MECHANCISBURG >> For Dallastown's Noah Brockway, the District 3 Class AAA championships went from heartbreak to elation in a matter of minutes.
When Brockway exited the Cumberland Valley pool after the 100-yard backstroke the scoreboard showed he finished second, touched out by Ben Francis of the host school by a mere quarter of a second.
However, scorers noticed that Brockway's hand missed the touch pad when he reached back, registering the time only when his head hit the touch pad. When that happens, two backup timers are used to determine finishes.
When those times were reviewed, Brockway was the district champion with a corrected time of 51.22 seconds.
"Looking up I was disappointed. I would've liked to come out with the victory right away. I was happy with the time, it was my best time ever," the senior said.
But immediately after the swim, Brockway had to prepare for the upcoming 400 free relay. He was in the warm-down pool when he saw something happening.
"I was trying to get ready for the 400 relay and the coaches got called to the scorers' table," he said.
Finally, after a bit of a delay, he saw Dallastown coach Rich Howley holding up one finger indicating victory. A short while later, he was presented his gold by has proud father, Chris Brockway, an assistant coach for the Wildcats.
"I can't even explain it. One of my goals was to win the district backstroke. It was very satisfying to achieve my goal," Noah Brockway said. "Him presenting the award was special, giving him a hug, telling him I love him."
Noah then teamed with Logan Brockway, Spencer Hill and Jake Stoner to place third in the 400 relay. The school-record time of 3:09.20 meant all three Dallastown boys' relay teams qualified for states.
Wildcats freshman Grant Wertz won a seventh-place medal in the 100 breaststroke.
The Dallastown girls ended the two-day meet on the podium after the 400 relay foursome of Justina Thornley, Anna Hess, Jena Woods and Erica Wise finished sixth (3:38.48).
PECKMANN'S FIRST OF MANY DISTRICTS >> Central York freshman Alec Peckmann made his presence known in the YAIAA this season. His district debut wasn't bad either.
Although entering as the top seed in two events, Peckmann finished a respectable fourth in the 100 free (47.03), one day after the same result in the 200 free. He had personal bests in both races. Class AAA is just that good.
"I am happy. I learned a lot. You can't just expect to win because of your seed," Peckmann said.
Since the top three finishers in AAA earn automatic bids to the PIAA meet, Peckmann, like many others, will be scouring websites to see if he earned an at-large berth.
"I am going to be nervous, but we'll see," he said. "I am happy with my performance. I can't worry about what others do."
Peckmann also anchored the Panthers' 400 free relay team that placed sixth in 3:12.30, teaming with Jesse Tate, Will Hartzell and his brother Erik Peckmann.
Earlier in the meet, Tate notched an eighth-place medal in the 500 free (4:44.53).
SCHAEFER HAPPY ON THE BUBBLE >> Red Lion senior Courtney Schaefer won't know if her high school career closed on Saturday. Not until she sees if her time of 5:05.05 will qualify for an at-large berth to the PIAA championships.
Still, the Georgia Southern commit was pleased with her time. She'll take her seventh-place medal home with pride.
"My (previous) best time was 5:07, my goal was 5:05. I would have liked to place better, but I am happy with it," said Schaefer, who also placed fourth in Friday's 200 individual medley. "It was my lifetime best time. It was the best district meet in my whole career."
Lions' teammate Dylan North had a sixth-place swim of 4:41.85 in the 500 free.
CHALK WITH ANOTHER SOLID PERFORMANCE >> New Oxford senior Regan Chalk is hoping to make a return to the PIAA meet, where she competed as a sophomore.
After taking sixth place in the 100 backstroke (58.33), Chalk was all smiles saying, "I am very, very happy."
She placed ninth in the 100 butterfly on Friday, adding that it was the first time she swam a faster backstroke than butterfly and will also wait to see if her high school career will continue.
"Me and my mom did some research this morning of other places and times. I am hoping to be 31st or 32nd (for states)," she said.
SCHMIDT HONORED >> Long-time YAIAA executive director Herb Schmidt was honored prior to the AAA competition for his more than 55 years as a swimming official, meet director and countless other duties with District 3.
Schmidt received a glass award, as well as a standing ovation from the spectators, swimmers, coaches and officials.