After he made a final touch in the last home dual meet of his career, Central York swimmer Jesse Tate took some time to reflect.
"This (Central's natatorium) is a place I've been coming to for a long time," Tate said after the Panthers defeated Red Lion on Senior Day, 112-71. The Central girls' team also bested Red Lion, 101-79. "You almost make the place your home. Finishing that last leg (of the 400 freestyle relay) felt good. Do it for your team and represent Central."
Tate delivered an outstanding performance in his home dual-meet finale. He won the 200 individual medley, took second in the 500 freestyle and swam on two winning relay teams (200 medley and 400 freestyle) Tate broke two minutes in the IM for the first time by putting up a 1:57.58.
"The IM and the 500, they were both good swims," he said. "I had good competition with Alex Sun and Dylan North. It's always good to go against people you know. Go your hardest and come out friends."
Central, whose only York-Adams Division I loss this season was to Dallastown, handed Red Lion its first division loss.
"We had to show them that even though we lost to Dallastown, we're still one of the better teams," Tate said.
Central placed first in nine of the 12 events, including all three relays.
Central sophomore Alec Peckmann continued his sensational season by winning two individual events, the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, setting a school-record time of 1:00.06 in the latter.
Panthers' diver, Garrett Sommer, opened the meet with a by winning the boys' competition with a school-record score of 224.75.
Red Lion's North captured the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
Central will complete its dual-meet season on Thursday at South Western. That will close Tate's dual-meet career with the Panthers, but he'll always have the memories.
"There are a lot of memories I'll take with me," he said. "With Alec (Peckmann), Anthony (Gemma), Ben Chu and Ben Fisher and Will Hartzell, we're a really close-knit group. School really brought us together, and I feel I'll have those relationships a long time."
Girls' meet: The Central girls' team also handed Red Lion its first division setback while improving its division record to 3-1.
The Panthers' held a slim 54-50 lead after seven events, but a one-two finish in the 500 freestyle by Kayla Swaltek and Morgan Craft gave them some breathing room. Swaltek won in 5:36.85, followed by Craft at 6:11.67.
"That was Morgan's best time and Kayla's best time, too," Central head coach Jim Gingerich said. "They picked a good time to do that. We knew coming in that it (the meet) was going to be close. They (the Lions) were coming in at 3-0."
The Panthers captured seven of 12 events, outscoring the Lions, 47-39 in the last five events. Central won two of three relays and prevailed 10-0 in the diving. (Red Lion doesn't have any divers).
Jessica Sun (200 IM and 100 breaststroke) and Maddy Grim (50 freestyle and 100 freestyle) recorded two individual firsts apiece for the Lady Lions.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.