St. Marys Area to host District 9 League swimming and Diving

The 2011 District 9 League Swimming and Diving Championships will be hosted this weekend at the SMAHS Natatorium. The weekend will feature swimming and diving talent from the District, which includes Bradford, Brookville, Clearfield, DuBois as well as the hosting Dutchmen and Lady Dutch squads.Diving kicks off the two-day event on Friday night at 6 p.m. The Dutchmen trio of senior Justin Huey, junior Jake Burns and freshman Tim Mosebarger are hoping to take an early lead for the boys’ team and are seeded highly in their field of eight divers. Huey and Burns are veterans to the competition, whereas Mosebarger is in his first year. All three divers have been commanding high scores all season long and have fared well in the dual meet season. For the Lady Dutch, senior Shannon Krieg will be the sole diver for the girls’ team. She will face tough competition from nine other district contenders, but her experience on the board will be a big plus.The divers will perform 11 dives as part of the evening’s event.“We are real confident that our divers will do well this weekend at the league meet,” noted SMA diving coach Eric Wonderling. “This is going to be a good test for Regionals, but we have to get our job done Friday night first to see where we stand.”The swimmers kick it into action Saturday morning at 10 a.m. The Lady Dutch are hoping for solid performances from their relays. Seniors Brittany Orr and Megan Barber, junior Steph Buerk , sophomores Kylee Proudfit and Michaela Rupprecht and freshman Emma Daghir have all been utilized this season in garnishing valuable relay points. They have placed at the top of most of the dual meets and are known for challenging their district rivals.Individually, the girls are poised to contend as they are seeded high in their signature events. Buerk is overcoming injury but should be back on her game in the distance events with sophomore Cassie Wonderling. In the freestyle races, Daghir, Barber, sophomore Kelsey Bonifay and senior Amanda Hansenn are a steady force in the lineup.Orr has been dominant in the backstroke event but has been equally impressive as a sprinter and in the 200 freestyle. Rupprecht specializes in the fly but will also be a factor in the backstroke race along with fellow sophomore Maura Keyes.The breaststroke event has developed into a strong suit for the girls’ team, with Daghir, Proudift and Melinda Stebich in good position to take high points late in the meet. Proudfit and Stebich also are seeded well in the 200 IM. “Our girls are healthy and ready to go,” noted SMA head coach Mark DeMuro. “We are looking forward to great things at this meet. Our squad is small but what we have is strong.”The Dutchmen hope to make another good showing this year after winning District 9 last year. Their main challenge will come from the powerful Clearfield squad, but DuBois may also make a run for the top two team positions.The junior trio of Matt Hoffman, Alex Renwick, and Ryan Struble have made significant strides this year as far as team impact. Hoffman and Struble have contributed heavily to the freestyle races this season, although both are easily utilized in other events. Renwick has specialized in the butterfly and has dropped significant time this year, as has freshman Joey Ferragine.Senior Thomas Murmann, sophomore Jeffrey Moore and freshman Corey Koss are also part of the group that is expected to rise to the top in the relays as well as individually.Murmann is a sprinter but has performed well in the breaststroke event and is a key component in the relays. Moore continues to dominate the distance events, with freshman Jordan Agosti following suit.Koss has brought a much-needed backstroke element to the team, as well as sophomores Alec Foster and Gary Fledderman. Junior Gideon Woelfel should also be a contributor in the breaststroke and the 200 IM with Koss and Renwick. “The nice thing about our boys’ squad is that they can swim about anything,” remarked coach Mary Secco. “It’s nice to be able to have them to back each other up and there have been quite a few times this season where they have been called upon to do that.”Rounding out the boys’ team are student managers Gianna DeMuro, Amy Orr, Brandon Orr and student coach Andrew Cotter, who is sidelined with an injury. “This is the last time our team will compete in our pool this season,” reflected assistant coach Victoria Dippold. “I know that they can and will do well. It should be a fun weekend!”The public is encouraged to attend the championships. The admission is $3 for adults and $2 for students. A concession stand will be sponsored both days by the SMAHS Swim and Dive Team Boosters.