LEWSIBURG — And just like that, the decorated career of Dallastown swimmer Kacey Oberlander is over.
The senior has amassed school and York-Adams League records and achieved All-America status. Now, she can add a PIAA Class AAA state bronze medal to her list of accolades.
Swimming in her final event as a Wildcat in Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium, the Alabama recruit got off to about as perfect a start as she could've hoped in the 100 backstroke and raced to a time of 54.86 seconds, good for third. When it was all over, just like after Wednesday night's 200 individual medley, she was overcome with emotions at the realization that her high school career was over.
"She went after it," head coach Rich Howley said. "She attacked it. That was a great time. If you would've told me 54 (seconds) at the beginning of the season, everybody would've been happy and we are."
Oberlander was the only girl from her team or the entire league to qualify for the state AAA competition, and she didn't disappoint. After earning a seventh-place finish in the 200 IM on Wednesday, she far exceeded that result Thursday.
Thursday's bronze-medal effort will be the last race that folks around the Dallastown swimming program will remember about Oberlander, but it will just be one of many achievements in her legacy with the team.
"She has such a passion for swimming and it shows in her work ethic," Howley said. "It shows in what she's willing to sacrifice. Whether it's football games, school dances, everything about it, she sacrifices for this sport and the love of it and always wants more, but, better yet, never wants to let anyone down. That's the key, she doesn't want to let you down."
Peckmann swims to seventh: Over the two days of the PIAA Class AAA swimming championships, all Central York sophomore Alec Peckmann did was gain confidence.
It started in Wednesday's 200 free relay, which carried into Thursday morning's 100 free qualifiers and ended in a podium finish in the 100 free. He swam a :46.28 final event, good for seventh place and a medal.
"Last night's relay (a 13th-place finish), it definitely helped with a lot of confidence for me. It gave me a lot more confidence for today," the sophomore said. "And, also because I was with my teammates, I was more motivated to do it not just for me, but for them."
His result was also the best performance for York-Adams boys on Thursday. The only other person to medal was Dallastown senior Spencer Hill, who earned his third medal of the championships in the 100 back. He finished with a time of :51.62, good for eighth. Hill has committed to swim on the NCAA Division I level next year for Drexel.
He then swam the anchor leg for the Wildcats' 400 free relay, his final event as a member of the program. The team swam in the consolation event, finishing third in the race and 11th overall in 3:10.63. At the time, it was nearly good enough to still earn the team of Hill, Jake Stoner, Logan Brockway and Patrick Dunnigan a spot on the all-state team, until the final event went and all eight times topped their result.
"We've been working hard all season and we just said 'Let's put everything we got and swim hard,'" Brockway said. "Dallastown has always been a fan of the relays and we just do well in the relays swimming for each other."
Red Lion senior Dylan North also swam on Thursday, competing in the consolation race of the 500 free. His time of 4:39.92 earned him 16th place to cap his high school career.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com