York County swimmers hope to excel at state meet
There were just five swimmers in the Dallastown pool on a recent afternoon practicing for the upcoming PIAA Class 3-A Championships.
That was 11 less than the number who represented the school at the District 3 Championships.
At this time of year, it's survival of the swiftest. Only the fastest swimmers in their respective classes qualify for the biggest Pennsylvania high school meet of the season.
The 2017 championships are now scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium. Originally, the event was set for Wednesday through Saturday, with the Class 2-A boys' and girls' meets set for Wednesday and Thursday, while the 3-A meets were listed for Friday and Saturday.
The event schedule was revised, however, because of Tuesday's impending major snow storm. The 2-A action will now happen Thursday and Friday, while the 3-A competition will be Saturday and Sunday. The diving championships have been moved to March 25 (2-A) and March 26 (3-A), also at Bucknell.
Dallastown: Regardless of when the event starts, however, the Dallastown swimmers who are competing can't wait to get started.
"The 16 who competed at districts represented Dallastown well," Wildcats' junior Logan Brockway said. "For the five who are moving on, it's a privilege to swim for Dallastown and to get to go to states."
Brockway is seeded ninth in the 200 individual medley and 25th in the 100 backstroke. The top eight finishers in each event earn medals.
Brockway's teammate, Jacob Stoner, earned the highest seed for a Dallastown swimmer. The senior is seeded second in the 100 butterfly, an event in which he captured the gold medal at the District 3 meet.
Stoner and Brockway are close friends as well as teammates. They've bonded together for the last three years at early-morning and afternoon practices and meets.
"We're training partners, and he's my best bud," Brockway said. "We push each other at practice. I'm going to miss him next year, but we're finishing off the season strong, and I'm looking forward to going to states with him."
Stoner's seeded time in the butterfly is just 26 hundredths of a second behind the top-seeded swimmer.
"His improvement from freshman year to here, oh my goodness," said Dallastown head coach Rich Howley about Stoner. "He had a :57.68 in his freshman year, and he's down now to a :49.85."
York Suburban: In the nearly 60-year history of the York Suburban boys' swimming program, only one swimmer, Kevin Marsteller, completed the 50-yard freestyle in less than 21 seconds.
Aidan Fryar, a junior on this year's team, is hoping to become the school's second sub-21 swimmer in the 50 before his career closes next year.
Fryar will enter the Class 2-A state championships seeded fourth in the 50 with a time of :21.29. The performance earned him a silver medal at the District 3 Meet.
"Twenty one, twenty nine, I was really happy with that," Fryar said. "I'm hoping to go low 21s at states. It's a challenge for improvement, going from districts to states, but we'll all be cheering for each other."
Fryar is one of 12 Trojans who will make the trip to Lewisburg.
."We'll be taking six girls and six boys," Suburban head coach Craig Brennan said. "Monday after districts, I spoke with the swimmers and said, 'are you satisfied with everything, or do you want more?' All these kids are driven to succeed."
West York: She's only been part of her high school's swimming team for two seasons.
In two years, though, West York's Courtney Harnish has accomplished things that most swimmers can only dream about. That helped earn her an NCAA Division I college scholarship.
In her freshman year, Harnish won two gold medals at the state meet, setting records in both events.
She then spent her sophomore and junior years swimming exclusively for her club team at the York YMCA before returning to high school swimming for her senior campaign.
Harnish will return to Bucknell this week as the top-seeded swimmer in the 200 freestyle (1:47.4) and 100 backstroke (:54.95) in 2-A.
Two more gold medals as book ends for her freshman-senior career are a definite possibility. Two more records wouldn't be a surprise either in Harnish's final high school appearance before she heads off to the University of Georgia.
Harnish isn't the only member of her team entering states as the top seed in an event.
The Bulldogs' Erica Sarver is seeded first in diving. Sarver, a silver medalist last year, will aim to move to the top of the podium this year. Sarver will also compete at the NCAA Division I level next year for San Diego State University.
