- David Leberfinger
Practices in the natatorium will no longer consist of the usual work outs. “We’ll taper down like we did for districts,” says four event State qualifier Stefan Szilagyi. Not only is Szilagyi making an appearance at the State meet, but teammates Jonah Chamberlain (9), Colin Warren (9), Forrest Bennet (10), Mitchell Fornwald (10), Samuel Calhoun (10) and Zachary Stephens (12) are as well.

With the returning State champion in the 100 breast [Stephens] still on the team, the environment in the pool is filled with motivation and inspiration. “Having a state champion swim before me is reassuring,” says fly swimmer Chamberlain, a state qualifier in 200 medley relay. “I’m following a kid who’s about to swim for Notre Dame.”
With the pressure of maintaining his champion status, Stephens has been pushing himself harder than ever. “Notre Dame is a really fast swimming school,” says Stephens. “I want to be able to help them at their championship meets and that means I have to get a little bit faster.”
During the week, Stephens only practices in the high school’s pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The remainder of the days are spent swimming at the Sunbury YMCA. “There’s not too much of a difference,” says Stephens. “Some days I’ll work on stroke, IM or distance free sets, but that’s also what we do in high school.”
Although Stephens only practices at the high school pool twice a week, he still managed to make every pool record his own. “I was really happy when I got the 100 backstroke record,” adds Stephens. “I put about 15-20 hours a week into swimming, but that’s the one record that I thought, ‘Wow, I could get all the records, except for that one.’”
Stephens’ flawless technique and driven mindset has done him nothing but good, leading him to his best time of 1:52.0 in the 200 IM at the YMCA Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida last April.

The pressure riding on the 200 medley relay team affects each member differently. “I think if anything it will make me swim faster,” says Chamberlain. “I would really like to win that state medal and be a state champion, so I’m thinking it will push me and I will swim my fastest time at Bucknell.”
Not only is Chamberlain confident about his upcoming performance at Bucknell University and hoping to earn a medal, but other swimmers are hoping for the same thing. “My goal is to medal in my fly and the relays,” says Szilagyi, who has a personal best of a 53.0 in the 100 fly.
With the State championships taking place this week in the Bucknell Natatorium, the team has high hopes of taking home individual and relay championships as well as a team championship to follow their previous third place finish last year. “Because of the hard work they’ve put in all year long, the kids don’t deserve anything less than a state championship,” says head coach Mark Barnes.

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The Red & White Bloomsburg High School Bloomsburg, PA
Issue Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011 Issue: Swimming States Last Update: Saturday, March 12, 2011
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