The excitement level inside of the aquatics arena at York Suburban High School Thursday evening couldn’t have been higher.
There was good reason for that.
Dover and York Suburban were in a showdown for first place in York-Adams League Division II in both the boys' and the girls' meets.
Trailing by a mere two points heading into the 400 freestyle relay, the unbeaten Dover boys’ swim team knew it would have to take first place in order to forge a tie with the host and fellow unbeaten Trojans.
If the second relay team could finish third, the Eagle boys would walk out with a thrilling triumph.
Dover's "A" team of Jaxson Burrage, Silas Barnes, Jakub Becker and Tanner Glatfelter was trailing slightly during the second leg. Barnes, however, was able to overcome that deficit to get the lead to Becker. Becker expanded the advantage before Glatfelter was able to secure the first-place finish by nearly three full seconds.
The Eagles, however, were edged out for third by the Trojans, setting up for an unusual 47-47 deadlock in the meet. That result means that both teams will likely share the Division II title if both teams can win, as expected, in their final regular-season meets next week.
While both teams were also unbeaten on the girls’ side coming in, the Suburban girls dominated the Eagles en route to a convincing 59-35 triumph.
“I wish we would have meets like this every day,” Suburban coach Dick Guyer said with a smile. “I know that both teams would get a lot faster before we head to the county meet and the district meet.”
Noisy place: The level of excitement and noise inside of the pool at Suburban was at a max throughout. It became even more amplified after an unfortunate error resulted in the disqualification of Dover’s top team in the 200 free relay. An early jump negated what would have been a first-place finish for the Eagles in that event.
Instead of getting discouraged, the Dover boys only grew more focused. A 2-3 finish in the 100 back pulled the Eagles closer before Drew MacDonald claimed an important win in the 100 breast.
“I knew it was going to be a close race,” said MacDonald, who edged Suburban’s Matt Peters by less than half a second. “But I knew that if I just went out there and swam my hardest that I would have a chance of winning.”
MacDonald was getting a lot of encouragement from both the boys’ and girls’ teams before the penultimate event. A second-place finish would have made winning the meet nearly impossible.
“I knew that my team needed it,” he said. “So I was really pushing for it.”
Dover coach Ross Spangler gave a lot of credit to MacDonald for putting his team in a position to win it all in the final event.
“I just can’t say enough about Drew,” Spangler said. “He’s had some really good swims already this year, but, as a senior, I’d say that he gets the MVP award tonight for that performance. That was big.”
Final drama: That set the stage for a showdown in the 400 free relay. The Trojan boys entered the night with a better time in the event, set just a week ago. Spangler’s boys, however, stepped it up when it mattered, shaving two seconds off of their top time this season.
“A tie is a win in and of itself,” Spangler said. “To tie a team like Suburban is just awesome.”
While Guyer and his boys would have loved nothing more than to pull out the victory, the Suburban coach loved the competition.
“We grew into this one,” he said. “We take away a lot from how we performed here and hopefully we can tweak some little things and see if we can get a little bit faster.”
Suburban girls roll: If the Suburban girls take that route, look out.
The Trojans won seven of the 11 events, led by standout performances by Maddy Able and Sophia Guyer. Both swimmers won three individual events while teaming up to help Suburban win the 400 free relay.
Central York 109, South Western 76: At Hanover, the Panthers captured first in 10 of the 12 events to secure the York-Adams League Division I victory. Individually for the Panthers, Cody Beck won the 200 IM and 100 fly, while teammate Cameron Speed won the 100 free and 500 free. Central has now clinched at least a tie for the Division I crown with one divisional meet remaining.
Dallastown 113, Red Lion 57: At Dallastown, junior Joel Dunnigan (100 free, 100 breast) and sophomore Quinn Granholm (200 IM, 500 free) each earned two individual wins to lead the Wildcats to Y-A D-I win. Dallastown improved to 3-1 in the division, while Red Lion fell to 0-4.
Spring Grove 108, Northeastern 75: At Spring Grove, Brian McGlynn (200 free, 100 back), Orval Fissel (200 IM, 500 free) and Josiah Kline (100 fly, 100 breast) each won two individual events for the Rockets, who improved to 3-1 in Y-A D-I. Hunter Bachman won the 50 free and 100 free for Northeastern, which dropped to 1-3 in the division.
