Shaler swimmer Stanton sets high expectations

Saturday, December 23, 2017 | 11:00 PM

Making a trip to Bucknell for the PIAA Class AAA swimming championships last year was the perfect experience for Shaler sophomore Jenna Stanton.

Supporting teammate Emily Schaefer, who placed 30th in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2 minutes, 13.65 seconds, was the paramount concern. But it was also an opportunity for Stanton — and fellow sophomore Olivia Dibon — to gain perspective.

“Jenna went up with us to states, so did Olivia,” Titans coach Keith Simmons said. “They both got a taste of what it was like to go up. They really want to get back and participate because they were on record-breaking relays last year and have aspirations of making it out to states, whether it's individuals or relays, over the next two years.”

It gave Stanton, who recently became the first Shaler individual to hit a WPIAL qualifying mark in the 100 butterfly, something to day dream about in the summer.

Save for a one-week vacation, Stanton spent much of her time trying to speed up.

“It was a fun atmosphere, and you could tell everyone was excited,” Stanton said. “It was a different kind of meet compared to other varsity meets. It was really good motivation. I thought about that all summer, wanting to make it to states.”

Stanton, who qualified for WPIALs in four events (100 back, 100 fly, 200 free, 200 medley relay) as a freshman, hit her first qualifying mark in the 200 back already.

Shaler's other qualifiers so far are the 200 medley relay team of Justin Adametz, Jack Wiemann, Stephen Adametz and Eddie Sheets.

Simmons has seen faster times across the board for the entire team.

“We changed the way trained,” Simmons said. “We're asking them to do different things. Not that the equipment changed, it's their attitude.

“We ordered some new training devices they can use so their body is better positioned and they get a better feel for the water.”

Stanton doesn't feel as much strain now. During her first season, Stanton qualified for WPIALs toward the end of the season. This year, having already qualified has given her a new challenge — trying to set the standard for a team that has larger aspirations then just qualifying for WPIALs.

“Last year, as a freshman I was learning how everything works,” Stanton said. “I knew what was going on and what to expect this season. With WPIAL cuts last year, I got them toward the end of the season. I wanted to get them out of the way, and that helped push me. I wanted to set a good example for everyone.”

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.


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