Erin Merkle delivered a historic performance on a special night for the York Suburban girls' swimming team.
Merkle broke the oldest Suburban pool record on the board with a 5:06.33 effort in the 500-yard freestyle to highlight the Trojans' 51-43 crossover victory over Dallastown.
The Dallastown boys' team, meanwhile, displayed its power by defeating Suburban, 78-16.
Merkle, who will swim at Villanova University next year, erased Bridget Burkett's mark of 5:06.70 in the 500 free. Burkett set the standard in 1977 while swimming for Wilson High School.
"I always keep an eye on the record book, but I was focused on the team tonight," Merkle said. "So it was a bonus to get the record. I love this sport, and this was
Suburban, which competes in Division II of the York-Adams League, established itself as a team to be reckoned with by defeating the perennial Division I champions.
"I love swimming against Dallastown, and it was so great to accomplish what we did in our first home meet (of the season)," Merkle said.
Merkle's victory in the 500 freestyle, combined with teammate Anna Schmittle's third-place finish in the same event, allowed Suburban to snap a 25-25 tie and take the lead for good.
Merkle also won the 200 individual medley. Her teammate, Helen Gunn, took second place in the same event while swimming in lane four.
"That was her (Gunn's) first time this season in the event," Suburban coach Craig Brennan said. "That was an incredible race for her."
Speaking of incredible, Carson Gross, a freshman, delivered victories for the Trojans in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke with times of :25.40 and 1:14.85.
"I didn't know who she was until sometime this summer," Brennan said. "She's young, and she doesn't know how good she's going to be."
Brennan knows how good Merkle is.
"Erin is a very goal-oriented person, but she's a team player, too."
Merkle and Gross both swam on the winning 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay teams. Merkle, Gross, Anna Schmittle and Zowie Day sealed the outcome by capturing the 400 freestyle relay.
Dallastown star Alyssa Bixler earned first-place finishes in the 100 and 200 freestyles.
"That's three meets in a row (Gov. Mifflin, Dover and Suburban) that it came down to the last relay," Wildcats' head coach Rich Howley said. "York Suburban is obviously a very good program. Our girls, though, will hang in there and keep fighting and clawing."
Boys' meet: Howley's guys captured 10 of the 11 events.
Corey Stauffer (100 and 200 freestyle) and Trevor Hine (200 individual medley and 500 freestyle) won two events apiece, and both swam legs on two winning relay teams for the Wildcats, who recently won the Bucknell Invitational.
"We've been the bridesmaid (at Bucknell) so many years, and we finally won it," Howley said. "I'm very blessed with the group of guys I have coming through right now. Friendships build our program. Friends have recruited friends to swim for us."
Dallastown's guys impressed Brennan.
"I may have seen faster teams, and that's no offense to them, but I've never seen that much depth," the Trojans' coach said.
OTHER BOYS' SWIMMING
CENTRAL 107, WEST YORK 63: At Graham Aquatic Center, freshman Ben Chu led the Panthers, breaking a school record in the 100 back with a time of :58.53. The Panthers captured first in all three relays. For the Bulldogs, David Foery won the 200 free and 100 fly.
RED LION 98, NORTH EASTERN 71: At Northeastern, the Lions captured first in 10 of the 12 events. For Red Lion, Chance King won the 200 free and 100 back, Callum Brandt won the 200 IM and 100 fly and Dylan North won the 500 free and 100 breast.
OTHER GIRLS' SWIMMING
CENTRAL 129, WEST YORK 38: At Graham Aquatic Center, the Panthers captured first in nine of the 11 events. Central's Danielle Weeks won the 200 IM and 100 back. For the Bulldogs, Taylor Hoover won the 100 fly and 100 breast.
NORTHEASTERN 112, RED LION 71: At Manchester, Niki Price led the Bobcats by breaking pool and school records in the 200 IM (2:06.14) and 100 fly (:57.45). Price also helped her team break a school record in 200 medley relay (1:59.24). She also helped her team win the 400 free relay. For the Lions, Courtney Schaefer won the 100 free and 100 breast.
-- Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdis patch.com.