Shore’s Emma Butzler wins individual, 2 relay golds on Day 1.

By: Eric Hunt | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | March 1, 2018


Jersey Shore senior Emma Butzler added to her accomplishments, as she claimed an individual gold medal and helped her two relay teams win as well on the first day of the District 4 swimming championships at Williamsport High School Wednesday.

Butzler and Lewisburg's Christian Coleman were the only local swimmers to win individual events.

Butzler helped her 200 medley and free relay teams capture district titles, and more importantly, a trip to the state meet in two weeks held at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium beginning March 14.

Butzler's individual win was in the 100 fly, edging out Shamokin's Gabrielle Doss just 0.31 seconds.

Jersey Shore's 200 medley relay team finished in 1:52.31, just a second faster than Bloomsburg for the first event and first gold medal in the championships. Then Shore's foursome ended the night capturing the 200 freestyle relay in 1:42.00, again over Blooomsburg.

Even through four years of countless accomplishments in the pool, Butzler continues to set high standards for her individual performances and enjoys encouraging her relay teammates — Meaghan Keegan, Jordan O'Connor and Veronica Sander — to compete at a top level.

"I love my team, I love my relay, and I'm happy that I am able to bring them to states with me this year," Butzler beamed as she rose from the pool. As an accomplished senior, Butzler is looked up to as a big sister when it comes to her relay teams and wants to help in any way possible.

"We are a very close group, we have sleepovers, wing nights and have a lot of time just to have fun." Butzler said.

"It's a big accomplishment for all of us," Sander said following the 200 free relay win, Especially in (Meaghan) and my freshman year, it is a cool experience." Sander added.

"It felt good to win as a team and make it a team accomplishment," O'Connor said.

Butzler's individual goal for the night was to break the 57-second mark in the 100 fly.

It is one goal that has yet to be accomplished for Butzler as the senior swimmer looked up at the final times to see 57.47 by her lane number.

"I'm very happy with that time, although it wasn't the 57 I wanted, it will definitely be a time I can get at the state meet." Butzler said as the lone individual champion for the Bulldogs.

Coleman led a strong Lewisburg contingent as the only Green Dragon champion from the first day as he captured the 200 individual medley title and state berth with a time of 1:59.71.

Other Lewisburg swimmers who have put themselves in a good position to qualify for the state championships is three-time qualifier Lauren Michaels and Christopher Meng. Michaels had a second place finish in the 200 free in 1:58.96, behind Bloomsburg's Hanna Everhart record-breaking time of 1:48.97, which set new pool and district standards.

And Meng had a 56.50 time for a runner-up finish in the 100-yard freestyle event.

Lewisburg sits in second place after 11 events in both boys and girls overall results. The boys have 192 points trailing Central Columbia's 215. Lewisburg girls have 167 points behind Bloomsburg's 199. Jersey Shore girls sit in third place with 154.

O'Connor had a big improvement in her 50-yard freestyle event for Jersey Shore as she rose to a second place finish from a ninth-place finish a year ago.

"It's definitely a really big upgrade, it was a big motivation for me coming into this year." O'Connor said after her 25.23-second performance, "I really focused on freestyle and made it my main event."

District swimming resumes tonight at 6 p.m. with the final day of competition as many local swimmers look to capture gold and a trip to the state meet.

Butzler, O'Connor, Sander and Keeghan will look to make more strides in the pool and post personal bests in their respective events.

"If they swim hard and get after their PRs, then the placing will follow," Butzler said as words of encouragement to her relay girls.