Lock Haven Loggerheads defeat tune-up Selinsgrove

Madeline Jones getting ready to start her leg of the 200 free relay as her teammate comes to the wall. (Photo Provided)

The Lock Haven Loggerheads used this past Saturday’s swim meet against Selinsgrove as a tune-up to Wednesday’s showdown against the Lewisburg Gators. Last summer, Lewisburg fell just 55 points short of upending the defending Greater Susquehanna Valley Aquatic League champs, Lock Haven.

While both Lock Haven and Selinsgrove were short several swimmers, Lock Haven was able to capture all five girl’s age groups and three of five on the boy’s side for the team win. More importantly, the meet allowed head coach Jim Merinar to move swimmers around in different events and evaluate some of the new members to the summer team.

Merinar’s girls in the middle age groups are performing very well in dual meets, with the 14-and-unders currently holding an undefeated record and the 12-and-unders with only one loss (4-1). He has some strong swimmers to carry the top of those line-ups, but it is the newcomers that are adding depth to these age groups.

The Jones’ sisters, Madeline and Eva, are new to the sport and contributing to the team in and out of the water. “I am very impressed with their work effort,” said Merinar. “With seven weeks of practice, they are adapting to the culture and learning the little things that make a swimmer go faster.”

Against Wellsboro last week, Madeline was inserted into the Loggerhead’s starting 12-and-under 200 freestyle relay as the anchor. They fell a few seconds off the leader but were able to hold off Wellsboro’s 2nd relay and pick up three points. “I like this swimming stuff,” said Madeline. “Learning the new strokes has been pretty hard, especially the butterfly. The kicking, arm movement, and breathing just doesn’t work for me yet.”

Her older sister, Eva, was also inserted into the anchor position for the girl’s 14-and-under 200 free relay against Wellsboro. Paired up with Madison Bair, Emily Bartlett, and McKenna Fox, they were able to secure the win by almost three seconds. “Swimming has gotten me stronger in the upper body,” said Eva. “But more importantly, this is help me get in shape for running”. Against, Selinsgrove, her clean start and turns helped secure twelve points in the medley and free relays.

The Loggerheads are not only going to need their top swimmers to finish strong in the upcoming Lewisburg dual meet, but Merinar is going to need some of the new swimmers to also step up to the starting block.