West York's Meghan French caps high school career with silver medal in PIAA 2-A 500 free

West York's Meghan French, seen here in a file photo, won a silver medal in the PIAA Class 2-A 500 freestyle on Thursday night.
  • West York's Meghan French earned a state silver medal on Thursday.
  • French earned her medal in the PIAA Class 2-A 500 freestyle.
  • Northern York's Kate Luft won the gold medal in the state 2-A 100 backstroke.

LEWISBURG — If you ask Meghan French what her favorite color is, the answer right now might very well be silver.

The senior from West York High School finished off her standout high school career with a second-place place finish in the 500-yard freestyle at the conclusion of the PIAA Class 2-A Swimming and Diving Championships at Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium on Thursday night.

French clocked in at 4 minutes, 59.50 seconds in the final individual event of her high school career.

“It’s a great way for me to finish,” French said. “I’ve been trying to break five (minutes) for the longest time and I’m so happy that I finally got to do it here. That was a big goal for me. I’m so happy I was able to finish the way I did.”

Abby Doss of Shamokin was the state champion (4:52.01). French hung with Doss in the early laps before Doss pulled away for the victory.

“I’m so thankful she was there,” French said of Doss. “She really pushed me. I could not have done that without her.

“Silver is the best medal I’ve ever gotten here and I’m so proud of it. Looking back on the whole thing, I loved everything. I loved my team, the atmosphere, everything. It was all so much fun and I can’t believe it’s over.”

Heavy-medal haul for York County swimmers: French was just part of a heavy-medal night for York County 2-A swimmers.

Jessie McMurray of York Catholic took home the bronze in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.29) on Thursday, an event she won at the District 3 meet. McMurray represented a school that doesn't have a swim team or a pool.

French's teammate, Meaghan Harnish, a night after winning bronze in the 200 individual medley, was seventh in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.08).

Kate Luft of Northern York won the state title in the 100 backstroke (:54.45). That came a night after she won silver in the 200 free. Luft also led off the fifth-place 400 free relay (3:35.44) for Dahna Yoon, Katelyn Boyce and Abigail Soerens. 

Sophia Guyer of York Suburban took sixth in the 100 backstroke (:58.60).

Swimmers finishing in the top eight earned medals.

Other area competitors: The West York foursome of Tesia Thomas, Ellie Landis, Harnish and French finished 22nd in the 400 free relay (3:44.75).

Also for York Catholic, Claire Laux was one place away from the consolation heat in the 500 free, taking 17th (5:20.37), while Laura Laux finished 32nd in the 100 backstroke (1:02.34).

Yoon was 11th in the 500 free (5:14.48) and Soerens took 16th in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.05) for the Polar Bears.

Jackie Brettschneider, Meredith Engle, Katelyn Boyce and Soerens finished 22nd in the 400 free relay (1:43.93) for Northern.

Gettysburg’s Morgan Newell just missed the consolation heat of the 100 free, finishing 17th (54.05), while teammate Hannah Brainard was 30th in the 500 free (5:28.62).

For the boys, Suburban’s Matt Peters took 24th in the 100 breast (1:02.83).

Jacob Nelson of Gettysburg was 26th in the 100 free (:49.67).

The Northern York quartet of Ben Clarke, Nick Catalano, Gavin Stuckey and Noah Spencer finished 24th (3:25.29).


York Suburban 3, West York 2: At Suburban, the Trojans got singles wins from Parker Lando and Drew Thompson, and a doubles win from Robbie Bell and Ben Kenien. Jack Citrone won in singles for West York, while Brendan Guy and Jake Altimore won in doubles.

Northeastern 3, Hempfield 2: At Manchester, the Bobcats swept the doubles behind Ryan McElwain/Haydne Golden and Sam Sidle/Erick Sowers. Tony Damian won at No. 3 singles for Northeastern.

Reach Karen Sangillo at sports@yorkdispatch.com.