Hugs were in abundance when West York swam at York Suburban during the final dual meet of the regular season on Thursday.
Swimmers embraced their teammates, their opponents and their coaches. Opposing coaches embraced at the end of an exciting and historic event.
When the Bulldog girls captured the last race, the 400-yard free style relay, the meet ended in a 47-all tie — the first time that a girls’ meet ended in a tie in the storied history of the natatorium at York Suburban.
Almost fittingly, the two teams ended the night tied for something else – the Division II girls’ championship.
“I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a freshman,” said West York senior Taylor Hoover, whose 100 breaststroke victory helped her team cut a one-time 10-point gap to two heading into the relay.
Hoover was also a part of that final relay, teaming with Maelyn Elder, Meghan French and Maddi Stoner to finish only .41 ahead of the Trojans’ top foursome of Cara Zortman, Madie Devaney, Carson Gross and Jenna Hufnagle.
“I feel nothing but pure joy right now. We’ve been working so hard for this all season,” added Hoover. “It’s so amazing for a team like West York to go so far.”
Bulldogs coach Nicole Flowers had to collect her emotions afterward. She talked about Hoover’s freshman season when West York didn’t win a meet. Even last year when the division came down to the two squads, Suburban won.
“We were nowhere near them last year. I knew we were getting more talent and were closing the gap. I think we closed it perfect with a tie,” said Flowers, who swam at West York. “This is more special to me because I was a part of this (program).”
Both teams finished with 4-0-1 league records. Yet, it looked like the Trojans would take home another title when Gross and Devaney finished first and second, respectively, in the 100 free. Two races later, Suburban was up 39-29.
However, Elder and Claudia Keller swept the 100 backstroke, cutting the deficit to 40-36, setting the stage for Hoover’s breaststroke.
Despite the stunning comeback, both sides shared in the elation of the moment.
Trojans coach Craig Brennan added that he made out five or six lineups prior to the meet and knew winning would be a challenge.
“It was our best team effort we have had this year. It came down to our kids stepping up,” he said. “I am very happy for West York. I coached there for three years and have a special place in my heart for them. I coached Nicole. It’s about the friendliest rivalry you can have.”
“I couldn’t think of a better team to share it with,” added Hoover.
Trojan boys take title
Making the night even better for Suburban was the boys’ team, which wrapped up the Division II crown behind a 69-25 win.
Seth Orndorff and Charles Rogers started the Trojans’ blitz by finishing first and second in the 200 free. One event later, Trent Golden and Devon Lonergan did the same in the 200 individual medley that made the score 21-5 after three events.
Suburban also took the top two spots in the 500 free (Zach Gochenauer and Orndorff), the 100 back (Rogers and Raven Alwine-Frank) and the 400 free relay.
“Our boys remembered what happened last year,” Brennan said of 2015 when Susquehannock took the title. “They had a plan for what they wanted to do.”
West York 47, York Suburban 47
200 free relay – 1. West York (Claudia Keller, Taylor Hoover, Maelyn Elder, Maddi Stoner), 1:57.72; 2. York Suburban; 3. York Suburban. 200 Free – 1. Meghan French, WY, 1:59.95; 2. Havvannah Suarez, YS; 3. Alexis Bowen, YS. 200 IM – 1. Carson Gross, YS, 2:12.90; 2. Hoover, WY; 3. Keller, WY. 50 free – 1. Devaney, YS, 26.24; 2. Stoner, WY; 3. Zortman, YS. 100 fly – 1. Elder, WY, 1:01.27; 2. Hufnagle, YS; 3. Rachel Stein, YS. 100 free – 1. Gross, YS, 54.59; 2. Devaney, YS; 3. Stoner, WY. 500 free – 1. French, WY, 5:18.98; 2. Alexis Bowen, YS; 3. Suarez, YS. 200 free relay – 1. York Suburban (Stein, Bowen, Suarez, Gross), 1:46.20; 2. West York; 3. York Suburban. 100 back – 1. Elder, WY, 1:02.80; 2. Keller, WY; 3. Hufnagle, YS. 100 breast – 1. Hoover, WY, 1:11.31; 2. Keelie Walker, YS; 3. Carter Landis, WY. 400 free relay – 1. West York (Hoover, Elder, French, Stoner), 3:46.85; 2. York Suburban; 3. York Suburban.
York Suburban 69, West York 25
200 free relay – 1. York Suburban (Aidan Fryar, David Boyer, Karl Schmittle, Matt Spinello), 1:46.78; 2. West York; 3. York Suburban. 200 Free – Seth Orndorff, YS, 2:04.37; 2. Charles Rogers, YS; 3. Luke Foery, WY. 200 IM – 1. Trent Golden, YS, 2:16.44; 2. Devon Longergan, YS; 3. Jake Spangler, WY. 50 free – 1. Fryar, YS, 22.54; 2. Tony Zito, WY; 3. Kieran McKee, WY. 100 fly – 1. Spinello, YS, 56.06; 2. Spangler, WY; 3. Boyer, YS. 100 free – 1. Schmittle, YS, 50.95; 2. Greg Landis, WY; 3. Ethan Staub, YS. 500 free – 1. Zach Gochenauer, YS, 5:36.27; 2. Orndorff, YS; 3. Foery, WY. 200 free relay – 1. York Suburban (Fryar, Schmittle, Andrew Hassinger, Spinello), 1:35.86; 2. West York; 3. York Suburban. 100 back – 1. Rogers, YS, 1:05.86; 2. Raven Alwine-Frank, YS; 3. Joshua May, WY. 100 breast – 1. Landis, WY, 1:09.02; 2. Lonergan, YS; 3. Boyer, YS. 400 free relay – 1. York Suburban (Fryar, Golden, Kaden Coleman, Spinello), 3:37.15; 2. York Suburban; 3. West York.