Westmoreland Athletes of the Week: Norwin’s Ethan Tulenko, Hempfield’s Francesca Nemetz

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 | 7:33 PM

Ethan Tulenko

School: Norwin

Sport: Swimming and Diving

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Tulenko won the boys 200-yard freestyle with the time of 1 minute, 41.81 seconds at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association swimming and diving championships Jan. 25 at Derry. Tulenko broke a three-year meet record (1:44.28) that was set by Zack Rulli. Tulenko finished second behind Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan in the 50 free. Tulenko was part of Norwin’s 200 medley relay that won with a time of 1:40.20 and the 200 freestyle relay team that finished third with a time of 1:29.70.

“I was really happy with how I did at counties. I got to see where we are as I get ready for the section meet and what we need to work on and change,” Tulenko said.

What made you decide to commit to George Washington?

The value in academics and athletics. Coach Thomas made me realize that athletics takes you only so far and the importance that academics is going to push you for the rest of your life. George Washington is somewhere I could go to pursue my education to go to med school and continue my love for swimming.

What did it mean to you to break the record in the 200 freestyle?

I was really happy to break that record. I took swimming serious for the last two years now. It means a lot to see how far I have come since I didn’t quality for WPIALs my freshman year. It shows how much hard work and dedication can do for you.

What were your thoughts on the race against Ian Shahan in the 50 free?

I was happy with that. We swim against each other a lot. It was really nice to compete against one of my close friends.

What are you looking to work on for the rest of the year?

I need to really focus on my technique and other changes. I need to continue to work in the weight room to get faster and get my times down. I would like to win the 200 free at WPIALs.

Who’s your favorite athlete and why?

I would say Michael Phelps, but Caeleb Dressel. He shows how hard work and dedication can pay off while being humble in what you do and not being so arrogant all the time.

Francesca Nemetz

School: Hempfield

Class: Swimming and Diving

Year: Senior

Claim to fame: Nemetz won the 100 butterfly with the time of 59.52 at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association swimming and diving championships Jan. 25 at Derry. Nemetz finished third in the 500 free with a time of 5:21.18. Nemetz was also part of the two victorious Spartans relays: the 200 freestyle relay (1:39.46) and 400 freestyle relay (3:37.49).

“I was really exited to be the champion in the 100 fly, and it was great to do a my season best in the event. I’m still really new at the 500 free, so I’m happy with my results. I’m excited to see where the relays go. The girls and I are really trying to improve on our technique. It really boosted our confidence to finish it out,” Nemetz said.

What are your college plans for next year and why?

I’m currently being recruited by Gannon, and I will major in engineering.

What does it mean to you to win an event at the WCCA individually?

It was a pretty big lift off my shoulders with all the work I have been putting in.

What does it mean to lead your team to a close victory over Franklin Regional at the meet?

We’ve all been putting in the time this year and pushing to do the best this season. We didn’t think we’d go that fast this season. It reassured our training is helping us be faster at the end of the season, and we want to work towards our personal goals.

What’s your mindset for the rest of the year?

I’m working on technique and see if we can drop a little more time.

What’s your favorite stroke and why?

100 fly. I’ve been swimming it since I turned 13. It sort of clicked, and I’ve stuck with it since. I’ve been improving with it through my high school career.

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