When Dallastown's Kacey Oberlander stepped off the medals podium at the girls' Class AAA swimming championships on Thursday night, Oberlander's teammates greeted her with rhythmic clapping and by calling out her name.
"It was slightly embarrassing," Oberlander joked. "They were happy for me, and they wanted me to do well. Being a part of this team was everything I thought it would be."
Oberlander, a sophomore, joined the Wildcats this year after swimming solely for a club team as a freshman.
She closed out a memorable initial varsity season by winning a bronze medal at the PIAA meet in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.75 seconds.
Hershey star Meaghan Raab won the event in a state-record time of :53.08.
"Swimming in this meet gave me just a lot of motivation," Oberlander said. "The crowd was great. This is my first state meet, and it will be nice to look back on."
Oberlander also joined with Julia Casolo, Erica Wise and Alyssa Bixler to place 14th in the 400 freestyle relay.
Price takes fourth: Northeastern's Niki Price, who won the gold medal in the 100 butterfly on Wednesday night, finished fourth in the 100 freestyle. Price lowered her time to :50.79 from the :51.27 mark she recorded in the preliminaries.
"I thought she had a good swim," Northestern coach Dan Schaeberle said. "That was her second-best time ever. She (Price) went up against girls who are 50 freestylers."
Schaeberle said that Price, who will swim at Penn State, had a phenomenal meet.
"When it came to the 100 butterfly, the goal was to come here and win," he said. "This (the medal in the 100 freestyle) was extra icing on the cake."
Bixler, along with taking a leg on the 400 freestyle relay, placed 13th in the 100 freestyle.
Dallastown boys excel: In the AAA boys' meet, Dallastown seniors Trevor Hine, Corey Stauffer and Mason Tate closed out highly successful careers by helping the Wildcats finish third in the consolation final (11th overall) of the 400 freestyle relay.
Hine, Stauffer and Tate combined with junior Noah Brockway for a time of 3:09:85, just behind North Penn (3:09:44) and Erie Cathedral Prep (3:09:71).
Earlier in the meet, Hine placed second in the consolation final (10th overall) of the 500 freestyle. He lowered his time from 4:36:80 in the preliminaries to 4:35:36.
Brockway, meanwhile, placed 15th in the 100 backstroke.
He'll return to the Wildcats next season, but Hine, Stauffer, Tate and five other seniors will graduate, leaving a huge talent gap to fill in the program that has dominated York-Adams swimming.
"They (the seniors) helped create a legacy which, hopefully, will be with us forever," Dallastown head coach Rich Howley said. "They will always have a special place in our heart."
Asked what helped make this group of seniors special, Howley said: "Their individuality and their love of something bigger than themselves (doing what the team needed), which put them on the map. We brought six relay teams (three boys and three girls) here."
Preliminaries: Nicole Smith of Dover placed 20th in the girls' 100 freestyle with a time of :53.03.
In the boys' AAA preliminaries, Chance King of Red Lion finished 22nd in the 100 backstroke with a time of :52.77, and Corey Stauffer of Dallastown was 26th in the 100 freestyle with a :48.06 performance.
In girls' diving, Taylor Bahoric of Dover placed 22nd with a score of 164.45 after five dives. The original field of 32 was cut to 20 for the semifinals, which followed the opening five dives.
— Reach Dick VanOlinda at email@example.com.