IR swimmers down Dover Senators on Senior Night

Date Published: 
Jan. 25, 2018

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: An Indian River swimmer competes during IR’s Senior Night at the Sussex Academy pool in Georgetown.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: An Indian River swimmer competes during IR’s Senior Night at the Sussex Academy pool in Georgetown.This has been a stellar season for Indian River High School swimmers. Last Tuesday, Jan. 16, they concluded their home competition with a special “Senior Night” win of 112.5 to 50.5 over Dover High School’s Senators at the Sussex Academy pool in Georgetown, giving them an overall 6-1 season thus far.

IRHS head swimming coach Colin Crandel said he will be taking a record nine, possibly 10, swimmers to the state championship this year. Crandel joked that he may have to hire a bus to take his swimmers to Newark on Feb. 2 for this year’s state championship.

IR junior swimmer Michael Barnes of Bethany Beach covered the 200 freestyle distance in 1:59.37 minutes. Barnes, son of IR varsity volleyball head coach Jim Barnes, said, “It was a hard swim, but it was one of my best times in the 200, and I hit every turn pretty good, so it was a good swim overall and I’m feeling pretty good right now about the rest of the meet.”

Barnes went on to win the 100 freestyle event in 52.82 minutes, then — together with teammates junior Mitchell McGee, senior Andrew Scalard and senior Jonathan Kohr —won the 200 free relay with a time of 1:40.96.

In the meet’s finale, the 400 free relay, Barnes, Kohr and Kohr’s brother, junior Maximus Kohr, captured the win in 3:51.72. Earlier in the meet, Jonathan Kohr had led the 50 freestyle with a finish at 24.35 seconds.

“The swim I just took was pretty intense,” Jonathan Khor said. “I feel like I did alright, but I know I have room for improvement. I feel it’s going to be a great last meet, so I’m just enjoying it so far.

In other freestyle action, freshman Declan Burke won the brutal 500 freestyle in 5:47.40, and IR senior swimmer Landon Seeney beat out the 100 breaststroke competitors with a 1:16.67 swim.

“We need consistency in the pool,” Crandel said. “We’ve missed so many days with the snow and the holidays — it’s about keeping everybody in practice and being consistent and getting the most out of the time we have in practice, because we have limited time to practice.

“We can do it if all of that come together. It’s a challenge, but I know we can do it if the boys will rise to it. Today was really helpful, because I saw we’re not as off as I thought we were.”

Despite losing to the Senators, IR’s girls made major progress. Nine of the 10 girls swimming at that meet earned their best times of the season, according to head coach Dana Schaefer.

Freshman Emma Barthelmess of Bethany Beach qualified for the state championship in 50-yard freestyle, turning in a time of 28.39 seconds on Jan. 16. Barthelmess also swam in the 100-yard breaststroke, turning in a time of 1:20.41.

“It’s been a pretty good season for me — kind of challenging at times. But if you push through it, you’ll do good,” Barthelmess said. “I’m a little nervous about competing at the state championships, but I’ll be OK.”

With their home season over, the IR swimmers still had four away dates on their 2018 calendar, starting with what was expected to be a tough meet against Cape Henlopen at the Sussex YMCA pool on Jan. 23, followed by a meet against Seaford High School on Thursday, Jan. 25, (after Coastal Point press time), at the West Sussex Boys & Girls Club.

Five days later, they’ll return to the West Sussex pool for a meet against Sussex Tech. They’ll end their regular season at the Salisbury, Md., YMCA, where they will challenge the Stephen Decatur Sea Hawks.

The Henlopen Conference championship will be held Saturday, Feb. 10, at Sussex Academy, starting at 10 a.m.