The boys swimming program at Chambersburg has slowly but surely worked its way up the ladder to a place in which the Trojans have a couple of certified stars, good depth and a large group of freshmen who expect to make an impact.
Success in 2017-18, following a very good year last season, is expected.
That is the level the Chambersburg girls hope to get to eventually, and there are signs that it could happen.
The Trojans open their season Tuesday with a home dual meet at 4 p.m. against State College.
The boys return three PIAA state medalists — junior Avery Barley (2nd District 3 in backstroke, 9th in 50 freestyle, 2nd PIAA back); senior diver Nick Cover (2nd District 3, 5th PIAA); and junior Jacob Greenwood (1st District 3 in 200 and 500 free, 6th PIAA in 200 and 500 free).
Those three scored enough points to place 10th as a team in districts and 13th at states, which tied for the highest place in program history.
“We should do better this year; we have very high goals,” boys coach Chad White said.
Sophomore C.J. Pong placed in two events at districts (9th 200 IM, 11th back). The freshmen group includes Aiden McMillen, Gavin Vink, Colby Estep, Jared Traxler, Aaron Traxler, Sam Spiese and Sam Vessah.
White said, “What we lacked in depth in previous years, I think we have this year. We have 24 kids compared to 13 last year. I am confident we can qualify a relay team to states this year, too.
“I knew this group of kids was coming up and I was looking forward to it. Now they are here, and the freshmen already have a lot of experience swimming with the club.”
That is not a luxury girls coach Donnie Miller has … yet.
Of the 19 swimmers on the roster, the majority swim only for the high school team and don’t have a lot of experience with the club team, the Chambersburg YMCA Chargers.
“Matt Ellis has taken over as the Chargers’ new coach, and that will be beneficial to us, especially in the long-term,” Miller said. “Plus, we have 10 new girls on the team, so there must be a good vibe to get that many new girls out.”
Senior Abby Reichelderfer is the top returning swimmer. She was a District 3 qualifier and will swim freestyle, breaststroke and the IM.
Seniors Mandy Asbury, Tamara Quispe and Cayris Wright each have at least three years of experience and were Mid Penn qualifiers.
“They will be our leaders,” Miller said, “who set an example for the younger girls. Abby and Cayris were voted captains.”
Hershey transfer Bree Kratz will score some points for the Trojans, and Miller sees good potential in freshmen Maddie Kinton, Emily Stroble and Jessica Yo, all of whom have club experience.
Miller said, “We have a lot of girls who are willing to learn, so we’re focusing on improving. We’ll be a young team, but it’s been a positive environment.”