THURSDAY'S SWIMMING: Central York girls continue unbeaten York-Adams Division I season

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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Central York’s Emma McCombs wins the women’s 200-yard freestyle event at 2:05.83 during swimming action against Spring Grove at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

SPRING GROVE — Like every other high school athletic program during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central York girls’ swimming team is doing its best to deal with a fluid situation.

During a season that was paused for three weeks because of the pandemic, the Panthers are trying to win meets, capture titles and earn District 3 qualifying times, all while trying to staying safe.

That was evidenced Thursday afternoon when the CY girls traveled to Spring Grove in a York-Adams Division I clash.

Longtime Central coach James Gingerich had to juggle several things at once during the meet. He switched up his lineup in a few events in pursuit of district qualifying times, instead of going with his optimal lineup.

The result was a closer-than-expected contest, which Central still won, 97-79. The Panthers improved to 4-0 in York-Adams Division I.

“We only have three weeks left, so we have to come up with some good swims for district entries,” Gingerich said. “So that’s what we were trying to do, to see where we wanted to go with some of these kids. And we had some good swims.”

Central York's Camryn Leydig wins the women's 100-yard backstroke event at 58.65 during swimming action against Spring Grove at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Emma McCombs (100 freestyle, 200 freestyle) and Camryn Leydig (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke) each won two individual events for Central, while also teaming up for a pair of relay victories.

Challenges: Some of the challenges that Gingerich has had to deal with outside of the pool this year have come because of the virus. Senior captain Abbi Smith was forced to quarantine and miss a couple weeks of practice after coming in close contact with a classmate who tested positive earlier this month.

So Smith and others have had to play catch-up at a time of year when most swimmers in a normal season are starting to approach their peaks.

“I’m really trying to drop time and work on my technique,” said Smith, who finished third in the 200 free and second in the 500 free Thursday.

Smith said it has been a challenge for her team so far this year with the number of meets and practices jammed together in a short period.

“It’s hard,” she said. “Going back and forth between practices and meets is tough. After meets you’re always tired, so having a bunch of them in a week really gets tiring and hard.”

Smith credits Gingerich — who was the head coach at Spring Grove for many years before taking over the Central program — for helping the team stay focused and calm during trying times.

“He’s played a big role,” Smith said. “He’s helped us out. He’s always there and encouraging us to do our best. I think he really understands what we’re all going through.”

Big meet looms: With meets against Dallastown and now Spring Grove behind them, the Panthers will gear up for another challenge next week against South Western.

Gingerich, for one, is excited about it.

“We have them next Thursday,” he said. “And that should be the meet that decides the division championship. So I’m looking forward to that. Should be a good meet. South Western has some really good swimmers.”

Spring Grove won the boys' meet, 107-62. Daniel Gordon led the Rockets with wins in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.

Spring Grove’s Daniel Gordon wins the men’s 200-yard individual medley event at 1:58.27 during swimming action against Central York at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

OTHER BOYS' SWIMMING

Susquehannock 117, New Oxford 48: At Glen Rock, Tyler Wright led the Warriors to the York-Adams Division II victory by taking first in the 100 free and 100 back. For the Colonials, Alan Flores took first in the 100 breast and 50 free. Susquehannock captured first in all three relays. Susquehannock improved to 3-1 in the division.

Dallastown 115, Red Lion 36: At Dallastown, Riley Thomas led the Wildcats to the York-Adams Division I victory by breaking pool and school records in the 100 breast with a time of 57.29 seconds. Thomas also captured first in the 100 fly. Also for Dallastown, William McDermott took first in the 500 free and 100 back, while Thomas Smolinski captured first in the 100 free and 50 free. Dallastown improved to 4-0 in the division and 6-0 overall.

Dover 50, York Suburban 44: At Suburban, the Eagles captured first in the final event, the 400 free relay, to secure the York-Adams Division II victory. Individually for the Eagles, Tanner Glatfelter won the 100 breast and 500 free, while Ethan Downey won the 100 free and 200 free.

Gettysburg 130, West York 40: At Graham Aquatic Center, Zach Turner won the 200 IM and 50 free to lead Gettysburg to the win.

OTHER GIRLS' SWIMMING

Red Lion 94, Dallastown 76: At Dallastown, Bella Butera led the Lions to the York-Adams Division I victory by taking first in the 100 breast and 200 IM. The Lions also, as a team, captured first in two of the three relays.

Susquehannock 120, New Oxford 44: At Glen Rock, the Warriors were led individually by Kate Kalmanowicz capturing first in the 200 IM and 100 breast, while Sarah Weichseldorfer won the 500 free and 50 free. Susquehannock took first in 10 of the 11 events. The Warriors improved to 4-0 in the division.

York Suburban 61, Dover 33: At Suburban, the Trojans captured first in 10 of the 11 events to grab the York-Adams Division II victory. Individually for the Trojans, Sophia Guyer won the 200 IM and 100 back, Savannah Hunt won the 50 free and 100 free and Carly Bowen won the 200 free and 500 free. Suburban improved to 3-1 in the division and overall.

Gettysburg 114, West York 38: At Graham Aquatic Center, the Warriors got two individual wins each from Hannah Brainard (200 free, 100 fly), Hannah Green (200 IM, 100 back) and Katie Ketterman (50 free, 100 free).

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.