The Willowood Bluefins had an unprecedented number of swimmers qualify for Mid-Caps, which are scheduled to be held on Saturday, July 29. In order to qualify for Mid-Caps, swimmers had to post a top-8 time at the All-Star meet held at Annville-Cleona on Sunday, July 23.
Swimmers qualified for All-Stars if they had a top-16 time in their event across all three divisions at Divisionals on Saturday, July 22, at the Palmyra Aquatic Club.
Coach Zach McElheny said that his team accomplished everything that they set out to do at Divisionals.
“We were looking to have our swimmers swim the times that they had previously. Everyone swam their equivalent or very close to it. We were really happy with how we performed,” McElheny said.
Swimming for a second consecutive day at the All-Star meet, McElheny was particularly impressed with how all of his swimmers responded.
“We swam phenomenal. Every swimmer dropped time when they swam. They cut up to three seconds from their times at Divisionals. We had so many personal bests,” McElheny said.
The Bluefins usually have 20-25 swimmers qualify for Mid-Caps, according to McElheny, but they had more than 40 qualify this season. That is the most that McElheny has sent to Mid-Caps in his six years of coaching Willowood.
“It was almost like they saw each other swimming fast and got in the pool thinking it was their turn to keep it going,” McElheny said.
In order to keep their swimmers fresh and well-rested, McElheny and fellow coach Dan Mikula have decided to condense their practices in preparation for the Mid-Cap meet to make it more of a team environment.
“Overall this was a great weekend of swims for our team. We attributed that to the hard work that we’ve done in practices from the beginning of the season. It was awesome to see and hopefully we can do it one more time this weekend at Mid-Caps,” McElheny said.