DISTRICT 3 CLASS 3-A SWIMMING: Northeastern's Drew Wilson hopes to make splash
- The District 3 Class 3-A Swimming Championships are Friday and Saturday at Cumberland Valley High School.
- Dozens of York-Adams League athletes have qualified for the event.
- Northeastern's Drew Wilson is hoping to medal in the 100 and 200 freestyle races.
Sports are an integral part of Drew Wilson's family.
His parents have been involved in volleyball, both as players and coaches. Drew's father, Matt is the head coach of the powerhouse Northeastern boys' volleyball program, which has won the last five state Class 2-A titles.
Drew's younger, brother, Nate, plays for the standout Bobcats' boys' basketball team that captured the past two York-Adams League titles and the 2017 District 3 5-A crown.
Drew used to play basketball, but at the suggestion of a friend, he decided to try a different winter sport.
"Drake Myers and I have been friends since we were little kids," Wilson said. "He was always telling me, 'you should come and swim, it's so much fun.' I said all right, I'll come and swim one time and see how much fun it is. I just fell in love with the sport."
Wilson's swimming career is winding down, but the Northeastern senior is aiming to compete in two more major high school meets.
He's entered in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle for the District 3 3-A boys' championships, which are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Cumberland Valley High School. Districts is the qualifying meet for states, which will take place March 14-17 at Bucknell University.
"In the 200, I'm looking at a (1 minute, 44 seconds) or 1:43, maybe," Wilson said. "In the 100, I want to drop down under 47 into the 46s, and make states.
"I remember my sophomore year coming into districts, I was super nervous, it was my first time there. The following year, it was like, 'I'm OK,' and this year, I'm even much more ready."
Wilson is seeded fifth in the 200 and sixth in the 100.
Wilson's teammate, Hunter Bachman, will accompany him to the district meet. Bachman, a sophomore, is seeded second in the 50 free and seventh in the 100 free.
"I don't think they will tell you that they compete in practice, but they definitely do," Northeastern coach Dan Schaeberle said.
Bobcats moving up: Wilson and Bachman helped push Northeastern to a second-place finish in Y-A D-II this season. The Bobcats' girls' team also finished in the runner-up spot.
"I remember when we used to forfeit entire events because we didn't have enough kids," Wilson said.
Schaeberle said the turnaround started with the swimming lessons program which feeds into the club program which, in turn, feeds into the high school program.
The Bobcats will need the numbers next year when they switch from Y-A D-II to D-I. New Oxford, in turn, will go from D-I to D-II.
Now, though, Schaeberle's focus is on helping Wilson and Bachman prepare for districts.
"It's great being with Drew," said Bachman, who transferred to Northeastern this year. "Not only can I help him to improve, he can help me. I went to the district meet last year, but I didn't make the podium (awards stand). I learned from last year, and this year, I think I can make the podium."
Bachman will have two more chances after this year to earn district awards. For Wilson, though, it's his last shot before he heads off to Ohio State.
"I noticed that Drew is a little more focused this year in that it's his last year at districts," Schaeberle said.
3-A SWIM NOTES
Different mindset for Central's Miller: Central's Gabby Miller has a different mindset heading into the District 3 girls' swimming championships then she did a year ago.
"I was scared last year because I was a freshman, and I was competing there for the first time." Miller said. "But I made the podium and that helps me have a better mindset going in this year."
Miller climbed on the podium to accept a medal as part of the Panthers' 200 medley relay team, along with Sarah Spinney, Sarah Minich and Brynn DuRand. The team finished eighth in the 3-A. Miller, Minich and DuRand are back this year, and Central's medley relay team is seeded seventh.
Miller is also seeded sixth in the 50 free and seventh in the 100 free for this year's district meet.
The Panthers are coming off an impressive performance in the Y-A Meet, where they won five of the eight individual events and swept all three relays. Micah Sopko and Callie Paff each captured two events for Central, and Miller earned one gold. This year's team also made history, delivering Central's first-ever girls' Y-A D-I title.
The district meet presents a whole new challenge for the Panthers, as they go up against the best high school swimmers from eight counties.
"There are a lot of good swimmers going to this meet, we know that," Miller said. "I need to focus on my events. My goal is to make states."
Both Central and Dallastown qualified all three of their relay teams for the district meet.
Dallastown freshman standout Riley Thomas is tied for the second seed in the 100 breaststroke.
Panthers back in home pool: The Panthers are back training in their home pool this week. When the school closed for three days last week following threats on social media, the Central swimmers did not have access to their pool..
The Panthers trained for four days at Northeastern preparing for districts.
"They were very kind and left us use their facility," Central coach Jim Gingerich said.
Peckmann, Paff, McFadden not at district meet: Three swimmers who won championships at this year's Y-A Meet, Central York's Alec Peckmann, Paff and Susquehannock's Logan McFadden, will not compete at districts.
All three are entered in the TYR Pro Series Meet, which will take place this weekend in Atlanta.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.