West York 98, New Oxford 44: At Graham Aquatic Center, the Bulldogs took first in all 11 events to secure the Division II victory. Individually for West York, Jackson Miller won the 200 free and 500 free, Luke Foery won the 200 IM and 100 fly and Kieran McKee won the 100 free and 50 free.
Central York 123, South Western 62: At Hanover, the Panthers captured first in 10 of the 12 events to secure the Y-A D-I victory. The Panthers did not have an individual double winner but used a team effort, securing multiple places for points. Central has now clinched at least a tie for the D-I crown with one divisional meet remaining.
Dallastown 108, Red Lion 62: At Dallastown, junior Kathryn Deitch won the 200 free and 100 fly to lead the Wildcats. Holly Aggen (50 free, 100 back) and Arabella Butera (100 free, 100 breast) each had two individual wins for the Lions. Dallastown improved to 3-1 in Y-A D-I. Red Lion fell to 0-4.
Spring Grove 94, Northeastern 91: At Spring Grove, Megan Heist won the 200 IM and 100 breast to power the Rockets, who improved to 3-1 in Y-A D-I. Madison Taylor won the 50 free and 100 free for Northeastern, which dropped to 1-3 in the division.
West York 99.5, New Oxford 66.5: At Graham Aquatic Center, individually for the Bulldogs, Meghan French won the 200 IM and 100 back, while teammate Meagan Harnish won the 100 fly and 500 free.
Dallastown 62, Red Lion 9: At Red Lion, the unbeaten Wildcats wrapped up the Y-A D-I outright title with the easy win. It's Dallastown's first outright title since 2006. The Wildcats improved to 16-0 overall and finished 6-0 in the division. Raymond Christas (285) and Zach Luckenbaugh (113) had Dallastown pins. Caleb Strayer (120) had a pin for Red Lion (0-10, 0-6).
York Tech 42, Biglerville 40: At Biglerville, the Spartans received pins from Shadyel Bianco (145), Ryan Shahanian (170), Hermery Nieves (195) and Jacob Sharp (220). For the Canners, Eli Tuckey (132), Tristan Metzger (160), Levi Haines (106), Ethan Slaybaugh (113), Blake Showers (120) and Joshua Tuckey (126) each picked up pins.
York Suburban 58, Kennard-Dale 18: At Fawn Grove, the Trojans received pins from Noah Rice (138), Josh Raffensberger (152), Andrew Frey (220), Dequese Dillon (106) and Bryson Neidigh (120) to help secure the Division II victory. For the Rams, Daemon Davis (132) and Darius Bailey (160) each picked up pins. Suburban finishes divisional play at 4-2 and improves to 15-8 overall.
Dover 46, Eastern York 21: At Wrightsville, the Eagles received pins from Mason Leiphart (106), Tanner Linker (120), Mason Lewis (132) and Brandon Lawyer (182). For the Golden Knights, Nicholas Spotts (170) picked up a pin. Dover improved to 12-5 overall and 5-1 in Y-A D-II.
Central York 31, South Western 25: Central earned the Y-A D-I win behind a pin from Michael Wolfgram (285) and two crucial forfeit victories. South Western got pins from Ethan Leitzel at 120 and Cavin Sullivan at 152. Central improved to 7-9 overall and 2-4 in Y-A D-I. South Western fell to 11-8 and 1-5. Wolfgram is 24-0.
New Oxford 60, Red Lion 47: At Red Lion, Davante Dennis scored 18 points in a losing cause vs. the Y-A D-I leader. New Oxford improved to 14-4 overall and 10-2 in Y-A D-I. Red Lion fell to 7-10 and 4-8.
Camp Hill 39, York Catholic 37: The Fighting Irish suffered the nonleague loss despite a 14-point effort by Isiah Carrol. York Catholic fell to 5-14. Camp Hill improved to 13-3.
Red Lion Christian 52, CHASE 21: At Red Lion Christian, Bailey Sanders led the home team to the victory by collecting 17 points and 13 rebounds. Also for RLC, Hailee Thompson scored 12 points, while Jasmine Warner picked up 10 assists.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.