A record-setting evening got off to a great start when the boys convened at Central York High School for the second day of the YAIAA swimming championships.
While Dallastown added to its already impressive number of records, New Oxford’s Alex Pecher also made history.
Pecher won the opening race, the 100-yard freestyle, and in the process became the first Colonial boy to win a gold medal at the league championship.
“I knew it, but it’s hard to believe,” Pecher said after swimming a 49.59 to finish a mere .07 ahead of South Western’s Alex Yokem, and .21 in front of Will Hartzell from Central.
“There was pressure. Me and Yokem are really good friends,” Pecher added. “I knew Yokem would be out a lot faster than me. I wanted to stay with him. The second half is when I wanted to push him. That last turn got him.”
Later in the meet, Pecher won a sixth-place medal in the 100 backstroke, an event won by Dallastown’s Spencer Hill, who swam a 51.22, good enough for a pool record.
But the Wildcats weren’t done there. Grant Wertz followed by clocking a 59.59 to win the 100 breaststroke, setting pool, meet and YAIAA records.
Wertz said that he didn’t think about a record before squaring off against Red Lion freshman Alex Sun, who finished second and Alec Peckmann of host Central, who was third.
“I was so surprised,” he said. “I knew coming into the race I was going to have a lot of competition. I was really happy.”
“I knew he was going to go under a minute. He killed it,” Hill said of Wertz. “We were going crazy when he did. It inspired us.”
Hill’s 400 free relay capped the YAIAA championships in amazing style, much like the Wildcats 200 medley that started things with a bang on Thursday.
Jake Stoner get things going in the 400, followed by Logan Brockway, Pat Dunnigan and Hill. The foursome’s gold-medal winning time was 3:12.54, which took down pool, meet and league records.
Although he won gold and set a mark individually, Hill didn’t hesitate when asked which was more special.
“Definitely the 400 free relay,” he said. “It’s one of the hardest events, especially competing with Central. That makes it a great race every time.”
Although their mates got more attention individually, Brockway and Dunnigan’s relay splits were huge en route to the record.
The Panthers dropped 3.36 seconds from their seed time to earn silver, and Red Lion took bronze.
North scores gold in final league meet: It didn’t take long for Dylan North to establish himself as one of the YAIAA’s best distance swimmers. The Red Lion senior proved that he is still one of the best when he swam a 4:44.73 to win the 500 free.
Already preparing for his last District 3 Class AAA meet, North knows he can drop even more time — even after taking more than five seconds off his entry time on Friday.
"It’s been a good four years,” he said. ‘I definitely have to get out faster and be more consistently fast the whole race. I look forward to championship meets. It’s my favorite time of year. There’s nothing like it.”
Northeastern’s Drew Wilson, the 200 free champ on Thursday, placed second behind North, and Jared Herr of Gettysburg was third.
Trying something new, North swam in the 100 back, the next event after the grueling 500. Still, he dropped time and finished third behind Hill, whose teammate, Brockway, was second.
100 free — 1. Alex Pecher, NO, 49.59. 2. Alex Yokem, SW. 3. Will Hartzell, CY. 4. Matt Spinello, YS. 5t. Aidan Fryar, YS, & Nico DeAngelo II, Get. 7. William Wise, Dt. 8. Seth Schuler, Dt. 500 free — 1. Dylan North, RL, 4:44.73. 2. Drew Wilson, Ne. 3. Jared Herr, Get. 4. Jacob Lorenzen, RL. 5. Patrick O’Neill, CY. 6. Logan Hyde, Get. 7. Grae Elliot, SG. 8. Charles Baker, Dt. 100 back — 1. Spencer Hill, Dt, 51.22. 2. Logan Brockway, Dt. 3. Dylan North, RL. 4. Patrick Jacobson, Dt. 5. Ben Chu, CY. 6. Alex Pecher, NO.7. Karl Schmittle, YS. 8. Jared Hicks, CY. 100 breast — 1. Grant Wertz, Dt, 59.49. 2. Alex Sun, RL. 3. Alec Peckmann, CY. 4. Anthony Gemma, CY. 5. Gibson Porter IV, Sus. 6. Kyle DuPree, NO. 7. Niccolo Scrivani, Dt. 8. Justin Culp, SG. 400free relay — 1. Dallastown (A), 3:12.54. 2. Central York. 3. Red Lion. 4. Dallastown (B). 5. York Suburban. 6. Dover. 7. Gettysburg. 8. Spring Grove.