Competitive swimming is all about dropping time. When swimmers are not getting faster, they feel like they're standing still.
Northwestern senior Trey Shackleton kept getting faster through three years of high school swimming, culminating this season when he finished his career with a second-place finish at states.
He might have been hoping to go a little bit faster in his final high school swim, but his second-place finish last month in the PIAA 500-yard freestyle championship was one place higher than he finished in his first two trips to states.
It's been a cold spring, but the Tigers' softball bats have been hot in three of their four games this season.
Northwestern is off to a 3-1 start and has scored 37 runs in four games this season.
"We had a hiccup against Palmerton," said first-year head coach Josh Zimmerman. "But [scoring runs] has been the rule rather than the exception."
The Tigers opened with a 13-run effort in a slugfest against Kutztown, winning 13-11. After committing six errors in a 6-2 loss to Palmerton, the Tigers beat Moravian Academy 11-0.
In a lot of ways, the Colonial League is like a big family.
When one member of that family senses that another could use help, they don't have to ask. Like a full-court press, help comes from all sides and it's not always easy to see it coming. It's happened many times in the past and it will no-doubt happen again in the future.
This year several members of the Colonial League got together to do whatever they could do help one of the league's longtime coaches.
Trey Shackleton swims in meets all over the country. The club season is year-round for the Northwestern High School swimmer who doesn't have a high school team.
He often swims against some of the best competition in the country.
But one of the highlights of his year is always the District 11 Championship Meet.
It might not be the fastest meet or the most prestigious he swims in. Maybe not even in the top five. But it's by far the most fun for the four-time district champion and four-time state medalist.
Senior night games are always special.
But when a seldom-used varsity player gets a chance to not only start for the first time in his career, but also makes a huge impact on the game, it can make for a memorable time for everyone in the gym.
Last week Northwestern senior Jonathan Maurer got his first start of the season. Just a minute and 15 seconds into the game, he drained the first three-pointer of his varsity career.
The improvement the Northwestern basketball has shown this year is evident in the team's record.
At 8-12 overall and 5-10 in the Colonial League, this year's team has more wins than any Tiger team since the 2009-10 team went 7-9.
Northwestern has been learning how to win games all season long, and it showed Saturday when the Tigers pulled out their first close game of the season, beating Pen Argyl , 54-50 on a late Parker Jones three-pointer and a Taylor Breininger steal that sealed the win.
To reach its goal of a .500 record and postseason qualification, Northwetsern has to pull out games like last Friday's loss to Palmerton.
The Tigers, which led most of the game, allowed the Bombers to come back in the second half and pull out their first Colonial League win in over a year.
Trailing by one with the final nine seconds winding down, Palmerton went inside to the players that had led its second-half comeback.
CATASAUQUA - Northwetsern finished off its first Colonial League championship season since 1995 with a 43-7 over Catasauqua Friday night at Alumni Field.
The Tigers (9-1) took advantage of four Rough Rider turnovers to win a share of this year's title along with Southern Lehigh and Saucon Valley. They received their medals on the same field as the 1995 team.
During his sophomore and junior seasons, Zack Caruso liked his spot on the Northwestern golf team. As the Tigers' No. 3 player, Caruso played behind two of the best players in the Colonial League.
For two years he was the best golfer on the team after Cole Miller and Nick Vecellio.
This year, with that pair graduated, Caruso knew he would need to be the best player on the team if it was to have any success.
Lissa Munley knows the history of Northwestern Lehigh's field hockey program.
The first-year coach sees the sign for the 1990 state title every day at the far end of her team's practice field. And she's confident the Tigers can return to the elite and become a perennial league and district title contender like they were in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
While her players are too young to remember Northwestern's last championship teams, they, too, see the sign. They know what the program once was.