Earning a spot on the top of an awards podium is a thrill in itself.
Getting there by setting a record is even more special.
Dallastown's Spencer Hill accomplished the feat last year on a big stage — the District 3 Class AAA Swimming Championships.
Hill earned the gold medal in the 100-yard butterfly with a new district standard of 49.94.
"That was amazing," the senior said during a recent practice. "It definitely was one of the highlights of my high school career. Hopefully, it can happen again."
Hill is seeded third in the butterfly and second in the 100 backstroke for this year's district championships, which are set for Friday and Saturday at Cumberland Valley High School.
He's also part of two relay teams, the 400 freestyle and 200 medley, which will enter with the second- and third-fastest times, respectively.
"I definitely want to do better (time wise) this year, and I want to see my teammates do better," Hill said. "Districts is huge for us. It's really important to get out there and swim well."
Hill and his teammates swam extremely well in the regular season, capturing their eighth straight York-Adams Division I title.
"Trevor Hine, Corey Stauffer and Noah Brockway (former Dallastown swimmers), those guys set amazing examples," Hill said. "I'm trying to do as well as they did."
Hill has done very well in his career. He'll seek to make an impact one more time in his final district meet.
AA competition: While Hill will be competing in the Class AAA 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, Dover senior Casey Marshall is entered in the same events for the District 3 Class AA championships. Marshall is seeded third in the butterfly and fifth in the backstroke. He won the silver medal in the butterfly and the bronze in the backstroke last year.
"When I started swimming, I swam against him (Hill) a little bit," Marshall said. "Obviously, he's a lot faster. I kind of, in a way, look up to him, I rival him a little bit, too."
Like, Hill, Marshall is also part of something bigger than itself.
"I'm excited, not only for my individual races, but also for the relay team. We're really close to getting the 400 relay team up to states," he said. "All the practices, you put so much blood, sweat and tears into the pool together that you make a family. I'm going to miss the practices probably more than the meets."
Central's sophomore standout, Alec Peckmann, like Hill, will enter the district AAA meet as the No. 2-seeded swimmer in an event. Peckmann will check in with a 1:43.90 performance in the 200 freestyle to go with a third seed in the 100 freestyle. The Panthers' 200 freestyle relay team is seeded in the second slot.
Dallastown's Jake Stoner is seeded third in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the 100 butterfly. Red Lion's Alex Sun (200 IM), Red Lion's Dylan North (500 freestyle) and Dallastown's Grant Wertz (100 breaststroke) all own third seeds. Central's Jesse Tate comes in with the fifth seed in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
In Class AA, Gettysburg's Jared Herr is seeded second in the 500 freestyle, and teammate Logan Hyde, fourth. Herr is also listed fourth in the 200 freestyle right behind teammate Chandler Desotelle. York Suburban's Aidan Fryar owns the No. 4 seed in the 50 freestyle and the Trojans' 400 freestyle relay team is seeded fifth.
— Reach Dick VanOlinda at firstname.lastname@example.org.