Subject: New flash...
Yoka’s coach, Mr. Rauterkus, was proud of him, too. “Yoka has always been a valuable team contributor,” says Coach Rauterkus, “but this year, with the extra year of maturity, we got to see what I call, ‘senior speed.’ He is fast, strong and a gifted athlete. Besides swimming he was a starting defensive player on the soccer team, a lifeguard and ran the Great Race.”
Yoka's appearance at Bucknell University's pool marks the fifth consecutive appearance of an Obama or Schenley swimmer at the PIAA CHampionships, says swim coach Mark Rauterkus.
Describing his experience, Yoka says that “The first one, I knew I was going to destroy because the other swimmers in my heat had lower qualifying times than I did. So I just went all out and didn’t breathe the whole time. That was a 50 free. On the 100 breast, I was aiming for 1:03. I beat that, beating my best time by almost two seconds. I was really happy to place.”
Yoka competed in four events, getting ninth place in all four of them. He was somewhat disappointed not to get any medals, which are awarded to the top eight swimmers in each event, so goal is to get a medal at States.
Yoka says that he has not decided yet whether or not he’ll swim in college. Coach Rauterkus says that “Yoka went fast enough at the WPIAL meet to be strongly considered for college swim scholarships. College coaches are approaching me wanting Yoka to visit their schools.” Yoka sees swimming scholarships as a big draw. But he is also a talented and successful soccer player, so he’s trying to leave his options open at this point.
The PIAA state competition will take place on Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15. Best of wishes to Yoka.
-- Given his performances, I think Yoka is the best athlete in the school.
-- Yoka beat Tait Williams time in the 50 free from STATES a few years ago when Obama was in the City League.-- Our boys 200 medley relay, 1:47.49, school record, had Yoka doing the Breastroke. It had three seniors and a sophomore: Ben Friedman, back; Yoka, breast; Grant Rauterkus, fly; and Tommy Brewton, free. We will miss those three gentlemen for next year's team.-- Going to the state meet in two events is a huge accomplishment especially with the huge struggles we must navigate with aquatics in the school, with his other sports, activities and jobs. Yoka's appearance at Bucknell University's pool marks the fifth consecutive appearance of an Obama or Schenley swimmer at the PIAA Championships.