By John Lohn
LEWISBURG, Pennsylvania, March 29. ANNUALLY one of the top scholastic meets in the nation, the Pennsylvania High School Championships didn’t disappoint, as 10 records were established between the Class AAA (large schools) and Class AA (small schools) competitions. The event was held March 15-18 at Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium.
In the team standings at the Class AA level, Hershey (girls) and York Suburban (boys) emerged victorious. Hershey, behind a relay sweep, totaled 270.5 points to defeat Oakland Catholic (184) while York Suburban’s 200 points were enough to prevail over Radnor (147). At the Class AAA level, Parkland won the female competition with 246 points and was followed by Bethel Park (181). On the male side, the title went to Emmaus (244) over State College (160).
Two member of the West Shore YMCA, where they’re coached by Mike Gobrecht, had dazzling performances. Representing Gettysburg High, Tricia Weaner excelled in the Class AAA ranks as she set a state record in the 100 backstroke (55.08) and took top honors in the 100 butterfly (55.82). Meanwhile, East Pennsboro’s Leah Gingrich was the star of the Class AA meet, thanks to a 1:47.99 mark in the 200 free and a state record swim of 4:45.29 in the 500 free. Weaner and Gingrich both have National Junior Team experience and will compete at the upcoming YMCA Nationals.
Also in Class AA female action, records were taken down by Oakland Catholic’s Mallory Dietrich in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.55), Panther Valley’s Allysa Vavra in the 200 individual medley (2:01.94), Marian Catholic’s Kristen Shickora in the 100 backstroke (55.64) and Hershey’s 200 medley relay (1:48.34). On the guys’ side, the Radnor quartet of Andrew Criner, Chris Piechnik, Robbie Norton and Mike Kaiserian clocked a state record of 1:36.96 in the medley relay. Radnor also won the 200 free relay (1:27.57) and Criner was the 100 back champ in 52.20. Mechanicsburg’s John Cremo took the 100 breast in a state record of 57.86. Cremo came from behind for his win and narrowly edged Bishop Hoban’s Matt Kolojejchick (57.88).
Other solid performances in Class AA came from Clearfield’s John Lytle, who doubled in the 50 free and 100 free (45.20) and Blue Mountain’s Lindsay Guers, who also turned a sprint double. York Suburban closed out its team title, the result of a combo of firepower and depth, by winning the 400 free relay in 3:13.36.
In Class AAA, Cody Weik had the performance of the week, as he defeated the competition in the 200 freestyle with a blistering state-record time of 1:37.91. Weik also placed second in the 500 free as his mark of 4:28.78 was just off the winning effort of 4:28.19, produced by Emmaus’ Dave Gordon. Emmaus had other wins from its medley relay, which went a state record in prelims (1:33.66), and George Rae-Grant in the 100 breast (57.03).
Baldwin’s Ray Toomey was the victor in the 100 fly, thanks to a swim of 49.24. Toomey went 48.80 during prelims. Meanwhile, Strath Haven and State College were the winners of the 200 and 400 free relays, respectively. Strath Haven was timed in 1:25.42 while State College hit the wall in 3:09.02. Strath Haven’s foursome of Andrew D’Ignazio, Mike Naccarelli, Mickey Hafertepe and Kyle Loughran was also second in the 400 free relay (3:10.42).
In winning the team crown, Parkland won the three relays with times of 1:47.04 (medley), 1:36.19 (200 free relay) and 3:30.82 (400 free relay). For Wilson High, Marianne Flynn kept the school’s breaststroke tradition alive with a triumph in 1:03.65. The school has produced Olympic medalist Kristy Kowal and former scholastic-record holder Kristen Woodring.