The Central York girls' swimming team didn't take long to show why this season could be a special one for the Panthers.
In its first York-Adams Division I meet of the season on Tuesday, Jan. 9, Central defeated Dallastown, which had captured the last 13 division titles in a row.
The Panthers accomplished the feat decisively by scoring a 139-44 victory.
The boys' meet was much closer, with Dallastown prevailing, 91.5-84.5. The Wildcats are aiming to win their 10th consecutive boys' division crown.
"I'm really proud of our whole team," Central's Micah Sopko said. "We've been waiting for this moment to show we could win. Our major goal was to beat Dallastown, and we did it. Our second goal is to be county champions."
Sopko secured a distance double, winning the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles.
Sopko's teammate, Gabby Miller, who's also a sophomore, swept the sprints, the 50 and 100 freestyles.
"I had a pretty good day," Miller said. "I was hoping to break the record in the 50 free, but I missed it. But, I'll keep trying."
Callie Paff, a senior swimming in the high school program for the time, added to Central's gold-medal haul by winning the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke. Her 200 IM time was a school-record 2 minutes, 8.28 seconds.
All together, Central captured 11 of 12 events, including diving and the three relays.
"We swam very well," Central head coach Jim Gingerich said. "Our sophomores were very good last year as freshmen, and they matured since then. I think our meets with Governor Mifflin and Wilson (earlier this season) set the groundwork for some good swims today."
Boys' meet: While Central built a solid lead throughout the girls' meet, the boys' meet was close all the way.
The Panthers' led 50-49, but Dallastown outscored the home team, 42.5-34.5 in the final five events.
"We pretty much knew we were going to be facing good competition," Dallastown head coach Gina McHenry said. "Everyone swam well."
The Wildcats' Joel Dunnigan, a sophomore, won the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
"I was glad I could help out the team," Dunnigan said. "We knew this meet was going to be close. We came together as a team today."
Central's senior star, Alec Peckmann, helped make it close by delivering a record-setting day.
Peckmann broke the school and pool records in the 200 IM with a winning time of 1:54.40, and eclipsed the school mark in the 100 backstroke by taking the event with a time of 52.33 seconds..
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