The six swimmers churning out practice laps in the Dallastown Middle School pool on a recent afternoon were preparing for the biggest meet of the season.
A meet that they targeted when practice began way back in November — the PIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships.
Kacey Oberlander is the sole female swimmer from Dallastown who will compete in the Class AAA girls' championships on Wednesday and Thursday at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium in Lewisburg.
The senior will enter the event following an outstanding District 3 performance, where she captured gold medals in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.
"I'm glad I can represent the Dallstown girls," Oberlander said. "I feel a lot better going to states this year than I did when I was a sophomore. (Oberlander swam solely for her club team last year). I'm a little bit more confident, and I'm hoping to do some bigger things than I did in my sophomore year."
The University of Alabama recruit is seeded third in the backstroke and fourth in the IM.
"It definitely was a good feeling to go into districts and swim fast there," she said. "Hopefully, that will carry over to states."
Boys: Dallastown senior Spencer Hill swam very fast in the 100 butterfly at the District 3-AAA boys' meet. Hill took the silver medal, finishing an extremely close second to Conestoga Valley's James Wilson, 49.23 to 49.67 seconds. Hill is seeded No. 2 in the state meet behind Wilson.
Hill also put up a state-qualifying time in the 100 backstroke with a :51.36 performance. He placed 10th at districts.
"I'm really excited to swim that 100 fly again at states," said Hill, who has narrowed his college choices to Drexel and Boston College. "To have a chance to win a (state) championship is beyond my wildest dream."
Hill's teammate, Jake Stoner, also qualified in 100 butterfly. The junior is seeded seventh.
Central's Alec Peckmann is the only other swimmer from a York-Adams school to be seeded among the top 10 for the AAA boys' meet. Peckmann, a sophomore, is listed ninth in the 200 freestyle.
Dallastown coach Rich Howley, of course, is thrilled that six of his swimmers will get a chance to compete against the state's best. But, he also gave a shout out to all the swimmers who qualified for states by passing the survival of the swiftest test, the District 3 championship meet.
"You have to do so much to get to states," Howley said. "I consider the district meet a higher-pressure meet than the state meet. Pennsylvania is a very, very fast sport in swimming, and you need to get the times to get there (states)."
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.