Jersey Shore Swimmers Heading to PIAA States
At the 2008 PIAA District IV swimming championship, senior Jenna Brooks led a group of Jersey Shore underclassmen to a first place finish in the 200-freestyle relay and subsequent appearance at the State Meet. Nine years later, head coach Brooks is again leading a group of young women to PIAA States in the 200 freestyle relay. In a come-from-behind victory, the girls pulled out a thrilling last second win at this year’s District IV meet.
It started, on script, as senior Gabbie Moore led off the relay and came into the wall .10 seconds behind Lewisburg’s Anna Batkowski. Jordon O’Connor ceded a bit more ground but remained a close second place with the hand-off to Kendra White. And then the relay team experienced one of those ‘expect the unexpected’ moments.
The girls on deck thought the race was lost when White slipped on the starting block as she dove into the water. “I wanted to do my part on the relay and give my anchor a little bit of a lead”, said White. “I was really disappointed in my dive and my thoughts then turned to just catching up.” While it was an awkward entry, White was able to recover, losing only a little bit of yardage to Lewisburg’s Courtney Betsock before letting anchor Emma Butzler give chase. Almost 1.5 seconds behind, Butzler needed all 50 yards to catch and out-touch Lewisburg by 57/100s of a second for the win.
Beyond the relay, Brooks’ swimmers had some record setting performances and dominated several events. Butzler punched her ticket to States with a win and school and Williamsport pool record in the 100 fly. In the same heat, sisters Gabbie and Allie Moore picked up points with 5th and 9th place finishes. On the boy’s side, Luke Engel celebrated his fly win by breaking the school record.
Butzler would also go on to win the 100 free and Engel broke his record and the Williamsport’s pool 100- yard freestyle record by leading off the 400-free relay with a 48.00 split.
It has been an exciting journey From a Jersey Shore High School swimmer to now the team’s coach. “All of the boys and girls have come together this year to make this an actual team and I couldn’t have had a more enjoyable group to work with,”said Brooks. “Swim after swim they continue to impress me and show me why I became a coach. I am so happy that I came back to my roots to coach because I don’t think I would’ve found a better group of kids to invest my time into.
Jersey Shore Swimmers:
200 medley relay: 8. (O’Connor, J., Fleming, T., Moore, A., Sander, V.), 1:59.41
200 free: 4. White, K., 2:02.65; 16. Sander, V., 2:15.93; 17. Sorgen, M., 2:17.13
200 IM: 8. Moore, A., 2:29.71
50 free: 9. O’Connor, J., 26.54
100 fly: 1. Butzler, E., 57.15; 5. Moore, G., 1:01.64; 9. Moore, A., 1:05.97
200 free relay: 1. (Moore, G., O’Connor, J., White, K., Butzler, E.), 1:42.81
100 free: 1. Butzler, E., 53.26; 9. Fleming, T., 56.61; 15. Sander, V., 1:00.10
500 free: 3. White, K., 5:26.52; 11. Sorgen, M., 6:09.35
100 back: 5. Moore, G., 1:01.94; 7. O’Connor, J., 1:03.03; 16. Shadle, A., 1:10.61
100 breast: 11. Fleming, T., 1:16.17
400 free relay: 2. (Moore, G., Fleming, T., White, K., Butzler, E.), 3:42.24
200 free relay: 9. (Bower, J., Wirth, T., Gardner, D., Worth, G.), 2:12.60
100 fly: 1. Engel, L., 52.51
200 free relay: 7. (Engel, L., Bower, J., Wirth, T., Alexander, E), 1:42.94
100 free: 3. Engel, L., 48.20; 21. Alexander, E., 58.87
400 free relay: 5. (Engel, L., Gardner,D., Worth, G., Alexander, S.), 3:45. 01
Luke – Luke Engel atop the medal stand after winning the 100-yard butterfly
Fleming – Taylor Fleming picking up 6 points with an 11th place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke
Record breakers – a gathering of pool record breakers during cool down with left, Shore’s Emma Butzler – (100 fly), top, Bloomsbug’s Hanna Everhart – (200 free and 100 back) and right, Shamokin’s Abby Doss – (500 free and 200 IM)