During his first high school PIAA Swimming Championships, Avery Barley couldn't quite crack the top 10 for Chambersburg.
But at his first YMCA Long Course National Championships, all the nerves were shaken off, and the top 10 was an easy feat for Barley. He set a new Chambersburg YMCA Charger record in the 50 backstroke, clocking in at 24.47 to bring home a silver medal.
"It was awesome," Barley said. "I mean, I was flabbergasted when I heard I was seeded second in the 'A' final, and I would be swimming against all these older guys, 17- and 18-year-olds. At first, it was a little overwhelming, but I just got so excited, and I was ready to race in the evening."
YMCA Nationals is open to all swimmers under the age of 21 who have never competed for a collegiate team.
After picking up a 10th-place in the 100 back earlier in the week, Barley swam the 50 prelims on Sunday morning and finished in 24.57. He sliced even more time in the final race to finish the meet with a bang.
"I actually think it being the last race of the meet sort of helped me," Barley said. "I was thinking, this is the last race at Long Course Nationals, so I'd better make it good. There was a group of York swimmers that seemed to really support me at finals, so I felt charged and ready to go."
Charger coach Anthony Addlesberger said, "Generally it's harder to swim faster at the end of the meet. Kids have been competing for four or five days, so it's generally tougher. But that's just a testament to how hard he worked all season and how well he raced at the end."
Barley also set a team record in the 100 back with a time of 59.86, and Jacob Greenwood also set two new Charger standards. He was a point scorer in the 800 freestyle (8:37.63), and he also finished 18th in the 400 fee (4:08.50).
On the girls side, Marget Shelly also broke two Charger records. She finished the 100 butterfly in 1:05.5 and the 100 backstroke in 1:05.51.
C.J. Pong also set a pair of 13-14 boys team records (100 back, 1:03.74; and 400 IM, 5:11.21).