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Looking at the final tally, it’s obvious that Elizabethtown rolled through Tuesday’s swim meet against Manheim Central.

The Bears won every race but one, in many cases taking first and second, against the short-handed Barons, en route to a sweep, 130-20 in the boys and 126-31 in the girls.

Yet the results were likely not the most important thing of the Section Two opener for the Bears, who hosted a swim meet at Elizabethtown College for the first time since the 2019-20 season. That fact alone made the evening special.

“It’s good to be back home. It’s a familiar place,” Bears coach Chad Houck said. “There’s always some flukes with a first meet and the stress of hosting a meet. It’s still a section meet and we were aware that this is where our section starts and we want to open up strong.”

Elizabethtown could not use the college last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was really awesome. It was much more energy than an away meet so it was a lot of fun,” said senior Wyatt Rachael, who won the boys 100-yard breaststroke in 1:07.54.

For senior Sierra Kapcsos, being back was doubly special after she missed last season because of foot surgery.

“I always have my best races in this pool, and this was the meet I can say I am back,” she said. “I swam over the summer and I was not anywhere close where I used to be. Now I am and it feels good.”

Kapcsos, who is also a standout cross country runner, won both of the girls sprint events, going 27.26 in the 50 freestyle and 59.74 in the 100 free.

Of course, it’s been more than just hosting meets that has Houck pleased, as the Bears are able to train in the pools at Elizabethtown College and the Patton Pool at Masonic Village.

It’s made the early season better than last year when they trained at Hempfield Rec Center and had all away meets because COVID shut down those facilities.

“We swam a lot of Saturdays last year and in a lot of random locations,” Houck said. “A little bit back to normal feels nice.”

Freshman Everett Rachael won the boys 50 free (23.42) and 100 backstroke (57.03). Sophomore teammate Carter Ketchum took the honors in the 200 (2:01.19) and 500 (5:34.75) free races against the Barons.

Now that the opening home meet is behind them, the Bears are dealing with welcome expectations to contend in Section Two. Most expect the section to come down to Elizabethtown and defending champ Ephrata.

“Our team has always been big. I’d say this year there is a lot of talent,” Kapcsos said. “We have more numbers in each event to the point we can mix things up. We’ve always had numbers, but we have true depth.”

“We have 48 on the roster. We’ve had more than that before. It’s a big squad, in terms of true depth, in terms of swimming talent, it’s the biggest we have had,” Houck added. “(Ephrata is) one we do have circled on the calendar.

“As much as I try to keep our focus on where we are, my speech tonight was, ‘Hey, we are opening up our section.’ It starts tonight and we prepare for that by doing things in meets like this.”

Gabrielle Fittery’s 2:25.83 in the girls 200 free was the lone win for Manheim Central.

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