Powered by Harnish and Sarver, West York may be a threat to win a 2-A state team title. The Bulldogs are coming off a District 3 2-A team crown.
Eastern's Madison Nalls holds the No. 3-seeded spot in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:51.98.
Reach Dick VanOlinda at email@example.com.
HEADED TO BUCKNELL
Following are the swimmers from York-Adams League schools who will compete at the PIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships from Thursday through Sunday at Bucknell's Kinney Natatorium. The seeded position and time for each swimmer is in parenthesis.:
Boys' Class 3-A
Drew Wilson, Northeastern, 200 freestyle (25th, 1:43.60).
Logan Brockway, Dallastown, 200 IM (ninth, 1:53.73) and 100 backstroke (25th, 52.74).
Garrett Sommer, Central, diving (21st, 434.25).
Jacob Stoner, Dallastown, 100 butterfly (second, 49.85) and 100 freestyle (19th, 47.24).
Dallastown, 200 freestyle relay (20th, 1:27.64).
Boys' Class 2-A
York Suburban, 200 medley relay (eighth, 1:39.48).
Jared Herr, Gettysburg, 200 freestyle (sixth, 1:43.16) and 500 freestyle (fourth, 4:39.76).
Logan McFadden, Susquehannock, 200 IM (17th, 2:00.92) and 500 freestyle (11th, 4:45.80).
Aidan Fryar, York Suburban, 50 freestyle (fourth, 21.29) and 100 freestyle (20th, 48.15).
Jud Pequignot, Dover, diving (22nd).
Justin Reed, Susquehannock, 100 butterfly (14th, 53.06).
Miles Cox, York Catholic, 100 butterfly (15th, 53.06) and 100 backstroke (15th, 54.83).
Nico DeAngelo, Gettysburg, 100 butterfly (19th, 53.38) and 100 freestyle (15th, 48.00).
Karl Schmittle, York Suburban, 100 butterfly (25th, 53.84) and 100 freestyle (26th, 48.33).
York Suburban, 400 freestyle relay (12th, 3:17.94).
Gettysburg, 400 freestyle relay (18th, 3:20.40).
Girls' Class 2-A
West York, 200 medley relay (eighth, 1:49.44).
York Suburban, 200 medley relay (14th, 1:51.90).
Courtney Harnish, West York, 200 freestyle (first, 1:47.74) and 100 backstroke (first, 54.95).
Madison Nalls, Eastern, 200 freestyle (third, 1:51.98) and 500 freestyle (sixth, 5:06.89).
Megan Hunt, York Suburban, 200 freestyle (16th, 1:56.78) and 100 breaststroke (14th, 1:07.41).
Lindsay Brenneman, Dover, 200 freestyle (20th, 1:57.48) and 500 freestyle (16th, 5:15.75).
Meghan French West York, 200 freestyle (26th, 1:58.24) and 500 freestyle (11th, 5:13.21).
Claudia Keller, West York, 200 IM (21st, 2:13.21).
Grace Bierschmitt, Dover, 50 freestyle (12th, 24.44) and 100 freestyle (24th, 54.06).
Tesia Thomas, West York, 50 freestyle (18th, 24.68).
Erica Sarver, West York, diving (first, 428.05).
Jenna Hufnagle, York Suburban, 100 butterfly (27th, 1:00.49).
Claire Laux, York Catholic, 500 freestyle (26th, 5:21.06).
York Suburban, 200 freestyle relay (11th, 1:40.00).
Dover, 200 freestyle relay (19th, 1:41.73).
Jessica McMurray, York Catholic, 100 breaststroke (12th, 1:07.25).
Sarah Hardy, Biglerville, 100 breaststroke (22nd, 1:08.36).
West York, 400 freestyle relay (third, 3:35.88).
York Suburban, 400 freestyle relay (20th, 3:43.05).