LEWISBURG >> Relays have always been a thing for Dallastown swim coach Rich Howley. Sure, he loves when his swimmers succeed in individual events, but when a foursome comes together, it's something special.
On Friday's first day of the PIAA Class AAA boys' swimming championships something indeed special happened for the Wildcats at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.
Spencer Hill, Jake Stoner, Logan Brockway and Noah Brockway won the fifth-place medal in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1 minute, 25.84 seconds, closing the first day in style.
"It's awesome being part of a team of all these great guys," Hill said. "We can all rely on each other on the relays. We always know we are going to perform well, have fun and swim our best."
Hill also scored an eighth-place medal in the 100 butterfly when he finished in 51.35.
"I am really ecstatic that I got to be in the top eight, but I envisioned myself doing a better time," Hill said. "It's all good. I still have next year. My goal next year: To be better."
Hill and Noah Brockway were members of Dallastown relays that were at states last season. The best part of looking ahead is Noah Brockway is the lone senior of the bunch.
"The reason we do relays and I love relays is to do it for everyone else," Noah Brockway said. "It was a good feeling coming up this year knowing everyone was looking up to me and was going to count on me. It was extra motivation. I loved getting it done for my teammates."
Noah Brockway anchored both the preliminary swim, securing Dallastown's position in the finals, and the medal race.
The group went 1:26.63 in the morning, and bested that time at night.
A sophomore, Stoner, who in the morning placed 29th in the 100 butterfly (53.37), fit right into a relay slot vacated by a graduating swimmer.
"I could never envision myself ending up on the state podium, it's fantastic. I am so excited," he said. "It's the most special feeling in the world because all of these guys are fantastic people. I have gotten so close to them and I hardly knew them at the beginning of the season."
Two of the members that knew each other well before the season were the Brockways. Logan came on as a freshman this season, joining his older cousin.
"It's pretty special just having one year with him. I wish I would have had three more years of high school to swim with him," Noah Brockway said. "I was very excited for him to come up here and experience this. I was talking to him this week about it and just being here is special to see the quality of swimmers we have and compete against in Pennsylvania."
Certainly some of that excellence was on display on Friday when the first two events saw state records broken. Upper St. Clair set a mark in the 200 medley relay with its time of 1:29.74.
In that same event, Noah Brockway, Grant Wertz and Hill, teamed with Stoner for a 10th-place finish (1:35.95).
The very next race saw Upper Dublin's Michael Jensen snap a 6-year-old record in the 200 free with a time of 1:35.31.
For his part, Logan said that he felt the team could wind up on the podium at Bucknell this season.
"It was a great experience. I am having a blast with all of these guys," he said. "I was really excited to try to get a medal at states. We've been training all season very hard."
Also on Friday, Central York freshman Alec Peckmann (1:45.59) finished 28th in the 200 free after preliminaries. Panthers' teammate Jesse Tate (52.82) was 27th in the 100 fly.
Reach Steve Navaroli at 771-2060.