Northampton Press

Sunday, February 23, 2020

K-Kids honor their senior swimmers

Thursday, February 13, 2020 by Wendy Kennedy Special to the Press in Sports

The Northampton varsity swimming and diving teams honored their senior swimmers during a home meet against Nazareth High School on Thursday evening.

Nine senior swimmers and their parents were recognized as Northampton head coach Cullen Mentzell conveyed some of the swimmers’ best team memories and plans for the future. In the end, both the boys and girls teams fell to Nazareth by scores of 95-73 and 89-80 respectively, but this evening was about more than the competition; it was about one last meet in their home pool for these nine senior swimmers.

This year the team will graduate a mix of longtime swimmers and swimmers who joined the team for the first time in their senior year. But, newcomers and veterans both agree, some of their best memories are the times they spent together as a team.

Senior Leslie Medina, recounted her best memories from this season were “all the team get togethers and just spending time together.”

Tenured swimmer Brody Lane agrees. His favorite memories were “spending time with the team at team breakfasts and dinners.”

Seniors Madison McCloskey and Morgan Thomas echoed their teammates commentary on the closeness of the team. McCloskey and Thomas are both long time Northampton swimmers with the age group Kids Swim Club team and the varsity swim team and both performed well in their last home meet. Thomas and McCloskey placed first and second respectively in the 500 freestyle event Thursday evening against Nazareth.

The competitions were another topic that many of these senior swimmers remembered fondly. Senior Ben Christy commented that his favorite memory for this season was the, “400 relay against Whitehall this year,” an event that will long be remembered by this team as a meet-ending battle against the team’s closest rival. Christy played a dual role during his tenure with the team as a diver and a sprinter over the past four years.

Newcomer Marissa Mele also fondly recounts a relay, but for Mele her best memory was the 200 freestyle relay she just swam against Nazareth in which the team of Isabella Grandia, Hannah Nolan, Isabella Aguanno and Mele beat the Nazareth team to the wall by just .2 seconds. Senior Bryce Fisher, a frequent competitor for Northampton in the 500 freestyle event, remembered his first districts championship when the power was out in many areas due to a winter storm and the championship meet had to be moved from Parkland High School to the smaller Emmaus High School venue.

Especially for the girls team, Northampton’s graduating seniors all played a role in a close battle against Nazareth on Thursday night. Senior Ashley Rolles helped secure valuable third place points in the 400 freestyle relay and placed 4th in the 500 freestyle event. Senior Olivia Rigo led a close 4th place finish in the 400 freestyle relay and placed 5th in the 100 freestyle event.

Among other notable performances from the evening, Northampton’s coach Mentzell recognized, “some of the highlights from the meet were Connor Oswald going a lifetime best in the 100 breaststroke and Allison Nemeth also having two lifetime bests in the 50 and 100 free.”

As another season nears its close, Northampton will face one more opponent in the regular season when the team travels to Easton High School on Thursday, Feb. 13. The team will then turn their focus to District 11 Championship preparation but long after the Northampton pool has grown quiet and senior banners are taken down from the natatorium walls, the memories of great friends and great competition in the 2019-2020 swim season will live on for these Northampton swimmers.