IR girls split tri-meet with Bucs, Royals

Emma Barthelmess has done it again for the Indian River High School girls’ swim team. The IR junior swam a DIAA state championship qualifying time of 2:12.56 in winning the 200 freestyle event on Tuesday, Dec. 17, in the Indians’ split of their tri-meet with Delmarva Christian and host Milford.

Barthelmess was just 2 seconds away from the team record in the event. In her first time swimming the 100 freestyle, she broke the one-minute mark with a time of 59.90, which also qualified her for that event in the state championships. She was just short of breaking the team record in that event as well.

“Emma is a courageous swimmer who is not afraid to try new events and believe in herself when we coaches believe in her,” said IR girls’ head coach Dana Schaefer. “When we coaches say that she can achieve a state and qualifying time, or even go for a record, she believes it 100 percent and goes after it.”

For the meet overall, IR defeated Delmarva Christian, 56-37, but was edged out by Milford, 53-41. The split keeps the Indians’ record at the .500 mark at 2-2 overall this season.

Freshmen Mya MacDonald and Jordan Gonzalez continue to get stronger in the early parts of the season in their first experiences at the high school varsity level. MacDonald swam the 100 backstroke for the first time in a meet earlier this season against Seaford, and this time around she was much faster than that, with her 1:21.63. Gonzalez was right behind at 1:22.36. Their efforts earned second- and third-place finishes in the meet, respectively, for the Indians.

“Among the new swimmers, freshman Mya MacDonald and Jordan Gonzales swam the new two fastest times on the team in 100 backstroke, at 1:21.63 and 1:22.36, respectively,” added Schaefer. “Mya reluctantly tried backstroke in the meet against Seaford,” she noted of the Dec. 10 event, “and swam almost 8 seconds faster today. I’m so happy for her, and I love Jordan’s work ethic in practice, as well as her constant effort to improve. Her diligence is going to keep paying off with big swims.”

The Indians also continue to get inspiring efforts and leadership from their captains, seniors Morgan Gray and Emma Kelley.

“Our captains came to the team’s rescue,” Schaefer said of the Tuesday meet. “Morgan swam the 100 butterfly, along with rookie Madeline Harris, when our regular flyers were needed to post times and points in other events.” Emma Kelly “stepped up to swim the 500 freestyle with an impressive time of 7:34.82 beside junior Lexi Hall, and her time of 7:26.21. I can count on these captains to swim anything when they say, ‘Put me in whatever you need, Coach.’ That’s a gift to their teammates.”

IR will now take the next couple weeks to prepare for the stretch run of January of meets that includes seven total, starting on Thursday, Jan. 9, when they will host Polytech at the Howard T. Ennis School pool. It is one of just three home meets the Indians will have this season, with the others being Tuesday, Jan. 21, against Dover, and Tuesday, Jan. 28, against Cape Henlopen.


By Jason Feather
Staff Reporter