Butzler is hoping to qualify for states again
Jersey Shore swimming coach Jenna Brooks has known Emma Butzler since she was competing in the pool as an 8-and-under swimmer on a summer team. And growing up seeing her compete, she’s always confident Butzler is the best swimmer in the pool in any event she’s competing in.
And given that Butzler has dominanted many races over her career in high school — and even prior – Brooks has been fortunate enough to see her set not only Jerey Shore pool records, but win district and state medals.
Butzler has five school records, has over 100 individual wins — believed to be the most in Jersey Shore program history — and is a six-time state qualifier, but despite all that, Brooks’ favorite moment in Butzler’s career was a simple one: placing a medal around her neck twice.
Last year, Butzler won the 100 fly at the District 4 tournament by nearly two seconds and then a week later, placed third at the PIAA meet.
“Between those two races and multiple others within the past two years, I was so proud to be the one who put those medals around her neck,” Brooks said. “She doesn’t let anything stand in her way and when she sees a challenge, she takes it head on and fights to the very finish to get what she wants and deserves.”
And likely, Butzler wants a few more medals draped around her neck.
Butzler will be competing in two individual events — the 100 fly and 100 free — in addition to two relay teams at the District 4 swimming championships, which are set for today and Thursday at Williamsport High School.
On Wednesday, the events that will be competed in are the 200 medley relay, 200 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 100 fly and 200 free relay. Districts resume then Thursday with the 100 free, 500 free, 100 back, 100 breast and 400 free relay.
Butzler has five school records at Jersey Shore in the 200 free (1:56.17), 200 IM (2:14.58), 100 fly (57.03), 500 free (5:21.10) and 100 back (1:01.05) and earlier this year, won her 100th career individual race, a feat she is believed to be the only one in program history to have accomplished.
“To me these were just milestones along the way. Times in my events like the 100 fly and the relays are more significant to me,” Butzler said. “Swimming is all about times and the accomplishments just follow.”
Last year at the state meet, Butzler took third in the 100 fly with a time of 57.03. And for Butzler, that 0.03 seconds is something she wants to surpass and break 57 seconds in the event.
“I’m not so much motivated to place at districts, but I’m more motivated to break a 57 in the 100 fly and PR in my 100 free,” Butzler said. “But I’m very motivated to get my two relays to states wtih me. I want both my relays to place first at districts because they work really hard and states is more fun with friends around you.”
“She has been working her butt off this year in and out of the pool because she has her goal of returning to the podium and bettering her personal best time,” Brooks said.
Along with Butzler in the relays are Jordan O’Connor, Veronica Sander and Meaghan Keegan.
In total, Jersey Shore has 13 swimmers competing at districts. Aside from relays, O’Connor is competing in the 50 free and 100 back, Sander in the 50 free and 100 free and Keegan in the 100 fly and 100 breast.
Allison Moore will compete in the 200 IM and 500 free.
On the boys side, Alex Butzler (100 fly, 100 free), Jacob Bower (50 free, 100 free) and Nash Berfield (200 IM, 100 back) are the only ones competing in multiple individual events. Caleb Stemler and Blaine Mann are both competing in the 100 free and a relay and Hunter Lucas will compete in the 100 back and a relay as well.
Jersey Shore’s boys and girls swimmers have had success throughout the regular season and that level of success is something that Brooks thinks will be able to carry over into districts in terms of having a swimmer on the podium.
“I would say that over half of the races that we will be entered in, there should be at least one Top 6 place finisher per those events,” Brooks said. “So excited of what I have seen these swimmers do over the past three months and I am looking forward to what Wednesday and Thursday will bring.”
“Jersey Shore has grown into a strong team and we will definitely be sending our kids to the podiums,” Butzler said while noting diving points will hurt Jersey Shore since they do not have any divers. “But overall, even without those diving points, I think our girls will place pretty high and we are expecting some PRs from our boys.”
Montoursville has 14 swimmers competing as well in districts, with all but six competing in individual events.
Alex Bohlin, Jesie Hanna, Libby McNamara, Sam Scavage, Erin Witter and Kerrigan Hartsock will compete in relays for the Warriors, but not any individual events.
Hannah Albert, Braden Cott, Jacob Fellinger, Kurtis Johnson, Tyler Johnson, Sam Jordan and Angelo Silvagni are all competing in individual events and Montoursville coach Schane Confer is hoping the Warriors can send a few swimmers to the state tournament at Bucknell.
“I think our team has the potential to have some podium appearances and we’re looking to have state-qualifying times,” Confer said.
