Despite it being three years since they swam a dual meet against each other, the YAIAA swimming rivalry between Dallastown and York Suburban picked up right where it left off on Thursday.

The girls' meet between the Division I Wildcats and Division II Trojans did not disappoint the packed house at Suburban.

The meet was tied after six events -- until Trojan senior Erin Merkle broke Suburban's longest standing pool record -- and her own school record -- in the 500 freestyle.

Merkle's time of 5:06.33, bested the 5:06.70 mark set by Wilson's Bridgette Burkett in 1977, and combined with Anna Schmittle's third-place finish gave the Trojans the lead for good as Suburban went on to a 51-43 victory against the Wildcats.

York Suburban’s Erin Merkle swims during the 500 freestyle at Thursday’s meet against Dallastown. Merkle finished in 5:06.33, beating
York Suburban's Erin Merkle swims during the 500 freestyle at Thursday's meet against Dallastown. Merkle finished in 5:06.33, beating Suburban's 35-year-old pool record. The Trojans won, 51-43. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- Kate Penn)

"It's exciting and fun because my grandpa taught the girl that had the record," Merkle said. "I am really happy that I got to do that and help the team. I was really focused on the team and wanting to do it for the team.

"We always love swimming (against) Dallastown. They are great competition, and we have such great chemistry. I am so proud of everyone stepping up and coming together to get the victory."

There was no suspense in the boys' competition, as the deep and talented Dallastown squad took first and second place in nine of the 11 events en route to a 78-16 win.

The Dallastown 200 medley relay team of Anna Hess, Lauren Cooksey, Mikaelie Gonzalez and Erica Wise got the girls' meet started with a win in 2:00.29 and Alyssa Bixler followed with a 1:58.01 to take the 200 free, giving the Wildcats an 11-7 lead.

However, Merkle scored the first of her four wins with a 2:14.08, and teammate Helen Gunn nipped Julia Randolph by .01 for second in the 200 individual medley, putting the Trojans up 14-12.

"What I said to the team is it takes a team to win a meet," Suburban coach Craig Brennan said. "Throughout the meet it was going about where I thought it was going to be. The biggest surprise was that 200 IM. When we had our team meeting we said you have got to leave it all out on the pool, and I think we did that."

Freshman Carson Gross won the 50 free in 25.40 and Emily Schmittle (1:04.55) took the 100 butterfly for Suburban. Bixler's win in 54.30 in the 100 free, combined with a third place from Wise, knotted the meet at 25

Zowie Day, Gross, Merkle and Anna Schmittle swam 1:43.54 to win a close 200 free relay, extending the lead, and the same foursome -- in a different order -- closed out the victory with a 3:46.76 in the 400 free relay.

"I didn't know who she was until some time over the summer I had a chance to meet her," Brennan said of Gross, who also won the 100 breaststroke. "My biggest concern was whether she was going to swim or not and her best answer was, yes I am coach. She is young and strong and the best thing, she doesn't know how good she can be."

"Their whole program is first-class. That is why we enjoy coming here," Dallastown coach Rich Howley said. "It's a very special place for us. It's a neat rivalry with the utmost respect, and the kids fed off of that. It's like when you haven't seen your best friend or your neighbor that you haven't seen.

"It's neat to come into a place where you put your best against their best. At the end you hope you come out on top, at the end they are all heading to dinner together."

Hess won the girls' 100 backstroke in 1:05.38 for the Wildcats.

Behind Corey Stauffer (200 free, 100 free) Trevor Hine (200 IM, 500 free) Ashton Hensel (50 free), Spencer Hill (100 fly) and Mason Tate (100 backstroke), the Wildcats boys dominated.

Dallastown’s D.J. Boyer, top, and York Suburban’s Kyle Posenau swim nearly stroke-for-stroke during the 500 meter freestyle race during
Dallastown's D.J. Boyer, top, and York Suburban's Kyle Posenau swim nearly stroke-for-stroke during the 500 meter freestyle race during Thursday's meet at York Suburban. Boyer finished second, 0.08 seconds ahead of Posenau, to help the Wildcats win, 78-16. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- Kate Penn)

With so many points awarded for first- and second-place finishes, Dallastown opened a 65-11 lead until Nolan Walker notched the Trojans' lone win in the 100 breast.

"They are a great group of boys. They have fun and keep everything in perspective," Howley said.
@stevenavaroli; 771-2060

DALLASTOWN 78, YORK SUBURBAN 16
   200 medley relay -- 1. Dallastown (Mason Tate, Sreshtha Sing, Trevor Hine, Noah Brockway), 1:43.77; 2. York Suburban; 3. Dallastown. 200 free -- 1. Stauffer, Dt, 1:49.83; 2. Boyer, Dt; 3. Posenau, YS. 200 IM -- 1. Hine, Dt, 1:58.65; 2. Sing, Dt; 3. Walker, YS. 50 free -- 1. Hensel, Dt, 23.37; 2. Erne, Dt; 3. Fridman, YS. 100 fly -- 1. Hill, Dt, 56.52; 2. Brockway, Dt; 3. Massey, YS. 100 free -- 1. Stauffer, Dt, 49.81; 2. Erne, Dt; 3. Fridman, YS. 500 free -- 1. Hine, Dt, 4:49.29; 2. Boyer, Dt; 3. Posenau, YS. 200 free relay -- 1. Dallastown (Braxton Erne, Corey Stauffer, Keith O'Conor, Noah Brockway), 1:31.99; 2. Dallastown; 3. York Surburban. 100 back -- 1. Tate, Dt, 56.43; 2. Paine, Dt; 3. Massey, YS. 100 breast -- 1. Walker, YS, 1:04.08; 2. Defelice, Dt; 3. Sing, Dt. 400 free relay -- 1. Dallastown (Erne, Hine, Brockway, Stauffer), 3:25.54; 2. Dallastown; 3. York Suburban.

YORK SUBURBAN 51, DALLASTOWN 43
   200 medley relay -- 1. Dallastown (Anna Hess, Lauren Cooksey, Mikaelie Gonzalez, Erica Wise), 2:00.29; 2. York Suburban; 3. York Suburban. 200 free -- 1. Bixler, DT, 1:58.01; 2. Schmittle, YS; 3. Thornley, DT. 200 IM -- 1. Merkle, YS, 2:14.08; 2. Gunn, YS; 3. Randolph, Dt. 50 free -- 1. Gross, YS, 25.40; 2. Wise, Dt; 3. Julia Casolo, Dt. 100 fly -- 1. Schmittle, YS, 1:04.55; 2. Gonzalez, Dt; 3. Casolo, Dt. 100 free -- 1. Bixler, Dt, 54.30; 2. Day, YS; 3. Wise, Dt. 500 free -- 1. Merkle, YS, 5:06.33; 2. Randolph, Dt; 3. Schmittle, YS. 200 free relay -- 1. York Suburban (Zowie Day, Carson Gross, Erin Merkle, Anna Schmittle), 1:43.54; 2. Dallastown; 3. Dallastown. 100 back -- 1. Hess, Dt, 1:05.38; 2. Helen Gunn, YS; 3. Allie Gunn, YS. 100 breast -- 1. Gross, YS, 1:14.85; 2. Cooksey, Dt; 3. Marston, Dt. 400 free relay -- 1. York Suburban, (Day, Schmittle, Merkle, Gross), 3:46.76; 2. Dallastown; 3. York Suburban.