MECHANICSBURG -- Although typically a race of individuals, swimming can be a sport of momentum, too, and the York Suburban girls proved that during Friday's first day of the District 3 Class AA championships.

 

The Trojans started their day by taking sixth place in the opening event, the 200 medley relay when Allie Gunn, Maddie Devaney, Emily Schmittle and Anna Schmittle dropped six seconds from their seed time.

Suburban earned unexpected points with that swim, from the "slower" heat and by the end of the morning sat atop the team points standings after a medal-earning fest.

Erin Merkle won the 100 butterfly in dramatic fashion, coming from behind over the last 10 yards to nip Northern York's Becca Luft in 56.57.

"I was a little further back than I planned. I had to pick it up," Merkle said of her race. "I know Becca is a great swimmer. She was going to go out fast."

Merkle then swam third on the 200 free relay team, combining with Zowie Day, Carson Gross and Helen Gunn. The foursome's time of 1:37.68 not only won gold, but topped a district Class AA record set in 2007 by Muhlenberg.

"We started so fast, it got us so pumped for the rest of the meet," senior Helen Gunn said. "It was a wonderful feeling."

By the time the second relay rolled around, Gross had won a pair of silver medals, swimming a 1:53.52 in a narrow (.60) finish behind Delone Catholic's Victoria Griffin.

Gross also topped that swim with her 24.10 that was good for second in the 50 free. While that time was a personal best for the freshman, she topped it with her split in the free relay.

"It's a really good feeling knowing that I did it for my team and myself," Gross said. "We've been talking about team points. The coaches did a very good job preparing us for this meet."

Day finished fourth and Anna Schmittle fifth in the 200 free. Emily Schmittle was fifth from the middle heat in the 100 fly.

All scored key points for the Trojans in their quest for district title, which resumes today at 10 a.m. Suburban has 168 points, 34 ahead of both Schuylkill Valley and Palmyra.

"No matter what happens we are going to be happy. But, to do that for coach (Craig) Brennan would be incredible," Merkle said.

The Trojans started the AA boys with gold when Will Massey, Nolan Walker, John Spinello and Kyle Posenau swam a 1:40.10 to win the medley relay. Suburban also earned points after placing sixth in the 200 free relay.

Griffin golden again: Despite not being tapered, Delone Catholic senior Victoria Griffin got off to a great start in her 200 freestyle swim at Friday's first day of the District 3 Class AA swimming championships.

But she couldn't shake York Suburban's Carson Gross.

"I was trying not to think about my legs being numb," Griffin said of her race, adding that she knew Gross was right with her the whole time.

Still her big-race experience helped her when she needed it and Griffin swam a 1:52.92 and managed to hold off Gross by .60 for gold.

"In a way I just had to stay positive the whole time. I have to get myself pumped up," she said.

Of course, this district meet does feature a difference for Griffin. Her twin sister, Ashley, returned to the sport after a year and a half break to concentrate on basketball.

"It's a lot more fun having her here. It relieves some of the stress," said Victoria, who earned a silver medal in the 200 last year.

Griffin is the defending district champ in today's 100 free.

First district swim produces silver: West York freshman Taylor Hoover made her district debut and placed second in the girls 200 individual medley.

Hoover swam a 2:09.83 to place behind Boiling Spring's Jessica Burkett (2:07.67).

Other AA medals: Dover's Casey Marshall (1:52.08) scored an eight-place medal in the boys 200 free. ... Hanover's Jordan Lytle finished fifth in the 50 free. ... Max Becket, an independent sophomore from Kennard-Dale, swam a 2:07.40 and placed eighth in the 200 free.

