More: Delone's Victoria Griffin satisfied with state bronze, plus more notes from Wednesday's Day 1 Class AA action

LEWISBURG -- As Erin Merkle hit the end wall, 200 freestyle relay teammates Zowie Day, Carson Gross and Anna Schmittle slowly turned their heads to the Kinney Natatorium scoreboard.

It was all they could do. The naked eye couldn't tell if Merkle had touched out Villa Maria Academy's Kaitlyn Alvanos or not. It was that close.

Then, the board flashed the times and place. The Trojans won the PIAA Class AA 200 free relay championship.

Suburban finished in 1:37.55, only 0.08 seconds ahead of Villa Maria.

"I think sharing it with three other girls, I wanted to be able to get it for them, as well," Merkle said. "It was really close. I had a feeling I got it. Looking up and seeing their reaction I had a pretty good feeling."

The senior Day was all smiles when asked about ending her high school career as a champion.

"It's an awesome feeling. It couldn't have ended any better, well it's not over yet . . . but we couldn't have ended this day any better," she said.


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The Trojans entered the competition as the No. 1 seed in the 200 free relay and got things in motion during the morning preliminary. Winning their heat with a time of 1:38.55, the best of the morning, allowed them to maintain the top seed.

"It got us more nervous, with everyone coming after us," Gross said. "I thought it was possible. I didn't know how (great) it would feel."

"I think it helped. It definitely motivated us," Merkle added.

Day started with a split of 25.26, followed by Gross at 23.73, Schmittle at 24.73 and Merkle, who finished in 23.73.

As the anchor, Merkle wouldn't be denied, even as she trailed for much of her race against Alvanos. But as Trojans coach Craig Brennan knows, the team is more than its talented senior.

"Her three strong legs in front of her gave her that opportunity," he said.

Brennan liked his team's chances coming out of the district championships, but there is always more to the opponent than seed times.

"It's so different to say because every district is different," he said. "We had to rest pretty heavy to get through District 3."

"It was amazing. It was such an honor being on this relay. I love all the girls. I always thought we could do it," Schmittle said. "Coming in after this morning we were exhausted. We (went back to the hotel) napped, played games and ate -- a lot."

Both Merkle and Gross had won fifth place individual medals. Gross placed fifth in the 50 free with her time of 24.16. Gross performed amazingly well, considering the relay was her sixth race of the day.

The freshman's 1:56.02 was good for 11th in the 200 free.

"Yes, I am very tired," Gross said without hesitation when asked.

"She had a rough day with six races. She swam really well all six," Brennan said.

Merkle placed fifth in the 100 butterfly with a 57.59.

"I know she's not happy with that time, but it was the most technically sound race I have seen her swim," Brennan said.

Schmittle (2:00.83) and Day (2:00.84) were 26th and 27th respectively in the 200 free prelims. Teammate Emily Schmittle (1:01.16) placed 23rd in the 100 fly.

Suburban brings another relay into today when the second-ranked 400 free relay will close the girls' competition. Merkle will swim in the 500 free, Day will be in the 100 free.

@snavaroli; 771-2060.


PIAA Championships
Wednesday reults
at Bucknell University
BOYS -- CLASS AA
FINALS
   200 Medley Relay -- 1. Bellefonte (Colton Schnars, Andrew Rosenberger, Isaac Thomas, Frank Aberegg), 1:36.84; 2. Fairview, 1:37.42; 3. Upper Perkiomen, 1:38.64; 4. Trinity, 1:38.85; 5. Schuylkill Valley, 1:39.79; 6. Franklin Area, 1:40.20; 7. Elizbeth Forward, 1:40.30; 8. Indiana, 1:40.31; 11. York Suburban, 1:40.72
   200 Freestyle -- 1. Drew Damish, Chartiers Valley, 1:40.52; 2. Matthew Leenhouts, Fleetwood, 1:42.07; 3. Ian Dicarlo, Trinity, 1:42.45; 4. Griffin Schaetzle, Mercyhurst Prep, 1:42.47; 5. Alexander Szakelyhidi, Riverside, 1:43.65; 5. Jarod Kehl, Montour, 1:43.65; 7. Trey Shackleton, Northwestern Lehigh, 1:44.44; 8. Jon Anderson, Salisbury, 1:45.45.
   200 IM -- 1. Everett Albert, Lancaster Catholic, 1:53.72; 2. Andrew Rosenberger, Bellefonte, 1:55.14; 3. Christopher Georgiadis, Mars Area, 1:56.49; 4. Noah Donovan, Laurel, 1:57.22; 5. Ben Spencer, Tunkhannock, 1:58.24; 6. Noah Crawford, Bloomsburg, 1:58.73; 7. Keith Weaver, Springfield, 1:59.50; 8. Phineas O'Brien-Milne, Gettysburg, 1:59.57.
   50 Freestyle -- 1. Phil Emerson, Franklin Area, 20.90; 2. Nathan Smith, Susquehanna Township, 21.00; 3. Cameron Clerici, Beaver Area, 21.35; 4. Elijah Luckey, GW Carver, 21.50; 5. Justin Ransel, Brookville, 21.62; 6. Luke Simpson, Charleroi, 21.68; 7. Brian Stepniak, Dallas, 21.76; 8. Daniel Weekes, Moravian Academy, 21.88.
   100 Butterfly -- 1. Robert Sikatzki, Fairview, 49.98; 2. Eric Tatum, Salisbury, 49.99; 3. Brent Benedict, Corry Area, 50.51; 4. Mason Cassel, Upper Perkiomen, 51.26; 5. Brad Kolesar, West Mifflin, 51.32; 6. Justin Kostelnik, Larel Highlands, 52.11; 7. Josh Grzech, Crestwood, 52.28; 8. Frank Chen, Athens Area, 52.61.
   200 Freestyle Relay -- 1. Franklin Area (Andy Frederick, Quinn Heffern, Isaac Cooke, Phil Emerson), 1:27.24; 2. Titusville, 1:28.91; 3. Bloomsburg, 1:29.37; 4. Susquehanna Township, 1:29.42; 5. Salisbury, 1:29.55; 6. Upper Perkiomen, 1:29.89; 7. Dallas, 1:30.35; 8. Southern Lehigh, 1:30.91.
  
