For Carson Gross, swimming at Thursday’s first night of the YAIAA swimming championships wasn’t about winning.
Still, as the defending PIAA Class AA 200-yard freestyle champion, Gross felt a little pressure when she climbed the starting blocks at Central York.
“I was really nervous. I wanted to do good times and do what I did last year,” the York Suburban senior said. “I wasn’t really focused as much on winning, but getting good times.”
Gross definitely swam good times, winning two events — the 200 free in 1 minute, 55.58 seconds and the 50 free in 24.61. Her 200 time was more than three seconds faster than West York standout Meghan French, who placed second.
“Just being at counties around everyone I know is very motivating,” added Gross, who was also on the Trojans’ 200 free relay that won a silver medal.
Eagles fly in day one: Needing solid times to quality for the upcoming District 3 Class AAA meet, the Dover girls exceeded all expectations.
The Eagles saved their best for last when the foursome of Annie Long, Maddi Hetrick, Lindsay Brenneman and Grace Beierschmitt dropped more than four seconds from their seed time to win the 200 free relay in stunning fashion.
Dover’s coaches couldn’t contain their excitement afterward.
“That was a great swim,” said head coach Rich Janosky. “It’s been an up and down year as far as dual meets go. It was nice to come together like that.”
Perhaps the best part is Beierschmitt and Long are freshmen, and Hetrick is only a sophomore. Beierschmitt earned bronze in the 200 free, as did the Eagles’ 200 medley relay.
Spinney‘s super night: Swimming in her home pool, Central’s Sarah Spinney was simply hoping to improve upon her fifth seed entering the YAIAA meet.
But the junior certainly enjoyed her time atop the podium after she won the 100 butterfly, posting the only sub one-minute swim with a 59.87.
“It was amazing. I’ve never been up there before,” she said. “All the girls are so talented. I am humbled to be with them.”
Spinney credited those she spends her days with around the pool.
“This whole season, the coaches have been pushing us so much. I owe it to my teammates. They are the most incredible people,” she added.
Two golds for Oberlander: Dallastown senior Kacey Oberlander is looking forward to swimming at the University of Alabama next fall. However, that doesn’t mean she is ready to pack it in on her high school career just yet.
Oberlander and her Wildcats teammates got off to a fast start in the 200 medley relay. In that race, she teamed with Jena Woods, Sydney Hoover and Emma Balderson to post a 1:51.71, more than four seconds faster than the host Panthers.
“I definitely get excited about everyone on the team swimming fast and having fun,” she said about her final YAIAA meet.
Two events later, Oberlander dropped nearly a second off the top time posted this season and her 2:08.19 200 individual medley time earned her a gold medal by nearly six seconds. West York’s Taylor Hoover was second.
Only a freshman, Dallastown’s Sydney Hoover, placed second behind Spinney.
at Central York
200 medley relay — 1. Dallastown (A), 1:51.71, 2. Central York (A), 3. Dover (A), 4. West York (A), 5. Dallastown (B), 6. Spring Grove (A), 7. Northeastern (A), 8. York Suburban (A). 200 free — 1. Carson Gross, YS, 1:55.58, 2. Meghan French, WY, 3. Lindsay Brenneman, Do, 4. Claudia Keller, WY, 5. Abigayle Keating, SG, 6. Kayla Swaltek, CY, 7. Rebekah Brown, Dt, 8. Lauren Mummert, Ne. 200 IM — 1. Kacey Oberlander, Dt, 2:08.19, 2. Taylor Hoover, WY, 3. Jena Woods, Dt, 4. Jessica Sun, RL, 5. Mackenzie Sopko, CY, 6. Isabella Wise, Dt, 7. Sarah Minich, CY, 8. Jenna Huffnagle, YS. 50 free — 1. Gross, YS, 24.61, 2. Grace Beierschmitt, Do, 3. Maddi Hetrick, Do, 4. (tie) Sydney Hoover, Dt and Madie Devaney, YS, 6. Maddi Stoner, WY, 7. Abigail McDermott, Dt, 8. Abby Braswell, Dt. 100 fly — 1. Sarah Spinney, CY, 59.87, 2. S. Hoover, Dt, 3. Maelyn Elder, WY, 4. T. Hoover, WY, 5. Lindsay O’Rourke, Dt, 6. Sarah Hartman, CY, 7. Mackenzie Miller, SG, 8. Taylor Howery, Get. 200 free relay — 1. Dover (A), 1:41.04, 2. York Suburban (A), 3. Central York (A), 4. Dallastown (A), 5. New Oxford (A), 6. Red Lion (A), 7. Dallastown (b), 8. Northeastern (A).