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BOYS -- CLASS AA
   200 medley relay -- 1. York Suburban (Will Massey, Nolan Walker, Matt Spinello, Kyle Posenau), 1:40.10; 2. Trinity, 1:41.14; 3. Boiling Springs, 1:41.20; 4. Schuylkill Valley, 1:42.33; 5. Big Spring, 1:44.27; 6. Palmyra, 1:45.04; 7. Bishop McDevitt, 1:45.58; 8. James Buchanan, 1:46.92; 10. Dover, 1:49.25; 11. Susquehannock, 1:50.08; 13. West York, 1:52.77; 14. Northeastern, 1:53.82.
   200 Freestyle -- 1. Matthew Leenhouts, Fleetwood, 1:42.59; 2. Ian DiCarlos, Trinity, 1:43.70; 3. Zack Miklos, Lancaster Catholic, 1:47.66; 4. Isaac Beltran DelRio, Schuylkill Valley, 1:47.76; 5. David Foery, West York, 1:50.62; 6. Carhlie Pletz, Schuylkill Valley, 1:50.64; 7. Nate Dubbs, Trinity, 1:51.36; 8. Casey Marshall, Dover, 1:52.08; 8. Sam Martin, Susquehanna Township, 1:52.08; 16. Devin Soop, Northeastern, 1:55.81; 17. Ben Linne, Northeastern, 1:56.48; 18. Sean Kaliszak, Susquehannock, 1:57.12; 22. Tristan Irvine, Northeastern, 1:59.96; 24. Colin Burns, York Catholic, 2:03.26.
   200 IM -- 1. Everett Albert, Lancaster Catholic, 1:55.54; 2. Phineas O'Brien-Milne, Gettysburg, 1:58.89; 3. Ethan Gehenio, Northern Lebanon, 2:00.66; 4. Shane Hallett, Boiling Springs, 2:02.42; 5. Matthew Daniel, Manheim Central, 2:04.22; 6. Danny Tunitis, Palmyra, 2:05.11; 7. Charlie Tonnelslan, Wyomissing, 2:06.60; 8. Max Becket, Kennard Dale, 2:07.40; 12. Ben Spangler, West York, 2:12.80; 13. Reed French, West York, 2:12.85; 16. Hunter Link, Dover, 2:13.45; 18. Jesse Strickhouser, Northeastern, 2:18.42; 10. Mark Freidhoff, Susquehannock, 2:22.41; 22. Greg Landis, West York, 2:22.48.
   50 Freestyle -- 1. Nathan Smith, Susquehanna Township, 21.55; 2. Andrew Strause, Schuylkill Valley, 22.63; 4. Evan Downey, Palmyra, 22.69; 5. Jordan Lytle, Hanover, 22.72; 6. Henry Tanguay, Trinity, 22.74; 7. Joshua Foster, Big Spring, 23.01; 8. Jordan Felix, Schuylkill Valley, 23.07; 12. John Spinello, York Suburban, 23.41; 18. Kyle Shaffer, Susquehannock, 23.67; 21. Alex Fridman, York Suburban, 23.80.
   100 Butterfly -- 1. Cole Davis, Millersburg, 52.82; 2. Dillon Lancenese, Brandywine Heights, 52.92; 3. Isaac Beltran DelRio, Schuylkill Valley, 53.84; 4. Ian Lloyd, Millersburg, 54.24; 5. Brendan Barnes, Boiling Springs, 54.40; 6. Matthew Richards, Oley Valley, 55.09; 7. Anthony Pompei, Bishop McDevitt, 55.83; 8. Mark Panas, Trinity, 56.82; 12. Matt Spinello, York Suburban, 58.20; 15. Hunter Link, Dover, 59.22; 17. Dayne Brindle, West York, 59.63; 22. Mark Freidhoff, Susquehannock, 1:01.82; 24. Kyle Welker, West York,1:05.00.
   200 Freestyle Relay -- 1. Susquehanna Township (Rhyce Hammaker, Tyler Ozehowski, Nathan Smith, Sam Martin), 1:29.70; 2. Lancaster Catholic, 1:30.66; 3. Schuylkill Valley, 1:30.85; 4. Gettysburg, 1:31.01; 5. Trinity, 1:31.37; 6. York Suburban, 1:31.62; 7. Boiling Springs, 1:33.21; 8. Palmyra, 1:33.44; 9. Susquehannock, 1:36.12; 10. Northeastern, 1:36.81; 11. West York, 1:37.17.

