Tamaqua and Schuylkill League rival Blue Mountain are getting used to tight swim meets and Wednesday's early-season clash was no different.
"Our matches against Blue Mountain were very close the last two years," said Tamaqua head swimming coach Ashley Stanek. "I spent a lot of time figuring out what my lineup would be tonight."
Stanek seemed to put together two very competitive squads as the Tamaqua girls were victorious, 101-79, and the boys dropped a tight decision, 98-88.
Coach Stanek suggested that the mental preparation of her team would be critical during this early season test for the Raiders.
"We talked about this match a lot, the girls were definitely anxious for this one," said the coach. "I really admired how everyone supported each other. I thought our team really went for it, we knew it would be very close in the end."
Maturity is one big gauge of how well an individual or team is mentally prepared and that's an area the Raiders see as a strength.
"Our leadership has been great. We've had a lot of guys and girls who have been strong leaders at practices as well as at meets," said Stanek.
A freshman who was deemed a "mature swimmer" for her age by Stanek was Rebecca Kanaskie. Kanaskie was victorious in the 100 breast and the 200 IM.
"Rebecca is a very confident swimmer. That's a quality you really like to see in a young athlete," said Stanek.
"I thought she (Kanaskie) did a very good job as a freshmen stepping up and scoring for the team."
Mirana Amey was another standout for Tamaqua. Amey recorded wins in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.
The Tamaqua boys had a collective effort to keep the score very close throughout the match.
Ethan Eberts, Ben Turrano, and Jake Kropp all had individual wins for the Raiders.
"We try to focus on individual improvement opposed to winning and losing because you don't have any control over that," Stanek said.
Stanek ultimately seems to like what she's seeing from this year's group.
"I think this group has a positive attitude and a fantastic work ethic," she said. "I told the team that they really had to step up tonight and I think everyone really went for it all tonight."
Tamaqua 101, Blue Mt. 79
200 Medley Relay - 1. Tamaqua (Makayla Boyle, Carly Trovinger, Joann Butkus, Danielle DeCindio) 2:01.73; 2. Blue Mountain, 3. Blue Mountain.
200 Free - 1. Miranda Amey (T) 2:08.35, 2. Rebecca Donohue (BM), 3. Madelyn Krause (BM).
200 I.M. - 1. Rebecca Kanaskie (T) 2:26.77, 2. Carly Trovinger (T), 3. Carleigh Bogotuik (BM).
50 Free - 1. Joann Butkus (T) 25.34, 2. Danielle DeCindio (T), 3. Rachel Juritsch (BM).
1 Mtr Diving - 1. Rebecca Minehan (T) 98.25, 2. Emma Barrett (BM).
100 Fly - 1. Joann Butkus (T) 1:04.11, 2. Danielle DeCindio (T), 3. Carleigh Bogotuik (BM)
100 Free - 1. Maddie Bartush (BM) 58.08, 2. Makayla Boyle (T), 3. Amber Gulick (T).
500 Free - 1. Miranda Amey (T) 5:48.54, 2. Rebecca Donohue (BM), 3. Madelyn Krause (BM)
200 Free Relay - 1. Tamaqua (Miranda Amey Carly Trovinger, Amber Gulick, Rebecca Kanaskie) 1:51.19, 2. Blue Mountain, 3. Blue Mountain.
100 Back - 1. Maddie Bartush (BM) 1:06.42, 2. Makayla Boyle (T), 3. JoJo Jacobson (BM).
100 Breast - Rebecca Kanaskie (T) 1:16.18, 2. Carly Trovinger (T), 3. Erica Donohue (BM).
400 Free Relay - 1. Tamaqua (Miranda Amey, Danielle DeCindio, Rebecca Kanaskie, Joann Butkus 4:01.28, 2. Blue Mountain, 3. Tamaqua.
Blue Mt. 98, Tamaqua 88
200 Medley Relay - 1. Blue Mountain (Mark Boran, Nathanael Marino, Colin Greenawalt, Joey McLaughlin) 1:51.82, 2. Tamaqua. 3. Blue Mountain.
200 Free - 1. Nathanel Marino (BM) 1:57.75, 2. Matt Stanek, 3. Jake Wenzel
200 I.M. - 1. Mark Boran (BM) 2:16.35, 2. Gage Whalen (T) . 3. Stephen Johnson (BM).
50 Free - 1. Ethan Eberts, (T) 24.98. 2. Joey McLaughlin (BM), 3. Ben Turrano (T)
1 Mtr Diving - 1. Lyle Luckenbill, (BM) 145, 2. Thorn Devlin (T), 3. Norman Thomas (T)
100 Fly - 1. Ben Turrano (T) 1:02.94, 2. Ryan Alicandri (T), 3. Collin Greenawalt, (BM)
100 Free - 1. Jake Kropp (T) 55.88, 2. Stephen Johnson (BM), 3. Joey McLaughlin (BM)
500 Free - 1. Nathanael Marino (BM) 5:32.19, 2. Matt Stanek, (T), 3. Matt Blair (BM)t
200 Free Relay - 1 Blue Mountain 1:39.41, 2. Tamaqua, 3. Blue Mountain.
100 Back - 1. Mark Boran, (BM) 58.85, 2. Jake Kropp (T), 3. Ethan Eberts (T).
100 Breast - 1. Tanner Willey (BM)1:17.21, 2. Gage Whalen (T), 3. Patrick McMullen (T).
400 Free Relay - Tamaqua (Ben Turano, Jake Wetzel, Jake Kropp, Matt Stanek), 2. Blue Mountain, Blue Mountain.