York Suburban senior Carson Gross sets District 3 record in 100-yard freestyle

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MECHANICSBURG – Carson Gross was up to her old tricks at the District 3 Class AA girls’ swimming championships on Saturday.

Fresh off a gold medal on Friday, the York Suburban senior set a whole new standard while at Cumberland Valley for Day 2.

Not only did Gross win her second individual gold in as many days, but her 100-yard freestyle time of 50.82 seconds set a district record.

The only thing Gross was unable to do was explain how she swam fast enough to take down a record set in 1988 set by Andrea Wentzel of Dover and eventually equaled in 2013 by Delone Catholic’s Victoria Griffin.

“I wasn’t expecting it or anything like that. My goal was to go under 52. I would have been happy with a 51.99. I was shocked,” she said.

Gross completed the meet by teaming with Madie Devaney, Havannah Suarez and Jenna Hufnagle for a bronze medal in the 400 free relay. Their time of 3:39.37 pared nearly eight seconds off their seed time.

Devaney placed seventh in 100 free, Hufnagle was sixth in the 500 free and Maddy Abel reached the medal stand with an eighth-place finish in the 100 backstroke. Keelie Walker was fifth in the 100 breaststroke as the Suburban girls came in second to Northern York in the team competition.

In many ways, the Trojans girls’ performance was spurred on by that of their boys' meet earlier in the day.

Of course, it was Matt Spinello that started the day in grand fashion for the Trojans. The senior blazed his way to a 47.86 in the boys’ 100 free and won a silver medal, from the middle heat – a rare occurrence.

“I practiced it a lot more the last couple weeks. Not doing the fly allowed me to focus on the free. I think it paid off,” he said.

So what was the bigger moment — when he saw he broke 48 seconds or when he realized he placed second after the final heat finished?

“Definitely the time. You can't really control what others do. Second place is a bonus.”

“The heat sheet only tells you what lane you are swimming in,” said York Suburban coach Craig Brennan, crediting legendary Trojans coach Dick Guyer for the quote.

If that wasn’t enough, Suburban’s 400 free relay capped the meet brilliantly as Aidan Fryar, Spinello, Karl Schmittle and Trent Golden combined to win a silver medal, a mere .2 seconds away from gold. The foursome dropped an amazing 10 seconds off their seed time.

Schmittle placed sixth in the 100 backstroke.

While West York’s Taylor Hoover was fourth in the girls' 100 free, Northeastern’s Lauren Mummert, a freshman, earned a seventh-place medal.

Bulldogs freshman Meghan French earned bronze in the 500. Bulldog teammates Claudia Keller and Maelyn Elder placed second and third, respectively, in the 100 backstroke.

Hoover, French, Elder and Maddi Stoner teamed to place fifth in the girls’ 400 free relay, helping the West York girls place third as a team.

Dover’s Hunter Link, who took eighth from the middle heat in the boys’ 500 free and teammate Casey Marshall of Dover earned an eighth-place medal in the backstroke. Marshall, Link, Tobias Kwasnjuk and Cameron Aspey finished strong, taking eighth in the 400 free relay.

Warriors on the move: Gettysburg’s Jared Herr nabbed a silver medal in the 500 free with his time of 4:49.02, and teammate Logan Hyde was fifth in 4:56.68.

“I knew I was seeded second, but I didn’t know how it was going to turn out,” said Herr. “I just wanted to swim my best race.”

The two have developed a bond while competing with and against each other in practice.

“We had three guys close in times. There is nothing better than having those to push you and for you to push them,” added Hyde.

They also teamed with Chandler Desotelle and Nico DeAngelo for a seventh-place medal in the 400 free relay. Fellow Warrior Taylor Howery was sixth in the girls’ 100 back.

Nalls gets another silver: For Madison Nalls, getting a second district silver medal was great, but she was also happy about her 500 free race for a different reason – a return to the PIAA championships in two events.

“I really wanted to break five (minutes) It was important (to make states), knowing I get another chance,” she said.

Another independent, Delone’s Caroline Dudenhoeffer, took eighth in the 100 breast.

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