Manheim Twp. vs. Hempfield - L-L League swimming

Manheim Twp.'s Emilie Mosner, swims the butterfly leg of the 200 yard IM during a a dual meet against Hempfield in the Ken Barshinger Natatorium at Manheim Twp. High School Tuesday Jan. 11, 2022.

Right from the very first race, the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One showdown between Manheim Township and Hempfield gave everyone something to yell about.

In fact, the first four girls races had the walls shaking in the Blue Streaks’ natatorium.

Township’s Gabby Stramara anchored the opening 200-yard medley relay (1:53.66) and touched the wall first, by a mere .22. Black Knights senior Cassandra Christoffel won the next race – the 200 freestyle (2:06.37) by .43.

Blue Streak Emilie Mosner followed with a 2:18.59 for the 200 individual medley honors, by only .14, and Hempfield’s Anna Koger won the 50 free (26.38) by .13.

Those races got things going and helped propel the Manheim Township girls to a 105-80 victory.

It all started with that crazy close medley relay.

“(Manheim Township) Coach Dan (Graybill) always tells us the medley relay sets the tone for the entire meet,” said Stramara. “Right before I touched and saw we were first, I had a good feeling for the rest of the meet.”

The Blue Streaks also won the boys meet in somewhat dominating fashion, 114.5 to 61.5.

“Was that super-charged or what?” Graybill asked. “It absolutely was fun. Even those swimmers that didn’t have a chance to participate were in the spirit of the evening.”

Stramara picked up her individual win with her 100 free swim of 57.21, and when teammate Anna Sassaman placed second, it helped the Streaks break open the close meet with a 68-41 lead.

“I’ve been really looking forward to this meet because I knew it would probably be our tightest race to date,” Stramara said. “I was trying to hype up all the girls and get everyone super excited because I knew that every race, every place mattered.”

Hempfield coach Casey Lear was thrilled with how his swimmers performed.

“I am super-happy,” he said. “Township is a super big team, a super talented team. They’ve got all around everything you could want.”

Ryan Maietta (200 free in 1:51.64, 100 butterfly in 54.68), Graham Calhoun (200 IM/2:04.21, 100 backstroke/54.84) and Henry Gingrich (50 free/21.75, 100 free/48.03) won two individual events for the Township boys side.

Of course, depth helped as well as the Streaks also took second in the 200 medley relay, 200 free and individual medley to open the swimming portion of the meet with a 36-12 lead.

Graybill said having such a spirited meet will pay dividends for the Streaks next week against Warwick and beyond.

“It’s going to help us a lot. We’ve got a big challenge next Tuesday night against Warwick,” he said. “But I am also looking now toward the postseason and I am seeing some things I really like.”

Lear agrees that his team will benefit from such a great meet, despite coming up short in team score.

“It’s excellent swimming,” he said. “Swimming is heart, leaving it all in the water, and it’s exciting for everybody else. It gets loud, it gets the adrenaline going. That is how a meet should be done.”

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