York, PA -
In the midst of an earth-shattering performance by Dallastown at this weekend's YAIAA swimming championships, league coaches honored South Western coach Bill Sterner, who is retiring after this season -- his 40th at the Mustangs helm.
Before Saturday's second day of competition at Central York, the coaches gathered, and Dover coach Rich Janosky presented Sterner with a Baltimore Ravens jacket.
Sell won a suspenseful girls' 100 breaststroke, barely touching out defending champ Bree Link of Dover, even if she didn't know it right away because of a scoreboard malfunction.
Both Sell and Link looked up to the clock when the race ended, but neither knew whether to celebrate or not.
Using hand-held back-up time, Sell clocked a 1:10.23, compared to Link's 1:10.50, but Sell still had to wait for Sterner to deliver the good news.
"I was kind of mad because three out of four (of my events), the clock didn't work. I thought if the clock doesn't work I am going to be really mad," Sell said. "When I am swimming I am on cruise control, and the only thing I think about is, 'Keep swimming.'
"I knew she was ahead of me at first. Then the last 25, I didn't see her out of my peripheral, so I was thinking this could be it. My coach told me I got first, it was so exciting. It's awesome, I am only a sophomore, so it is really neat to experience this."
The scoreboard clock worked during the boys' 100 breast, so Koehler's main worry was teammate Jordan Grim, who pushed him the entire race.
Koehler posted a 1:01.03 to inch ahead of Grim by 0.21 seconds.
"We went in to do this together. It was great," Koehler said of himself and Grim. "I saw him at the first turn and thought, 'This is real.' My final goal was to catch him. I am so happy to be one-two. As a senior, I did really want this."
Koehler's race was the only boys' event not won by Dallastown as the Wildcats continued their domination of the YAIAA championships for the second straight day.
And it wasn't just the boys, either, as Dallastown junior Alyssa Bixler was the only swimmer to score two individual golds in one day. She started Saturday with a 52.12 in the 100 free to not only win but also eclipse her own pool and meet records.
Two events later, Bixler was the lone female to break one minute in the 100 backstroke with her winning time of 57.24, a drop of two and a half seconds from her seed time.
"I think it really helps me, being able to keep up my heartbeat," Bixler said of swimming two individual races on the same day. "(Winning) is always a good feeling. You still know the girls you are racing are really good."
Dover finished the girls' meet in grand style as the foursome of Rachel Spaulding, Summer Dacheux, Nicole Smith and Aniella Janosky swam a winning time of 3:36.40 in the 400 free relay, which set new pool and meet records.
Corey Stauffer got the Wildcats boys going on Saturday when he swam a 48.57 in the same 100 free race in which teammates Keith O'Conor, Braxton Erne and Ashton Hensel took second through fourth place, respectively.
Trevor Hine's 4:42.19 swim in the 500 free earned him a gold medal, and Mason Tate won the 100 back in 53.90, just ahead of fellow Wildcats Noah Brockway and Steven Paine.
Dallastown finished the boys' competition with a staggering 3:14.40 in the 400 free relay, behind Hine, Paine, O'Conor and Brockway.
"It's just working hard all year," Brockway said. "Going into the last race, I knew it was last chance for a ticket to states."
The Wildcats "B" relay of D.J. Boyer, Spencer Hill, Braxton Erne and Tate scored second place, giving Dallastown a sweep of first and second places in all three relays for the weekend.
West York freshman Taylor Hoover made herself known this weekend, especially in Saturday's 500 free, when she dropped more than 14 seconds from her seed time to win the event.
"I definitely didn't think I would be able to take her down. I wanted it with all my heart, but didn't expect it," Hoover said. "Around halfway I realized I was right with her. I thought I would try and pull away, and about 16 laps in I started to. I knew I couldn't let my guard down."
Merkle closed the gap, but couldn't catch up as Hoover held her off, while setting a West York school record and taking more than five seconds off her personal best time.
"It was crazy. I didn't expect to see 5:05. My coaches and teammates help push me so I know how to finish the race," Hoover said.
YAIAA Swimming Championships, Day 2
100 free -- 1. Corey Stauffer, Dallastown, 48.57; 2. Keith O'Conor, Dallastown; 3. Braxton Erne, Dallastown; 4. Ashton Hensel, Dallastown; 5. Erik Peckmann, Central York; 6. Nathan Mart, South Western; 7. Isaac Smith, Spring Grove; 8. David Foery, West York. 500 free -- 1. Trevor Hine, Dallastown, 4:42.19; 2. Dylan North, Red Lion; 3. D.J. Boyer, Dallastown; 4. Kyle Posenau, York Suburban; 5. Reed French, West York; 6. Spencer Hill, Dallastown; 7. Tyler Good, South Western; 8. Will Hartzell, Central York. 100 back -- 1. Mason Tate, Dallastown, 53.90; 2. Noah Brockway, Dallastown; 3. Steven Paine, Dallastown; 4. Casey Marshall, Dover; 5. Nicolas Trettel, Spring Grove; 6. Will Massey, York Suburban; 7. Braedon, Erne, Dallastown; 8. Hartzell, Central York. 100 breast -- 1. Kieran Koehler, South Western, 1:01.03; 2. Jordan Grim, South Western; 3. Nolan Walker, York Suburban; 4. Vincent Defelice, Dallastown; 5. Sreshtha Sing, Dallastown; 6. Jacob Green, South Western; 7. Brad Wilson, Central York; 8. Jacob Jenkins, Spring Grove. 400 free relay -- 1. Dallastown (Trevor Hine, Steve Paine, Keith O'Conor, Noah Brockway), 3:14.40; 2. Dallastownl 3. York Suburban; 4. South Western; 5. Spring Grove; 6. Central York; 7. Red Lion; 8. Central York.
100 free -- 1. Alyssa Bixler, Dallastown, 52.12, PR, MR; 2. Courtney Schaefer, Red Lion; 3. Jade Arganbright, Central York; 4. Nicole Smith, Dover; 5. Aniella Janosky, Dover; 6. Katelyn Miller, Spring Grove; 7. Julia Casolo, Dallastown; 8. Zowie Day, York Suburban. 500 free -- 1. Taylor Hoover, West York, 5:05.42; 2. Erin Merkle,, York Suburban; 3. Rachel Spaulding, Dover; 4. Abby Kling, Spring Grove; 5. Carson Gross, York Suburban; 6. Justina Thornley, Dallastown; 7. Morgan Staub, Dover; 8. Theresa Burgess, Central York. 100 back -- 1. Alyssa Bixler, Dallastown, 57.24; 2. Summer Dacheux, Dover; 3. Anna Hess, Dallastown; 4. Regan Chalk, New Oxford; 5. Abby Braswell, Northeastern; 6. Renae Luckenbaugh, Northeastern; 7. Rebecca Miller, Spring Grove; 8. Helen Gunn, York Suburban. 100 breast -- 1. Alison Sell, South Western, 1:10.23; 2. Bree Link, Dover; 3. Lauren Cooksey, Dallastown; 4. Madde Devaney, York Suburban; 5. Allie Aspey, Doverl 6. Nancy Marston, Dallastown; 7. Mia Michaels, Central York; 8. Ollivia Lecrone, Spring Grove. 400 free relay -- 1. Dover (Rachel Spaulding, Summer Dacheux, Nicole Smith, Aniella Janosky), 3:36.40, PR, MR; 2. Dallastown; 3. York Suburban; 4. Red Lion; 5. Dover; 6. Spring Grove; 7. Dallastown; 8. Northeastern.