LEWISBURG - During the final race of Friday’s first day of the PIAA Class AA swimming championships, York Suburban's coaches jumped up and down on the deck of Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.
The 200-yard freestyle relay performance of Keelie Walker, Carson Gross, Cara Zortman and Madie Devaney created the excitement. The foursome combined to win a silver medal with a time of 1 minute, 37.92 seconds. The only team faster, Villa Maria Academy, needed a PIAA record to win.
“It was our best time of the season," Gross said. "All of us had our best splits.”
Fellow senior Devaney recalled not feeling well at the 2015 championships. Friday was a different story.
“Last year at states it wasn’t as much fun. This year we were just going to let it happen,” she said. “The tradition is that we are supposed to have fun. Once we are in a zone, it works.”
Earlier in the girls’ meet, Gross notched a fourth-place medal in the 200 free with her time of 1:51.96. Although she was the defending champ in that event, she was far from disappointed.
“It was really fast this year. I expected that and was really happy with (the swim),” she said.
In that same race, Eastern York sophomore Madison Nalls won a fifth-place medal in 1:52.13.
“It gives me better times and makes me a better swimmer,” said Nalls. “I didn’t have any expectations, I just wanted to final and medal.
West York’s Taylor Hoover climbed the Bucknell medal podium when she swam to a seventh-place 2:09.54 in the 200 individual medley.
“It was a good way to end the senior season,” said Hoover, who will return to swim in the 100 free, along with Gross, and on West York's 400 free relay Saturday. “At this point, I am here to swim and here to have fun.”
Despite returning to states for the second time in as many years, Suburban sophomore Aidan Fryar didn’t think about winning an individual state medal in the boys' meet.
“It’s a surprise — a good surprise,” Fryar said after earning fourth-place hardware in the 50 free after his time of 21.51 seconds. “I am really happy. This is what I wanted. I know what to expect, but it’s always a different experience.”
Notes: Fryar was also on the 200 medley relay team, combining with Karl Schmittle, Matt Spinello and Ethan Staub. But both Trojans’ teams suffered disqualifications, the girls in preliminaries and the boys in consolations. ... Dover’s Casey Marshall dropped time twice and came in 10th place in his 100 butterfly consolation swim. ... The Gettysburg duo of Chandler Desotelle and Jared Herr finished 19th and 30th respectively in the boys’ 200 free. ... On the girls’ side, West York freshman Meghan French was 24th overall in the 200 free. Teammate Maelyn Elder finished 22nd and Suburban’s Jenna Hufnagle 26th in the 100 butterfly.