First Posted: 1/27/2014
By TOM ROBINSON
For the Dallas Post
The Dallas Mountaineer Aquatic Club, which won division titles in both the boys and girls competition a year ago, is on pace for what could be the most successful season in the program’s history.
Last season’s division championships came when the Northeastern Pennsylvania Age Group Swim League was split geographically into North and South Divisions. Dallas ultimately lost the overall league championships to the North Division champions – Valley View in girls and Delaware Valley in boys.
The successful season landed Dallas in Division I when the NEPAGSL reorganized its divisions according to strength this season. The Dallas teams have beaten both opponents that kept them from overall league titles last season and are alone in first place in the top division after sweeping a key boys and girls meet at Valley View Jan. 25.
“Right now, we’re just thrilled,” DMAC board president Joe Leonard said.
Dallas won a battle of unbeatens from the defending champion Valley View girls, 132-123, and also beat a strong Valley View boys team, 142-110, to come out of the meet as the only unbeaten in Division I.
The 11th season in the program’s history is shaping up as its best.
“We hadn’t beaten Valley View in forever,” Leonard said. “This is only the second year that we’ve beaten the (Wilkes-Barre) CYC team. This is the first DMAC team that has the chance to win the league championship, totally undefeated boys and girls. We’ve had a girls undefeated regular season before and a boys undefeated regular season but this will be the first time the team has a chance to win it collectively.”
When the Valley View meet was over, the two Dallas teams had the only perfect NEPAGSL records.
The Dallas girls also won a crossover meet from Elk Lake, which is unbeaten within its division to lead Division 2. Dallas already overwhelmed second-place and defending champion Delaware Valley, 148-99, on the boys side and the only Division 2 unbeaten, Central Columbia, also has a loss in crossover competition.
Both Dallas teams are 4-0 in their divisions with one meet left and 5-0 counting crossovers against Division II. The league had scheduled three crossovers for each team, but weather has caused schedule alterations and those meets may not be made up.
Chris McCall is the head coach of the club team, which has spread its success across all age levels.
Each meet includes races in the 8-and-under, 10-and-under, 12-and-under, and 14-and-under age groups. With points coming from all age levels, the future of the teams and the high school programs they feed appear to be promising.
According to records the league keeps, the Dallas boys and girls have outscored their opponents in every meet on both the 8-and-under and 14-and-under age levels. The girls had outscored all opponents at 10-and-under and 12-and-under until they ran into Valley View where they still produced enough points to help the team to the overall win.
“That information is available, but we don’t usually break it down that way,” Leonard said. “We’re more concerned about how our team performs collectively.”
Ava Baur set a league age group record of 2:10.10 in the 12-and-under, 200-yard freestyle earlier this season. Leonard said swimmers from the team have apparently set a few more league records, but those efforts are still going through a complex verification process before possibly being recognized by the NEPAGSL.
Annalise Cheshire and Abby Zolner helped lead the victory in the first-place showdown with Valley View by three events each in the 14-and-under group.
Baur won two 12-and-under events and Victoria Spaciano won two 8-and-under events.
Thomas Doran won three 10-and-under boys events against Valley View while Troy Reinert and Dylan Lisnow each won twice at 14-and-under and Jakob Baur won twice at 8-and-under.