Franklin County wins pair of District 3 titles
Numerous swimmers from York, Adams and Franklin counties have earned top seeds in the District 3 swimming championships set for this weekend. Jessica Sprenkle, GameTimePA.com
James Buchanan junior Annabelle McCullough can call herself a District 3 champion.
And she wasn't the only Franklin County swimmer to earn that title Friday - Chambersburg sophomore Jacob Greenwood also earned a championship.
McCullough was seeded first in the Class 2A 100 butterfly for the district championships at Cumberland Valley H.S. on Friday afternoon, and she took first place by a comfortable margin of more than 3 seconds over runner-up Jenna Hufnagle of York Suburban,
The winning time was 57.20, more than 2 seconds better than her seed time of 59.49.
"This feels pretty good," McCullough said. "For the most part of the race, I was ahead, and I wanted to win or die."
JB coach Lori McCullough said, "She used a steady, powerful stroke and had pretty even splits. By the second 50, she had opened up about a body-length lead."
Annabelle McCullough said, "On the first turn (25 yards), I saw somebody close, so I made sure the second 25 had the same power as the first. In the last 50, I was just bringing it home."
In boys Class 3A Friday evening, Greenwood posted a school-record time of 1:41.86 to take first place in the 200 freestyle event. He came in seeded second, but lowered his seed time by four seconds to finish ahead of Warwick's Keir Uhlin (1:42.42) and qualify for the PIAA meet.
Greenwood said he felt like he didn’t live up to his expectations during the 2016 district championships, but he made up for it Friday. Greenwood stayed with the pack and then sprinted the second half to bring home a gold medal in the 200 free.
“My coach (Chad White) and I were talking about it the past few days," Greenwood said. "We felt if I was able to stay with the pack and really sprint near the end of the race I would have a really good shot at winning.
“The first 100 I felt smooth and relaxed. I knew I was with the pack and felt really good. The second 100 it was really time to start to push it and see where I could go.”
Greenwood returns Saturday as the No.1 seed in the 500 free.
Also in the boys 3A session, Chambersburg's CJ Pong took ninth in the 200 IM (1:59.30) and teammate Avery Barley was ninth in the 50 freestyle (21.86).
Franklin County swimmers garnered quite a few other high places in the 2A portion of the meet.
McCullough's Rocket teammate, Rachel Kimmel, earned a runner-up spot in the 200 IM with a time of 2:12.04. The winner was Kate Luft of Northern York in 2:09.72. Kimmel and McCullough guaranteed themselves a berth in the PIAA Championships at Bucknell University on March 15-19.
"Rachel dropped a lot of time (nearly 5 seconds) from Mid Penns and she looked fantastic," Lori McCullough said.
The JB 200 medley relay team of Annaleisse Hissong, Rachel Kimmel, Sarah Kimmel and McCullough swam a time of 1:50.27 to place third. The same girls, with the Kimmels switching places, also placed fourth in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:41.28.
Lori McCullough said, "Our backstroker (Hissong) and our breaststroker (Rachel Kimmel) both went under 30 seconds for the first time (in the medley relay), and after three legs we were in first place. We just got touched out at the end. We have our fingers crossed we have a good enough time to get into states."
The Shippensburg girls produced three top-10 finishes: Makenna Morris (5th, 200 IM in 2:14.41), Madison Osanitsch (7th, 200 free in 1:59.76) and the 200 free relay team (8th, Osanitsch, Madelyn Facchinei, Rachel Morehouse and Morris, in 1:44.66).
In 2A boys, James Buchanan's Nick Garbinski was seeded first in the 50 free and he beat his seed time, but that time of 21.86 was good for only third place. Ship's Eli Zinn (22.73) was seventh in that event.
McCullough said, "Nick was very disappointed with his place, but he had a fantastic race and it was still a personal best for him. His time would have won this race last year, and we think he still has a decent chance to make states."
The Greyhounds' Sam Nonemaker placed fourth in the 200 free in 1:46.63. Ship's 200 free relay team of Nonemaker, Kaiden Estep, Matthew Buck and Zinn was seventh (1:33.41) and JB's team of Austin Sheppard, Marcel Freixenet, Jarred Moquin and Garbinski was eighth (1:34.74).