Trojan sophomores draw attention at states
Just as Chambersburg sophomore Jacob Greenwood was cooling down from his second sixth-place medal in as many days at the PIAA Class 3A Swimming Championships, his teammate, classmate and friend, Avery Barley, was turning heads in the 100 backstroke.
"I got out of the pool after cool down and watched some glimpses of the race," Greenwood said. "I just thought, 'Holy crap. He might get top three.'"
Barley blew away his heat competition and his seed time; he clocked in at 49.65 for a new school record and a silver medal at Sunday's state championships.
"I definitely knew I had that time in me," Barley said. "(Last week) helped motivate me because I was pretty upset about my time. I couldn't let it effect me too much; I just knew I had to go faster at this meet to get where I wanted to be."
Just minutes before, Greenwood collected a sixth-place in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:30.48; he adds that medal to his Saturday sixth-place finish in the 200 free (1:40.20). Both are school records.
"I just felt really good with practice this week," Greenwood said. "We've been specifically training on these races, so I felt really prepared. I was excited to come swim with really high chances of medaling in both events."
The extra practice time was key for both Chambersburg sophomores, who dropped significant time off each of their times from last year's state meet.
"I was focusing on my last 25 because that's where it's been really difficult for me in the past couple races," Barley said. "I knew a lot of it depended on my underwaters, because above water, I'm much faster, so I just wanted to focus on being fast that last 25 and not fade out."
Chambersburg coach Chad White said, "Really, what I think helped (Greenwood) the most was his ability in practice to focus on pacing. He was able to get good split times and get a feeling for what that feels like, and he was able to put it into his meet here."
The two have been swimming alongside each other since they were young as members of the Chambersburg YMCA Chargers, but it wasn't until they became Trojans that they really started to work together.
"I've know Jacob since kindergarten, and he helps me at practice with competition," Barley said. "He stays with me when we race each other, and he'll be with me when we're doing the sprint sets. It's just really healthy competition for me and him, and I'm glad that he's with me."
Because both Barley and Greenwood are 10th-graders, and both have performed at states two years in a row, there are high expectations for the future, both individually and as a collective.
While both have their eye on a gold medal this time next year, they're also looking to boast the Trojan program as a whole.
"I'm hoping that people can look at it like, 'Oh, Chambersburg swim team, I might want to try that out next year,'" Barley said. "I'm really excited for what our team will grow to be in two years or so. We have a lot of boys swimming for our club team, and hopefully coming with us to states will be fueling their fire."