LEWISBURG — Being the defending champion brings its share of pressure.
Northeastern's Niki Price felt it.
Price, though, didn't let the pressure overwhelm her when she pursued a second-straight state swimming title on Wednesday night at Bucknell University.
"I used it (the pressure) to motivate me," Price said after she achieved her goal of repeating as the PIAA Class AAA champion in the 100-yard butterfly.
Price captured the gold medal in dominating fashion with a time of 54.61 seconds. She set the tone by putting up the best time in the preliminaries (54.99) and then bettering that performance in the final.
"I knew my walls (turns) were absolutely awful this morning (in the preliminaries), and I knew there was room for improvement," she said. "It feels pretty good to win again."
Asked how winning a gold medal in her senior year compares to winning one in her junior year, Price said: "Both are special to me. I'm glad I have them."
Price left no doubt about the outcome in her latest gold-medal swim by leading practically from start to finish. Price won the district title this year in the second half of the race.
"She went out faster (in the state swim)," Northeastern head coach Dan Schaeberle said. "Last year, when she came up here, it was, 'we'll see what happens.' This year, it was, 'let's go to states and win it.'"
Price will go after a second gold medal on Thursday in the 100 freestyle.
"Back-to-back years are cool, but back-to-back days are even cooler," Schaeberle said.
Three other York-Adams girls' swimmers won medals. Alyssa Bixler of Dallastown placed sixth in the 50 freestyle and Nicole Smith of Dover and Kacey Oberlander of Dallastown finished eighth in the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley, respectively.
Dallastown's 200 free relay team (Bixler, Erica Wise, Justina Thornley and Julia Casolo) placed 11th, and the Wildcats' 200 medley relay team (Oberlander, Jena Woods, Casolo and Wise) came in 14th.
Bixler improved her preliminary time by putting up a :24.04 in the 50 free final.
"I was really happy with that," she said. "The relay team also dropped its time. It was a great way to finish my career in those events."
Bixler will swim again on Thursday in the 100 free and as part of the 400 free relay team.
Dallastown boys shine: The Dallastown boys' swimming team delivered some tremendous performances against ultra-fast competition on Wednesday.
The Wildcats earned medals in three events, one individual and two relays, on the first day of the two-day AAA championships.
Trevor Hine broke a 16-year-old school record in the 200 individual IM to capture a fourth-place medal. Hine covered the distance in 1:52:22.
Noah Brockway, Mason Tate, Spencer Hill and Corey Stauffer finished fourth in the 200 medley relay, and Hine, Stauffer, Hill and Brockway placed sixth in the 200 free relay.
"Is it nice to win gold? Yes," Dallastown head coach Rich Howley said. "But we won gold in our own right. The 200 freestyle (relay) is an All-American time, Trevor's time is an All-American time, and the guys set an All-American time in the medley relay at districts. Plus, all three times are school records."
Hine was confident entering the IM that he could better his morning preliminaries' effort of 1:53:46.
"I knew I was going to drop more because I'm more of a night swimmer," he said. "I'm really happy with my swim."
Stauffer, who like Hine is a senior, was thrilled that he was able to make two trips to the medal stand.
"It feels amazing to finish my senior year with two medals," Stauffer said. "I knew our medley relay would be strong, but it proved to be our strongest relay."
Hill, a sophomore, along with swimming legs on the two relay teams, placed 14th in the consolation final of the 100 fly. He holds the school record (:50.82) in the event.
Preliminaries: Dover's 200 free team of Rachel Spaulding, Mia Becker, Summer Dacheux and Nicole Smith placed 19th in the girls' 200 free relay with a time of 1:39.53.
Other York-Adams finishers in the morning preliminaries were: Dallastown's Mason Tate, 26th in the boys' 200 IM (1:59:86); Red Lion's Chance King, 27th in the boys' 100 fly (52:88); Red Lion's Courtney Schaefer, tied for 29th in the girls' 200 IM (2:12:99); and South Western's Andrew Feeser, 30th in the boys' diving (147.15).
— Reach Dick VanOlinda at firstname.lastname@example.org.