LEWISBURG, Pennsylvania, March 16. FIVE state records were reset during the Pennsylvania 2A High School Swimming and Diving Championships March 14-15 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. Three other records were seriously threatened as well.
Courtney Harnish certainly started off her high school swimming career with flying colors. The girls Swimmer of the Meet, a freshman at West York, set state records in both the 200 free (1:45.91) and 500 free (4:40.04). She erased Adriana Grabski’s 200 mark from last year (1:47.05) and Lindsay Vrooman’s 2010 standard in the 500 free (4:43.93).
Allie Szekely, a sophomore at Gwynedd Mercy Academy, also lowered two state records. Her prelim time of 53.80 in the 100 back took down Kristen Shickora’s 2008 record of 53.88. Szekely finished first in finals in 54.55. She also lowered her 1:59.66 mark from last year in the 200 IM to 1:59.51.
Middleburg senior Grabski took control this year in the sprint freestyle events, capturing the 50 free in 23.10 and the 100 free in 49.88. Grabski will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall.
Lauren Barber, a junior at Wilmington Area, posted a 1:03.05 to place first in the 100 breast. Northern York sophomore Rebecca Luft was the 100 fly champ with her 54.91.
Villa Maria Academy, thanks to a sweep of the relays, is this year’s girls champion with 220 points. The quartet of sophomore Emily Cornell, senior Olivia Tierney, freshman Olivia Giampietro and junior Julie Dobson began the meet with their 1:46.57 victory in the 200 medley relay. Freshman Maura McManus joined Dobson, Cornell and Giampietro to end the meet with a winning 3:30.09 in the 400 free relay. That quartet missed setting a state record in the 200 free relay by just 2-hundredths with their 1:36.41.
Nazareth Academy edged Southern Lehigh for second, 131 to 130. Northern York claimed fourth (115), with Scranton Prep beating out Gwynedd Mercy Academy for the fifth spot, 101-100.
Even though Mars Hill High School does not have a pool, and only six swimmers competed, the Planets managed to come away from the state meet with their first-ever title, scoring 153 points.
That was sealed with their 400 free relay victory with the squad of junior Reed McDonough, seniors Thomas Pierre and Christopher Georgiades, and junior Francis Folz (3:12.57). Georgiades, who is headed to Ashland University next year, earned an individual title in the 200 IM with his 1:54.22.
Brent Benedict, a junior at Corry Area, posted the only state record on the boys side with his 48.69 in the 100 back. That bettered David Nolan’s 2009 standard of 49.41. Benedict missed a second state record by a mere 1-hundredth of a second in the 100 fly, taking the event in 48.57.
Also missing a state record by a fingertip was Franklin Area senior Phil Emerson. His 20.61 in the 50 free missed rewriting the record book by just 4-hundredths. Emerson, who has committed to Kentucky, also captured the 100 free title in 45.65.
Jarod Kehl, a West Allegheny junior, held off a determined Chartiers Valley junior Drew Damich to earn victory in the 200 free, 1:40.00 to 1:40.05. Kehl had a easier time defeating Damich in the 500 free, posting a 4:28.80 to Damich’s 4:33.20.
Noah Crawford’s 57.61 gave the Bloomsburg junior first place in the 100 breast.
Trinity came in second overall with 134 points. Their 200 medley relay of seniors Ian DiCarlo, Henry Tanguan, Anthony Capper and freshman Lucas Haywood finished first in 1:36.99. Salisbury finished third (126 points) and earned the top spot on the podium in the 200 free relay thanks to seniors Jon Anderson, Tim Costantini and Tyler Lesko, plus freshman Mahlon Reihman (1:27.56).
Bloomsburg finished in fourth place (110), followed closely by Franklin Area (102).