There was a moment of trepidation.
Then he saw the determination.
And when Chad Jones won the 200-yard individual medley by storming back on the freestyle leg, Ephrata coach Mickey Molchany realized his boys swim team “took a big step toward our biggest goal.”
The Mountaineer boys (4-0 Section Two, 6-1 overall) handed Cocalico (3-1, 5-2) its first section loss of the season, winning eight of the 11 events for a 107-63 triumph Thursday at the Ephrata recCenter.
The Ephrata girls (3-1, 4-3) completed the sweep with a 112-55 decision over the Eagles (1-3, 1-6).
With meets remaining against Lampeter-Strasburg (1-4, 1-7) and Lancaster Catholic (3-2, 4-4), Molchany said his boys team “cleared its last major roadblock” on a path to winning its first section swimming title in school history.
Jones led that 200 IM through the butterfly and backstroke legs before falling behind Cocalico’s Robert Gehman on the breaststroke. But Jones roared back on the freestyle component and claimed the win in 2:08.02 to Gehman’s 2:08.25.
“That gave us the momentum,” Molchany said.
From there, the Mounts picked up points as fast as the turnover of junior Thomas McGillan’s stroke in the 50 freestyle, which he won in a pool-record 21.65 seconds.
Ephrata went 1-3-4 in five events, 1-2-4 in another, 1-3 in both the 200 and 400 free relays and 2-3 in the 200 medley relay.
“We tried to switch it up a little, but it didn’t work,” said Cocalico coach Wendy Enck, who added that she just didn’t have enough depth to stay with the Mounts this year.
“We’ve always kind of had star power, but not the depth that we needed for those thirds and fourths (places),” Ephrata senior Payton Miller said.
But, Miller and McGillan said, their team grew from nine last season to 19 this year, with an influx of both freshmen and seniors.
“The depth we gained is impressive,” McGillan said.
Molchany echoed those thoughts: “For the first time, we have numbers.”
As for some of the numbers Ephrata put up Thursday, freshman Colby Simes won the 200 free (1:53.29), junior Lucas Knopsnyder took the 500 free (5:06.93) and freshman Cole Freeman won the 100 back (1:00.33).
McGillan, Colby Schwanger, Miller and Simes won the 200 free relay in 1:33.78 and Simes, Knopsnyder, Jones and McGillan took the 400 free relay in 3:29.60.
Alyssa Fedorshak won the 200 free (2:05.45), Kierra Parsons the 50 free (27.11), Mary Campbell the 100 free (59.12) and Maddy Fritz the 100 breaststroke (1:15.32) and those four girls combined to win the 200 (1:48.82) and 400 (4:03.92) free relays.
In Section One
The Manheim Township boys (4-0 Section One, 8-0 overall) won nine of the 12 events to hand visiting Penn Manor (3-1, 6-1) its first loss of the season 117-59 Thursday. Jackson Prevost led the way with wins in the the 200 free (1:48.35) and 100 free (49.54).
The Township girls (4-0, 8-0) claimed a 135-45 victory over the Comets (1-3, 3-4). Liz Perot won the 200 (2:01.71) and 500 (5:18.73) freestyle events for MT.
The Streaks finish the season Tuesday at Warwick.