Hartley Roundup: Swimmers stay positive despite altered goals

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Senior Liza McClung is one of the top returnees for the Hartley swimming and diving program, which is unsure of when it will open its season because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Hartley swimming and diving coach Tony Phillips couldn’t be happier with the approach his boys and girls teams have taken to prepare for the season.

Although it's uncertain when the Hawks will open because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, they are planning to hold a few meets before the postseason begins.

“At this point, I think we all know someone who the virus has impacted in recent months, so our primary goal is to keep everyone healthy and establish safe routines at practice,” Phillips said. “The atmosphere at the pool is generally upbeat and positive. We’re all just cautiously happy to be back in the water. 

“Our practices are a little shorter this season. Dry land (training) is through Zoom sessions from home. But the energy and efforts, for the most part, have been high. Any records, personal bests or tournament qualifiers would just be gravy on top of an unusually challenging dish that 2020 has served up.”

All but three of the competitors Hartley had at last year’s Division II district meet have returned.

For the girls team, senior swimmers Ellie Kitsmiller, Lily Lindemann, Megan Luallen, Liza McClung and Emma Simone and sophomores Chloe Albrecht, Abby Di-Nardo, Mackenzie Frizzell and Grace Goodwin should lead the way.

Di-Nardo finished eighth at district in the 100-yard breaststroke (1 minute, 10.66 seconds) and also is the team’s top competitor in the 200 individual medley.

Frizzell, Goodwin and Simone joined 2020 graduate Mia Phillips on the 200 medley relay that finished fifth (1:56.82) at district to come up just short of advancing to state.

Albrecht, Goodwin and Simone also competed along with Phillips on the 200 free relay that was seventh (1:47.13) at district.

Frizzell also is the team’s top competitor in the 100 backstroke, while Albrecht competes in the 100 butterfly and has been recovering from a pair of offseason wrist surgeries.

Sophomore Amelia Conigy is the top diver.

“After losing a ton of talented seniors, we have several returnees from last year’s district finals,” Phillips said.

Seniors Sam LeMay and Leo Noll and junior Will Sheridan return to lead the boys team after they joined 2020 graduate Chad Kegelmayer on the 200 medley relay that was sixth (1:46.17) at district.

Noll is expected to compete in the 100 breast as well as in sprint free events, LeMay is the team’s top competitor in the 100 fly and Sheridan is the top backstroker.

Seniors DeAndre Hodge and juniors Stuart Landry, Jordan Madry and Connor Phillips are other top returnees.

Senior Bobby Sisson and freshmen Andrew Bassetti, Victor Noll and Nathan Ogden are other swimmers looking to contribute.

Junior Simon Sybert has returned after finishing fourth at district in diving (257.75).

“We’re simply trying to take one day at a time as safely as we can,” coach Phillips said. “We have three or four dual meets scheduled, no idea what a tournament will look like and most of the team missing out on spring, summer and fall swimming due to quarantines and pool closures. 

“So just having a season, even in a limited capacity, is both nerve-wracking with the protocols but also somewhat exciting just to be back at the pool.”

Senior Jared Miller and the Hartley wrestling team will be aiming to win the program's eighth consecutive CCL championship.

Wrestlers excited

for returning group

After having its first two tournaments canceled because of the CCL’s decision to delay the start of the season, the wrestling team is scheduled to open Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Caledonia River Valley Duals.

The Hawks are building around a five-member senior class as well as sophomore Dylan Newsome (170 pounds), who went 30-7 and was a district runner-up at 160 last season.

Newsome was preparing for the state tournament along with 2020 graduates and twin brothers Michael Petrella (120) and Joey Petrella (182) when the event was postponed and later canceled because of the pandemic.

Michael Petrella was a three-time state qualifier who went 40-2 last winter and left the program as its all-time leader in wins with a 167-29 record. Joey Petrella qualified for state for the first time, went 41-4 last season and is second in program history in wins with a 142-38 mark.

“We have a fantastic group of guys that have been in our program for several years,” coach Kevin Petrella said. “There’s a lot of experience in this year’s group. Handling the pandemic has been tough. It’s really changed what we were able to do in the offseason. Typically most of our wrestlers get 30 to 40 matches in the offseason. Just like other teams, we had to find ways to continue to improve. 

“We tried to do some individual competitions and tried to keep guys motivated to work. I don’t know many kids who weren’t itching to get out, work and be with their teammates regardless of the sport they were participating in.”

Other top returnees from a team that won its seventh consecutive CCL championship include seniors Cody Ihm (145), Noah Houchins (126), Jared Miller (160) and Tony Thivener (220) and sophomores Isaac Asiedu (heavyweight) and Eyan Jackson (182/195).

The other senior is Brody Halenar (182). Junior Ryan Hannah (152), sophomores Griffin Halenar (195) and Kevin Hernandez (138) and freshman Cooper Rathburn (113) also are expected to see action.

“We’re going to focus on one day at a time,” Petrella said. “No one knows what’s going to happen. We talk a lot about how we aren’t guaranteed anything, whether that’s in wrestling or any other aspect of our life. We saw how that came to fruition last spring. Our focus is going to solely be on enjoying the time we have with our teammates and a desire to continue to be the best versions of ourselves.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

SWIMMING & DIVING

Coach: Tony Phillips, 25th season

Top athletes: Boys — DeAndre Hodge, Stuart Landry, Sam LeMay, Jordan Madry, Leo Noll, Connor Phillips, William Sheridan and Simon Sybert; Girls — Chloe Albrecht, Abby Di-Nardo, Mackenzie Frizzell, Grace Goodwin, Ellie Kitsmiller, Lily Lindemann, Megan Luallen, Liza McClung and Emma Simone

Key losses: Boys — Chad Kegelmayer; Girls — Olivia Bobak, Gabby Jackson, Mia Phillips, Maddy Shafhausen, Bailey Smith and Ellie Tanner

2019-20 CCL standings: Boys — St. Charles (473), DeSales (254), Hartley (189), Watterson (83); Girls — Watterson (414), Hartley (362), DeSales (202), Ready (33)

2020 postseason: Boys — Fifth at sectional, 13th at district; Girls — Fourth at sectional, seventh at district

WRESTLING

Coach: Kevin Petrella, 12th season

Top athletes: Isaac Asiedu, Noah Houchins, Cody Ihm, Jared Miller, Dylan Newsome and Tony Thivener

Key losses: Kenyon Davis, Joey Petrella and Michael Petrella

2019-20 CCL standings: Hartley (4-0), St. Charles (3-1), Watterson (2-2), DeSales (1-3), Ready (0-4)

2020 postseason: Sixth at sectional, fifth at district