Swim preview: West York's Harnish returns to YAIAA
West York's Courtney Harnish has been named the top swimming recruit in the nation by an online site. The 17-year-old explains what she's looking for in a college. Jim Seip, GameTimePA
The last time Courtney Harnish competed for West York, she was climbing out of the pool at Bucknell University after winning her second PIAA Class AA gold medal and setting her second state record — as a freshman.
Two weeks earlier, she did the same thing at the District 3 meet and in one season rewrote part of the YAIAA record book.
Harnish took two years away from high school swimming to focus on her efforts with the York YMCA's national champion swim team, as well as posting top notch times at Y-national events, the Pan Am Games and the Olympic Trials.
Looking to add to her senior year of high school, Harnish is back with the Bulldogs after being ranked the No. 1 swimming recruit in the nation and committing to swim at Georgia.
New coach for Colonials
For the first time in program history, New Oxford will be coached by someone other than Cheryl Mowrey. New coach Tasha Christie takes over the Colonials’ helm.
A lifelong swimmer hailing from Maryland's Eastern Shore, Christie said she's looking forward to the challenge.
“My father was an age-group, high school and collegiate coach. I grew up with it. It was in my blood to coach,” she said. “It’s kind of neat to be able to do it myself and continue that family legacy.”
Christie is taking over a New Oxford program that is at a high point.
“I have done my own research to try to bring myself up on everything,” she said. “Even before applying, I tried to know exactly what I was coming into. I am impressed with everything that I have seen.”
A resident of the New Oxford area for 12 years, Christie recently helped coach at the Hanover YMCA.
Big numbers at South Western
After starting last season with an extraordinary number of new swimmers, Mustangs coach Ray Evelan once again has great numbers in the pool, including a full complement of divers.
Entering this season with more experience has created a feeling of optimism.
“Last year was really good for us,” Evelan said. “We had a new team last year with 30 out of our 35 registered swimmers being freshmen or sophomores. What’s really nice is this year we get to take that team and expand upon what we know.”
Both the Mustangs boys’ and girls’ teams are increasing.
“I am expecting really big things from our guys’ team," Evelan said. “The girls' team is the same story, we have some really good freshmen talent coming in on the girls’ side so we are excited to see what we can do.
“Looking at what we did last year and the techniques we used to build the team up it happened pretty quick. I am excited to try again this year.”
Competitive twins for Bobcats
Northeastern twins Lauren and Katie Mummert are very competitive in the water — and out.
According to Katie, the two have grown up competing against each other, and each points to the other as the more competitive one of the pair. And that hasn't changed despite competing on the same team.
Typical twins, the sophomores are both tenacious in the water. Just ask Lauren, who is quick to say she is three minutes older.
Fellow Bobcat Drew Wilson said the entire team has taken notice.
“I don’t think anyone could be more competitive than the Mummerts,” Wilson said.
Gettysburg ready to return
With all four boys returning from last year's PIAA-qualifying 400-yard freestyle relay team, Gettysburg couldn't wait to get back to the pool this season.
“We had the goal of states last year and now that we have been there we want to do things a little differently to make sure we get back to do better,” said Warriors coach Amanda Turner.
“For three of us it was our first experience there and it was so much fun,” Jared Herr said of states. “We really didn’t know what to expect.”
The foursome of Chandler Desotelle, Logan Hyde, Herr and Nico DeAngelo are also trying to chase a long-standing school record in the same event.
However, Turner said she hopes DeAngelo makes a speedy recovery from a broken elbow sustained a little more than a month before the official start of preseason practice.
Turner added that Gettysburg has some younger swimmers ready to fill in the gaps as well.