Outnumbered CM swimmers fall to Williamsport


MILL HALL — It doesn’t take an expert in swim-meet scoring to understand the numbers. When your swim roster has 17 active swimmers, and the visiting team brings 55, you’re in for a very difficult meet.

That was the situation the Wildcat swim team faced Thursday as they took on the visiting Williamsport Millionaires, but the Wildcats were not going to go down without a fight.

At the end of the night, the Millionaires were victorious over both the Wildcats boys and girls teams, but head coach Jim Merinar was still very satisfied with the performance of his swimmers.

“I’m very happy with the team right now,” said Merinar. “We swam hard all night and really pushed Williamsport. They are a highly-skilled team that is much deeper than we are. I’m proud of our kids for staying with them.”

Despite being outnumbered in the water by more than 3-to-1, final scores showed the Wildcats were still able to have some successes.

The Wildcat boys fell by a score of 79-50, while the girls suffered a 100-70 loss, but Merinar was anything but disappointed.

“The season is still young, and we have shown constant improvement and great team attitude. That’s all a coach can ask for.”

Merinar was quick to point out several examples.

“I was very impressed with Hannah Brian tonight. She had two great swims in the 200-free and the 100-fly.”

Brian won the 200-free with a district-qualifying time of 2:13.20, and took second in the 100-fly while swimming the event for the first time as a varsity swimmer.

Merinar also pointed out Leisher Gugino, who made his first appearance in the pool after returning from an offseason injury.

“Leisher’s return really helps the boys’ team, and he had great swims in tonight’s relays and in the 50-freestyle.”

Gugino was able to post a district-qualifying time in the 50-free, his first individual event of the season.

Finally, Merinar wanted to draw attention to the efforts of Mikayla Rich.

“Mikayla continues to put out a great effort, and really looked sharp in the 50 and 100-freestyle events tonight.”

Rich won the 50-free, and was out-touched by 8/100ths in the 100-free.

Other wins posted by the Wildcats included Parker Orndorf in the 200-freestyle and the 100-breaststroke, and James Riccardo in the 100-butterfly.

“Overall, we are very pleased with the progress the team is making.” said Merinar.“Our girls are 2-1 and are looking to start a new winning streak on Tuesday at Mount Carmel. The boys are hoping to get into the win column this week as well.”

After traveling to Mount Carmel Tuesday, the Wildcat swimmers will return to Lock Haven University Thursday at 6 p.m. to take on the Bellefonte Red Raiders.