By now, it can be assumed the Dallas High School swim teams will be among the prime contenders for Wyoming Valley Conference and District 2 titles.
Just don’t expect coach Romayne Mosier to say so before the season even starts.
“I don’t like to make predictions and I won’t make predictions because you just never know what’s going to happen,” Mosier said.
When the Dallas girls avenged their only conference loss in three years while winning the District 2 Class 2A championship last season, it represented the eighth straight year the Mountaineers won one of the four titles available to them – conference or district, boys or girls.
“We have a strong team,” Mosier said. “We’ll just have to see what happens.
“We didn’t lose a whole lot.”
The number of established, quality swimmers returning – and the past success – add up to a team to figure in title chases.
Swimmers Annalise Cheshire and Abby Zolner and diver Gianna Leo are seniors who have been major factors throughout their careers in which the girls team has won three straight district titles and gone 36-1 in the WVC with two championships and last season’s second-place finish.
The boys program had lost just twice in four years before losing two meets last season. Still, it has gone 41-4 with three championships in the last five WVC seasons and has won six of the last eight District 2 titles.
Cheshire is the reigning district champion in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle while Zolner is more of a distance swimmer, picking up one of her two district silvers last season in the 500 freestyle. Both, however, are extremely versatile, with the ability to pick up wins in many different events, according to where Mosier may need them in a particular dual meet.
“One of the nice things about my seniors who have been with me so long is that they can swim anywhere,” Mosier said.
Juniors Hannah Thomas and diver Jaelyn Shaver are expected to be major contributors to the lineup.
Sydney Bittner, Missy Leonard, Jenny Leonard, Kaitlyn VanEtten and Abbey Sutzko all helped the team last season as freshmen.
Gabby Krochta and Emma Thomas appear to be the top incoming freshmen.
The Dallas boys are a bit thin in the junior and sophomore classes, but they return a strong senior class from last year’s district runner-up team.
Mikhail Krochta, Tony Caravaggio, Andrew Francis, Zach Minarik, Ryan Spears and Issa Dahdal are the returning seniors.
Evan Sabecky is a junior with experience from youth swimming who is joining the team for the first time.
“I don’t know what to expect from him yet,” Mosier said.
Shane Szczecinski, Kevin Allen and Zach Blockus all helped the team last season as freshmen.
Dennis Dukinas, Jack Stout and J.R. Redmond came up through the Dallas Mountaineers Aquatics Club youth program and may be ready to contribute as freshmen.
While other winter sports teams being their seasons in the week ahead, the Dallas swimmers still have time before opening their seasons with a WVC meet against Lake-Lehman Dec. 13 at 4:30 p.m. at the Dallas Middle School.
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