Susquehannock's Jacob Wade makes a silver-medal splash at his first PIAA 2-A swim meet
MECHANICSBURG — Jacob Wade went to the PIAA Class 2-A Boys' Swimming Championships hoping to make a name for himself.
He is now officially a force to be reckoned with.
The sophomore from Susquehannock clocked in a time of 46.55 seconds to capture second place in the 100-yard freestyle on Friday at Cumberland Valley High School.
“Today is a very special day in my life,” Wade said. “It was one of the best days of my life, honestly. The 100 freestyle swim was great. It was everything I expected it to be. All the hard work paid off and that’s the special part about it."
Wade also finished fifth in the 50 freestyle (:21.25).
Like many of his peers, Wade was denied the opportunity to swim at states last year at Bucknell University because of the statewide shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We got up there last year and we had to come right back,” Wade said. “It was very annoying. Coach (Brian) Wingert broke the news to us and we were all very upset. This makes up for that 100%.
"I’m only a sophomore so I came to the meet with no pressure. I just wanted to have fun and swim fast. This was my first state meet. My goal was to make a scene in the PIAA swimming world and I feel like I made a statement today.
“I can’t wait for the next couple of years. I heard Bucknell is a great pool so hopefully I’ll get to swim there next year.”
After last season’s disappointment, he is happy to have finally competed at the state level.
“I’m grateful that we had a state meet this year and it’s just been amazing,” he said. “I feel like the competition was tough. It’s the state meet. You expect that, you expect great competition All these guys worked their butts off all year long 24-7 for this day and it’s really nice to succeed here.”
Brainard wins pair of medals: The girls' Class 2-A meet was held in the morning.
Hannah Brainard of Gettysburg picked up a pair of individual medals, finishing seventh in the 200 freestyle (1:55.11) and eighth in the 100 freestyle (:53.13).
“It’s very different this year, but it’s fun,” Brainard said. “I really enjoyed the cardboard cutouts on the balcony where the spectators would have been. That’s really funny.
“I think it’s been a fun meet. It’s so weird that I’m finished swimming already. Normally this meet would be over two days and I’d have one swim each day.”
The PIAA allowed long breaks between events to give the swimmers enough rest.
“I’m not exactly happy with how I swam,” Brainard said. “I think I could have done better but it is what it is. I had like an hour between races so I think I had enough rest. I don’t think that was the problem.
“This year has been so crazy and we had some shutdowns during the season so having this meet is just fun. I’m so happy they held it.”
A junior, she will have another opportunity in 2022.
“I’m really looking forward to next year and hopefully things will return to normal and this meet will be back at Bucknell,” she said. “This was a very nice pool and I think they did really well putting on the meet for us, but it just doesn’t feel like states unless we’re at Bucknell.”
Reach Karen Sangillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.