Deemer sets sights high
Eagle Staff Writer
BUTLER TWP — Hanging high above the water at the Butler High natatorium is a board full of names.
Lots of names.
They are the names of school and pool record holders — swimming royalty.
Golden Tornado senior swimmer Ryan Deemer stares up at it every day.
“I've got my name up there as a member of a relay team,” Deemer said. “But I want to get my name on the pool side. There's some pretty big names up there. That's my big goal.”
Deemer may be well on his way. In what has been an otherwise disappointing season for the Butler swimming and diving team, Deemer has been a bright spot. He was again in a 101-77 loss to North Allegheny Wednesday night, winning both the 100 and 200 freestyle events.
The Butler girls also fell to the Tigers, 106-75.
Deemer advanced to the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships last season in the 200 freestyle and finished 26th.
That motivated him to return for his final season and improve.
“I just wasn't strong enough last year,” Deemer said. “I wanted to get stronger and just be a better competitor. Weight lifting was a big thing for me. I hit the weights hard. And I have been swimming real hard, hard every day in practice.”
Deemer is nearly three seconds faster at this point in the season than he was at this point last year.
That has him and his coach, Dave Bocci, thinking big as the season reaches the home stretch.
“I'm very happy with how Ryan is doing,” Bocci said. “Everything he gets, he's earned. He's working hard on his mechanics. He's working hard on his starts and turns. We're not there yet, but he's making great progress. His swimming future is bright.”
Also bright is the future of freshman Nathan Callithen, who swam a time of 59.80 seconds in the 100 backstroke to win the event and qualify for the WPIAL meet.
Callithen had an idea that tonight was going to be the night for him to qualify after several near misses recently.
“I was trying so hard, I just didn't know when,” Callithen said. “I even wore a race suit for this.”
“I told him to 'suit up,' Suits do matter in this sport,” Bocci added. “That was a big drop. I kind of had the feeling tonight was going to be his night.”
Levi McCollough won the diving event for Butler.
The Tornado are without Levi Cetti, who placed fifth at the PIAA meet last season, with a career-ending back injury.
Doctors told Cetti he could no longer dive because of the injury risk to his back. It was a big blow for the Tornado and Cetti.
“That's very tough,” Bocci said. “I consider him top three or top five in the state. To have that back problem nagging him, a talented senior, it's sad.”
Despite a tough night, the girls also had some highlights.
Kaelyn Emanuel qualified for the WPIAL meet in the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.28.
Macie Pennington (500 freestyle) and Jillian McElhany (50 freestle, 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke) had already qualified this season.
North Allegheny 106-75
200 medley relay: 1-North Allegheny 1:50.92
200 freestyle: 1-Taylor McClellan (NA) 2:05.09
200 individual medley: 1-Christine Sun (NA) 2:22.33
50 freestyle: 1-Kayla Churman (NA) 25.47
1-meter diving: 1-Claire Weiland (B) 195.75
100 butterfly: 1-Charlie Brickner (NA) 1:01.61
100 freestyle: 1-Morgan Soulia (NA) 52.51
500 freestyle: 1-Erin Kuhn (NA) 5:30.45
200 freestyle relay: 1-North Allegheny 1:43.16
100 backstroke: 1-Morgan Soulia (NA) 58.76
100 breaststroke: 1-Morgan Keelan (B) 1:20.68
400 freestyle relay: 1-Butler (Emily Bruce, Kaelyn Emanuel, Macie Pennington, Jillian McElhany) 3:58.32
North Allegheny 101-77
200 medley relay: 1-North Allegheny 1:42.34
200 freestyle: 1-Ryan Deemer (B) 1:47.99
200 individual medley: 1-Max Staresinic (NA) 2:04.53
50 freestyle: 1-Eben Krigger (NA) 24.12
1-meter diving: Levi McCollough (B) 202.50 100 butterfly: 1-Colin MacDonald (NA) 57.22
100 freestyle: 1-Ryan Deemer (B) 49.21
500 freestyle: 1-Max Staresinic (NA) 5:04.50
200 freestyle relay: 1-North Allegheny 1:31.36
100 backstroke: 1-Nathan Callithen (B) 59.80
100 breaststroke: 1-Alex Wigton (B) 1:06.52
400 freestyle relay: 1-Butler (Taylor Frankenstein, Max Merhaut, Nathan Callithen, Christian Pfeil) 3:43.68 - See more at: http://www.butlereagle.com/article/20140116/SPORTS0308/701169836/-1/SPORTS0311#sthash.e0VypMfr.dpuf