Wellsboro has five competing in the district tournament, three seniors in Connor Brought, Abigail Fell and Kaitlyne Kramer and two sophomores in Cathryn Brought and Brennan Warner.
Cathryn Brought is competing in the 50 free and 100 free, Connor Brought is competing in the 200 IM and 100 breast, Fell is competing in the 200 IM and 100 back, Kramer is competing in the 200 free and 100 free and Warner will compete in the 50 free and 100 breast for the Green Hornets.
Lewisburg will have 30 swimmers competing over the next two days. Among them is Lauren Michaels, the only Lewisburg girls swimmer who had state experience from last season and is back. She was 21st in the 500 free at the state meet.
This year, Michaels will swim in the 200 free, 100 free and two relays at the district meet.
On the boys side, Lewisburg returns both Christian Coleman and Christopher Meng, a sophomore and junior last year, respectively, that competed in the state meet. Coleman took 15th in the 100 back last year at the state meet while Meng was 22nd in the 100 breast. Coleman is competing in the 200 IM and 100 free while Meng will compete in the 100 fly and 100 breast, and both are set to compete in relays.
AREA SWIMMERS COMPETING IN THE DISTRICT 4 MEET
The following is a list of area swimmers from Jersey Shore, Montoursville, Wellsboro and Lewisburg that will be competing at the district swimming championships and what events each swimmer has qualified for.
Please note, while some swimmers are qualified in many events, a swimmer is limited to swim either one individual event and three relays, or two individual events and two relays.
Emma Butzler (100 fly, 100 free, 2 relays); Gabrielle Bellomo (1 relay); Allison Moore (200 IM, 500 free, 1 relay); Jordan O’Connor (50 free, 100 back, 2 relays); Veronica Sander (50 free, 100 free, 2 relays); Maegan Sorgen (50 free, 500 free, 1 relay); Meaghan Keegan (100 fly, 100 breast, 2 relays); Hunter Lucas (100 back, 1 relay); Jacob Bower (50 free, 100 free, 2 relays); Nash Berfield (200 IM, 100 back, 2 relays); Blaine Mann (100 free, 1 relay); Alex Butzler (100 fly, 100 free, 2 relays); Caleb Stemler (100 free, 1 relay)
Hannah Albert (50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 200 IM, 3 relays); Alex Bohlin (2 relays); Braden Cott (100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 3 relays); Jacob Fellinger (100 free, 3 relays); Jesie Hannah (2 relays); Tyler Hartsock (2 relays); Kurtis Johnson (50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, 200 IM, 3 relays); Tyler Johnson (50 free, 100 free, 500 free, 100 fly, 3 relays); Sam Jordan (50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 200 IM, 3 relays); Libby McNamara (3 relays); Sam Scavage (2 relays); Angelo Silvagni (50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, 200 IM, 3 relays); Erin Witter (3 relays); Kerrigan Hartsock (2 relays)
Cathryn Brought (50 free, 100 free); Connor Brought (200 IM, 100 breast); Abigail Fell (200 IM, 100 back); Kaitlyne Kramer (200 free, 100 free), Brennan Warner (50 free, 100 breast)
Anna Batkowski (100 free, 100 breast, 2 relays); Sarah Burns (50 free, 100 free, 2 relays); Colleen Caribardi (500 free, 2 relays); Hannah Castellan (100 breast); Sarah Castellan (100 breast, 200 IM); Molly Gill (500 free, 3 relays); Elyse Gower (50 free, 100 back, 2 relays); Nora Haynos (50 free, 2 relays); Jewels Hepner (50 free, 100 back, 3 r elays); Delaney Humphrey (200 IM, 500 free, 2 relays); Sarah Ladd (100 back, 1 relay); Grace McBride (100 fly, 500 free); Lily McBride (200 free, 100 free, 3 relays); Lauren Michaels (200 free, 100 back, 2 relays); Scarlet Schroeder (diving); Madelyn Wolfe (100 free, 1 relay); Christian Coleman (200 IM, 100 free, 3 relays); Evan Dominick (500 free); Jack Drouin (200 free, 500 free, 3 relays); Jacob Feuerstein (200 IM, 100 fly); Hunter Grimes (diving); Thomas Haynos (200 free, 100 back, 3 relays); James Koconis (100 fly, 100 back, 2 relays); Benjamin Lin (100 breast, 2 relays); Christopher Meng (100 fly, 100 breast, 3 relays); Logan Plank (100 fre, 1 relay); Collin Runyon (diving); Jason Stanko (200 IM, 50 free, 3 relays); Austin Weisser (100 free); Mason Wuerdeman (200 free, 100 breast, 3 relays)