High School State Swimming Championships: Pennsylvania AA

LEWISBURG, Pennsylvania, March 18. VILLA Maria Academy, a private girls school in Malvern, earned its third straight Pennsylvania AA Girls swimming title with 237 points. Salisbury High School earned its first swimming title ever with a 151-143 victory over Franklin Area. Seven state records fell, six on the girls side. The meet was held in short course yards at the Kinney Natatorium at Bucknell University in Lewisburg.

The next four places in the team standings, after the Hurricanes' 237 points, were determined by just 12 points. York Suburban claimed second with 125 points, followed by South Fayette (119), Central Columbia (118.5) and Southern Lehigh (113).

Villa Maria's 400 free relay of seniors Molly O'Brien, Lauren Law and Sarah Hitchens–and anchored by sophomore Julie Dobson–combined for a state record 3:28.90, taking out the team's 3:30.96 mark set last year. The Hurricanes' 200 medley relay squad of freshman Emily Cornell, junior Olivia Tierney plus Law and Hitchens posted a stte record 1:45.89. Central Columbia set the prior standard at 1:46.89 last year.

York Suburban's 200 free relay of senior Zowie Day, freshman Carson Gross, sophomore Anna Schmittle and senior Erin Merkle prevented a Villa Maria relay sweep by just 8-hundredths, 1:37.55-1:37.63. Swimming for Villa Maria were Cornell, Dobson, O'Brien and senior Kaitlyn Alvanos.

Three of Stefanie Williams' 1998 records were erased during the competition. Adriana Grabski, a Mifflinburg junior, was responsible for lowering two of those marks. In the 100 free, she went under Williams' 49.61 with her 49.57. She was timed in the 200 free in 1:47.05, bettering Williams' 1:47.37. In the 50 free, Villa Maria's Hitchens cruised to a 22.91, becoming the first 2A swimmer to go under 23 seconds and taking out Williams' 22.91.

Gwynedd Mercy freshman Allie Szekely lowered the state record in the 200 IM with her 1:59.66. The prior record was 2:00.48, set by Madison Burns in 2011. Lauren Barber, a sophomore at Wilmington, missed out on setting a state mark by just 8-hundredths with her 1:02.63 victory in the 100 breast.

Mars Area senior Margaret Gruber collected wins in both the 100 fly (54.35) and 100 back (54.15). Scranton Prep junior Mia Nonnenberg's 4:48.18 earned her a trip to the top of the podium stand in the 500 free. Mohawk junior McKenzie Stelter claimed the diving competition title with 406.70 points.

Bellefonte Area's 138 points earned them third place behind Salisbury and Franklin Area. Fairview claimed fourth (114), followed by Upper Perkiomen (104).

The lone state record fell in the diving event. Bradley Buchter, a freshman at Trinity, put together 533.05 points. Alaric Ebe had held the mark at 478.15 points since 2006.

Salisbury earned their title with depth–nine of ten swimmers and divers scored. Their only victory came in the 400 free relay, with juniors Jon Anderson, Tim Costantini with seniors Garrett Colllins and Eric Tatum combining for a 3:11.52.

Franklin Area's 200 free relay of seniors Andy Frederick and Quinn Heffern, with juniors Isaac Cooke and Phil Emerson, combined for a winning 1:27.24. The 200 medley relay went to Bellefonte Area with their 1:36.84. Sophomore Colton Schnars led off seniors Andrew Rosenberger, Isaac Thomas and Frank Aberegg. Rosenberger earned a victory in the 100 breaststroke (58.56), just ahead of Shane Hallett, a senior at Boiling Springs (58.64).

Emerson dominated the sprint freestyles, placing first in both the 50 (20.90) and 100 (45.63). Finishing second in both was Susquehanna Township senior Nathan Smith (50 free, 21.00; 100 free, 45.97). Chartiers Valley sophomore Drew Damich doubled in the 200 and 500 free (1:40.52 and 4:33.75). Robert Sikatzki, a Fairview junior, also claimed two titles with his 49.56 in the 100 back and 49.98 in the 100 fly, 1-hundredth ahead of Salisbury senior Eric Tatum.

The title in the 200 IM went to Lancaster Catholic's Everett Albert, courtesy of his 1:53.72.