H.H. Lengel receives award from Walmart

  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Featured Sports Story Carousel

    How to get good grades

  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Featured Sports Story Carousel

    Seniors continue academic and athletic journeys (Photo)

  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Featured Sports Story Carousel

    Quiz Team finishes its year-long season (photo)

  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Featured Sports Story Carousel

    Senior reaches milestone for boys’ swim team (photo)

  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Featured Sports Story Carousel

    Athletes put in work during their offseason (photo)

  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Featured Sports Story Carousel

    Letter to the Editor: 9/11 Fifteen Years Later

  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Teacher Tales

    Teacher Tales: Mrs. Butz

  • The end of a record-breaking season: boys’ swim team excels in late-season meets

    Student Spotlight

    Student Spotlight: Lauren Kelly

The student news site of Pottsville Area High School