Chambersburg's rookie swimmers make it to states
Chambersburg is sending three swimmers to the upcoming state championships, which really isn't all that noteworthy.
What is especially impressive about the Trojan trio, though, is that all three are underclassmen.
Freshmen Avery Barley and Jacob Greenwood, along with sophomore Nick Cover, will head to Bucknell University on Wednesday for the PIAA Class AAA Swimming & Diving Championships.
"This is an honor," Barley said. "I'm just trying as hard as I can to see where I can go, and I'm really excited to attend this meet, especially with one of my very good friends in Jacob Greenwood. I don't want to psych myself out; I'm trying to just think of it as another meet and do my best."
Cover may be the only Trojan to compete Wednesday, as the diving competition all takes place that day. But Chambersburg may see the appearance of Greenwood, who is the first alternate in the 200 freestyle, which will take place Wednesday.
Barley and Greenwood will definitely hit the pool Thursday, each in one individual event.
On the swimming side, Barley has the higher of the two seeds. In the 100 backstroke, he is seeded 16th. Greenwood is seeded 29th in the 500 freestyle. Both will swim Thursday morning, with the top 16 returning for finals later in the day and the top eight in finals earning a spot on the podium.
So far, Barley's fastest time in the 100 back is 52.25 seconds, and while making it to the final is important, Barley also has another goal in mind.
"I'm trying to beat my coach's (Chad White) record that he set for the (Chambersburg) YMCA with 51.8 seconds," Barley said. "I'm going to try to take it out as fast as I can and just hold on to that pace. I think I do have a bit of specialty with underwaters. We focus on that during practice a lot, and my coaches say I'm pretty good at it."
Like Barley, Greenwood isn't necessarily putting a place number on his list of goals for states.
"I think just making it here was such a good goal to achieve," Greenwood said. "I've done my best this year to get where I am, and I'll be happy anywhere I place. Usually, what I try to do in the 500 is try to take it out fast but come back even faster. The second half is where I'm usually the best because I'm a lot stronger and swimming faster at the end."
As for Cover, who was in Greenwood and Barley's position a year ago, he does have a place in mind. After finishing ninth last year, Cover wants to get on that podium.
"Being there last year really helped because now I'm bringing confidence to the table," Cover said. "My expectations are to get top eight, and I'm feeling like I can do it because I've already been (to states)."
Some of Cover's biggest focuses will be to get high jumps off the board and rip all his entries in order to cut down on excess splashing. One of his best improvements from a year ago is his strength has gone up, allowing him to get the board bouncing a bit higher.
While he specializes in the 1 1/2 full twist, the reverse dive pike and the front 2 1/2, Cover feels he has added some more difficult dives to his repertoire in order to compete at a higher degree this season.
The diving competition works in three stages. All 24 competitors perform three dives before the field narrows to 16. The top 16 then execute another three dives, before the final 12 finish off the competition with their last three dives apiece.
"My biggest focus will be to stay confident during my dives," Cover said. "I know that if I do my best, the results I want will come out of it."