Butzler is Shore’s 1st 3-time individual medalist.

By: Brett R. Crossley | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | March 17, 2018


LEWISBURG – Jersey Shore's Emma Butzler knows all about the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

As a freshman she qualified in the 100 fly and has been a mainstay at the event ever since. Butzler approached this year's championships with plenty of experience and it showed as she opened the first day with two relays and her signature event in the 100 fly.

Butzler looked calm throughout the meet, cheering on teammates and providing support for the three relay team members. The encouragement and support paid off for Butzler as both teams qualified for the night swim.

Butzler, who set a goal of simply enjoying the moment, looked poised throughout the 100 fly, edging Dallas' Abby Zolner to claim a third-place finish with a final time of 57.15.

"I'm more comfortable at these kinds of meets," Butzler said. "I'm more comfortable at higher level meets even under the pressure. I still get nervous, but it's easier going through the years, especially now because I have a team. It's about having fun."

As for Butzler and the relay teams, they all shined, placing 13th in the 200 medley relay and then posting a 1:40.68 in the 200 free for the 11th overall finish. For Butzler, it was a busy day and night. She qualified for the 100 fly, but had little to no rest in between events as the 400 free followed immediately afterwards. Jersey Shore's relay team finished with a 1:40.54 for a tenth overall finish.

"We have a lot of confidence knowing our coaches have confidence in us and our teammates have confidence in us," Jordan O'Connor said. "You know what you can do and what type of training we've had."

O'Connor swam the second portion of the event. Ahead of her was Meaghan Keegan. Veronica Sander swam the third leg and Butzler pulled anchor duties to help close out the race.

If luck was on Butzler's side it was because she swam the final portion of the relay. Some might have thought she would be tired after swimming the fly, but it didn't show as Butzler finished the race strong.

"The relay is so amazing," Butzler said. "I'm so proud of them. When I was a freshman I thought those relay records were untouchable and we got them today."

In the fly, Butzler was paired with fellow District 4 swimmer Gabrielle Doss, who nearly dethroned Butzler at the district meet. Butzler finished with a prelim time of 56.93 and Doss followed right behind her with a 56.98. Both qualified for the final swim. Butzler finished third and Doss placed fourth overall for the final swim.

Once in the final heat of the 100 fly, Butzler, who focused on staying underwater more, excelled. She opened strong and maintained her starting speed through most of the race.

"It's about having fun and enjoying it and taking in everything," Butzler said. "I'm just enjoying it more now. I'm taking in the experience, especially because it's my last one."


About the Author

Brett R. Crossley Author Bio
Brett R. Crossley

Brett Crossley has been covering sports in the area for more than a decade. Through that work he has built close community relationships with athletes, coaches, and athletic directors. In 2013 and 2015 he won Keystone Press Awards for Sports Story of the Year. He has worked as a photographer, columnist, beat writer, and sports editor.