LEWISBURG — Dallastown senior Spencer Hill said he could feel the "piano drop" on him as he made the final turn in his 100 butterfly event.
It's an expression that members of the Wildcats' swim team use to describe when fatigue hits a swimmer. Unfortunately for Hill, the piano hit him just a moment too soon.
Fading during the final 25 yards, Hill wound up finishing seventh in the event with a time of 50.50 seconds during the first day of the PIAA Class AAA state swimming championships at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.
"I'm not disappointed about being (among the top swimmers) in the state," he said. "That's nothing to complain about. I was a little, I guess, salty about my finishing time, but it's all good. I haven't gone under 51 (seconds) too many times, so going 50-point twice in one day, I can't really complain."
Still, the result continued Hill's gradual ascension up the podium at the state competition in the event over the course of his high school career. After finishing 12th as a sophomore in his first state meet, he reached the podium last year, finishing eighth, and managed to one-up that result in his senior campaign.
It was the second medal of the day for Hill, who also helped the Dallastown 200 medley relay team capture eighth (1:35.07) after qualifying for the state competition at 16th. He swam the first leg of the event, the backstroke, followed by Grant Wertz swimming the breast, Jake Stoner in the butterfly and Logan Brockway anchoring with the free.
"We went from being seeded really poorly to being top eight in the state and dropped two seconds. That's amazing," Hill said. "I'd consider that a success."
Those were the only two medals by York-Adams League swimmers on the boys' side on Day 1 of the state competition. Brockway finished 15th in the 200 IM with a time of 1:55.82, while Red Lion freshman Alex Sun finished 16th with a time of 1:56.90. Stoner finished 10th in the 100 butterfly, finishing with a time of :50.84. The Central York 200 free relay team of Alec Peckmann, Jesse Tate, Anthony Gemma and Will Hartzel finished 13th with a time of 1:26.89.
Five boys' swimmers will be in action during Thursday's portion of the state championships, as well as the Wildcats' 400 free relay team.
Oberlander settles for seventh: Dallasatown senior Kacey Oberlander was the only girl member of her team, and the only York-Adams League female swimmer, to qualify for the state tournament in AAA this year.
Even though she wasn't pleased with her performance in Wednesday's 200 individual medley, she still found her way onto the podium. Oberlander wound up with a seventh-place result in the 200 IM, finishing with a time of 2:04.88.
After being in eighth following the first leg, the butterfly, Oberlander made her move on the backstroke, easily her best stroke. Her split of :29.85 pulled her all the way up to third halfway through the event, but she once again slipped to the back of the field following the breaststroke. A good finish on the free portion of the event made her push for a top-five finish, but ultimately she had to settle for seventh.
Oberlander finished just more than a half-second behind the fifth-place swimmer. The event winner, Olivia Paoletti, a sophomore from Avon Grove, swam the event in just 1:59.76. Despite the disappointing time, Oberlander still has one more shot to end her high school career on a strong note when she swims in her main event, the 100 back, on Thursday.
Diving: Panthers' senior Garrett Sommer was the only Y-A athlete to qualify for the AAA championships in diving, boys or girls. After narrowly qualifying as the 24th man out of 24 divers, Sommer improved his finish with an 18th-place result on Wednesday. He totaled a score of 264.60, missing out on the finals by eight points.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com