GIRLS -- CLASS AA
   200 medley relay -- 1. Palmyra (Katie Schreckengast, Kylie Huffman, Reney Hess, Breanna Purnell), 1:50.39; 2. Northern, 1:51.20; 3. Boiling Springs, 1:51.73; 4. Schuylkill Valley, 1:53.42; 5. Susquehanna Township, 1:54.75; 6. York Suburban, 1:54.93; 7. Trinity, 1:56.00; 8. Wyomissing, 1:56.50; 15. Susquehannock, 2:11.28; 16. West York, 2:16.86.
   200 Freestyle -- 1. Victoria Griffin, Delone Catholic, 1:52.92; 2. Carson Gross, York Suburban, 1:53.52; 3. Kimmi Szajnuk, East Pennsboro, 1:58.04; 4. Zowie Day, York Suburban, 1:58.32; 5. Anna Schmittle, York Suburban, 1:58.47; 6. Sydney Warham, Donegal, 2:00.05; 7. Jackie McDevitt, Schuylkill Valley, 2:00.09; 8. Charlotte Evans, Conrad Weiser, 2:01.00; 12. Bekah Wheat, Northern, 2:05.22; 13. Kate Mowrey, Delone Catholic, 2:05.36; 16. Emma Stine, York Suburban, 2:06.98.
   200 IM -- 1. Jessica Burkett, Boiling Springs, 2:07.67; 2. Taylor Hoover, West York, 2:09.83; 3. Lexi Glassmire, Schuylkill Valley, 2:10.45; 4. Katie Webber, Boiling Springs, 2:11.68; 5. Peyton Lyons, Palmyra, 2:12.00; 6. Breanna Purnell, Palmyra, 2:15.38; 7. Orianna Barone, Northern Lebanon, 2:16.12; 8. Lexi Walker, Big Spring, 2:18.62; 10. Sami Poe, Northern, 2:19.56; 13. Helen Gunn, York Suburban, 2:24.16; 17. Allie Gunn, York Suburban, 2:25.69; 18. Lily Ritter, Northern, 2:26.11; 20. Libby Gingrich, Northern, 2:27.29.
   50 Freestyle -- 1. Erica Clancy, Susquehanna Township, 23.99; 2. Carson Gross, York Suburban, 24.10; 3. Carley Wise, Conrad Weiser, 24:15; 4. Noelle Koonce, Schuylkill Valley, 24.82; 5. Rachel Nye, Shippensburg, 24.98; 6. Samantha Shirtliff, Trinity, 25.05; 7. Rachael DePietro, Lancaster Catholic, 25.18; 7. Tirza Rentovich, Susquehanna Township, 25.18; 9. Gabby Lodovici, Northern, 25.20; 15. Madi Bleiler, Northern, 25.75; 18. Ashley Griffin, Delone Catholic, 26.44; 20. Maddie Devaney, York Suburban, 26.75.
   100 Butterfly -- 1. Erin Merkle, York Suburban, 56.57; 2. Becca Luft, Northern, 56.73; 3. Sydney Archuleta, Northern, 59.12; 4. Caroline Edelman, Wyomissing, 59.33; 5. Emily Schmittle, York Suburban, 1:00.47; 6. Reney Hess, Palmyra, 1:00.55; 7. Charlotte Evans, Conrad Weiser, 1:00.91; 8. Emily Foster, East Pennsboro, 1:01.50; 12. Alexis Munshower, Northern, 1:03.18; 17. Rebekah Buchanan, York Suburban, 1:05.67; 21. Allie Wolfenberger, York Suburban, 1:07.11; 23. Samantha Ream, York Catholic, 1:07.52.
   200 Freestyle Relay -- 1. York Suburban (Zowie Day, Carson Gross, Helen Gunn, Erin Merkle), 1:37.68; 2. Northern, 1:38.49; 3. Schuylkill Valley, 1:39.04; 4. Palmyra, 1:41.05; 5. Big Spring, 1:42.41; 6. Susquehanna Township; 1:42.65; 7. Boiling Springs, 1:42.96; 8. Wyomissing, 1:45.51; 12. Susquehannock, 1:53.19; 14. West York, 1:53.71.