SILVER SPRING TWP. - Friends and competitors all season, Carson Gross of York Suburban and West York’s Taylor Hoover got to root for each other at the first day of the District 3 Class AA girls’ swimming championships.
The seniors showed what they could do on Friday as each dropped nearly five seconds from her seed time at Cumberland Valley.
Gross, the defending district and PIAA champ in the 200 freestyle, did her thing again, swimming a 1:50.67 to successfully defend her title.
Not to be out-done, Hoover went 2:08.78 to take gold in the next event, the 200 individual medley.
“I love watching Carson swim. She’s one of my favorites. Seeing her win sparked me,” Hoover said.
“I completely missed her race. I asked her how she did and she pointed to the board,” Gross said of Hoover.
Both swimmers dealt with expectations perfectly.
“This year I was just trying to have fun. I wasn’t nervous at all,” Gross said. “This week I felt different in the pool. I didn’t know what to expect.”
For her part, Hoover said she learned from previous experience.
“I am not going to lie, I’ve come in with the first seed before and not got first. This year I didn’t come in first and it worked,” she said. “It was one of the best swims of my life. The backstroke — normally, that’s my weakest stroke. After that, I knew it was going to be a great swim.”
Gross wasn't done there, either, as she and Trojan teammates Keelie Walker, Madie Devaney and Cara Zortman dropped more than three seconds to win the 200 free relay (1:38.64), finishing the Class AA meet in style.
A sophomore from a non-swim school, Madison Nalls of Eastern York swam a 1:51.90, earning a silver medal in the 200 free.
“The experience last year helped. I knew what I was coming into and knowing the girls I am racing,” Nalls said. “I want to go faster at states and place better. I want to finish Top 3.”
Fellow independent Caroline Dudenhoeffer of Delone Catholic scored an eighth-place medal in the 200 IM.
Suburban’s Jenna Hufnagle earned a silver in the 100 butterfly, the same event in which West York’s Maelyn Elder placed fourth.
Maddy Abel, Walker, Hufnagle and Zortman swam a 1:52.32, good for fourth in the 200 medley relay. Devaney and Zortman were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 50 free.
Claudia Keller, Hoover, Elder and Maddi Stoner earned fifth-place medals for the Bulldogs in the same event. Teammate Meghan French was sixth overall in the 200 free, and Claudia Keller was seventh in the IM.
Rachel Hull, Alyssa Hersey, Keller and French placed seventh in the 200 free relay.
York Suburban’s Aidan Fryar swam a 21.91, which earned the sophomore a silver medal, only .08 away from gold in the Class AA boys’ competition.
“I was a little disappointed because I went faster last year,” Fryar said. “But I am not going to say I was disappointed: A silver medal is awesome.”
Fryar was also part of the Trojans’ 200 free relay that finished fifth from the “slow” heat, teaming with Karl Schmittle, Matt Spinello and Devon Lonergan. To start the meet, Fryar, Schmittle, Spinello and Ethan Staub earned a sixth-place medal in the 200 medley.
Dover senior Casey Marshall was strong during his 53.48 100 butterfly, which earned him bronze. Susquehannock’s Justin Reed was sixth in that race.
Gettysburg’s Jared Herr and Chandler Desotelle were fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 200 free.