PRELIMINARIES
   200 Medley Relay -- 1. Fairview, 1:38.13; 2. Bellefonte, 1:38.64; 3. Upper Perkiomen, 1:39.18; 4. Trinity, 1:39.25; 5. Schuylkill Valley, 1:39.75; 6. Elizabeth Forward, 1:40.06; 7. Franklin Area, 1:40.42; 8. Indiana, 1:40.57; 10. York Suburban, 1:40.82.
   200 Freestyle -- 1. Drew Damish, Chartiers Valley, 1:42.52; 2. Griffin Schaetzle, Mercyhurst Prep, 1:43.23; 3. Matthew Leenhouts, Fleetwood, 1:43.28; 4. Ian Dicarlo, Trinity, 1:43.60; 5. Alexander Szakelyhidi, Riverside, 1:43.68; 6. Trey Shackleton, Northwestern Lehigh, 1:44.74; 7. Jon Anderson, Salisbury, 1:44.82; 8. Jarod Kehl, Montour, 1:45.07.
   200 Individual Medley -- 1. Christopher Georgiadis, Mars Area, 1:56.30; 2. Everett Albert, Lancaster Catholic, 1:56.33; 3. Andrew Rosenberger, Bellefonte, 1:58.26; 4. Noah Donovan, Laurel, 1:58.49; 5. Ben Spencer, Tunkhannock, 1:58.67; 6. Phineas O'Brien-Milne, Gettysburg, 1:59.07; 7. Noah Crawford, Bloomsburg, 1:59.14; 8. Keith Weaver, Springfield, 2:00.51.
   50 Freestyle -- 1. Nathan Smith, Susquehanna Township, 20.90; 2. Phil Emerson, Franklin Area, 21:07; 3. Justin Ransel, Brookville, 21.52; 4. Cameron Clerici, Beaver Area, 21.53; 5. Elijah Luckey, GW Carver, 21.64; 6. Brian Stepniak, Dallas, 21.69; 7. Luke Simpson, Charleroi, 21.72; 8. Daniel Weekes, Moravian Academy, 21.81.
   100 Butterfly -- 1. Robert Sikatzki, Fairview, 49.98; 2. Eric Tatum, Salisbury, 50.16; 3. Brent Benedict, Corry Area, 50.44; 4. Brad Kolesar, West Mifflin, 51.79; 5. Mason Cassel, Upper Perkiomen, 52.11; 6. Frank Chen, Athens Area, 52.14; 7. Josh Grzech, Crestwood, 52.26; 8. Justin Kostelnik, Larel Highlands, 52.34.
   200 Freestyle Relay -- 1. Franklin Area, 1:28.48; 2. Susquehanna Township, 1:28.59; 3. Salisbury, 1:29.79; 3. Bloomsburg, 1:29.79; 5. Southern Lehigh, 1:29.85; 6. Upper Perkiomen, 1:29.92; 7. Titusville, 1:30.14; 8. Dallas, 1:30.27; 19. York Suburban, 1:31.97.
  
GIRLS -- CLASS AA
FINALS
   200 Medley Relay -- 1. Villa Maria Academy (new PIAA record, previous record, Central Columbia, 2012, 1:46.89) (Emily Cornell, Olivia Tierney, Lauren Law, Sarah Hitchens), 1:45.81; 2. Central Columbia, 1:47.32; 3. Southern Lehigh, 1:48.93; 4. South Fayette, 1:49.02; 5. Boiling Springs, 1:50.67; 6. Northern York, 1:51.12; 7. Indiana, 1:51.70; 8. Schuylkill Valley, 1:51.81.
   200 Freestyle -- 1. Adriana Grabski, Mifflinburg (new PIAA record, previous record, Stef Williams, Bloomsburg, 1998, 1:47.37), 1:47.05; 2. Lauren Barber, Wilmington, 1:47.96; 3. Victoria Griffin, Delone Catholic, 1:50.71; 4. Sydnee Karam, Bethlehem Catholic, 1:52.82; 5. Braelyn Tracy, Elizabeth Forward, 1:52.84; 6. Kara Kaulius, 1:53.01; 7. Alexis Mitcheltree, Moon, 1:54.08; 8. Morgan Fink, South Fayette, 1:54.75; 11. Carson Gross, York Suburban, 1:56.02.
   200 IM -- 1. Allie Szekely, Gwynedd Mercy (new PIAA record, previous record, Madison Burns, Northwestern Lehigh, 2011, 2:00.48), 1:59.66; 2. Mia Nonnenberg, Scranton Prep, 2:00.41; 3. Lauren Law, Villa Maria Academy, 2:07.22; 4. Jessica Burkett, Boiling Springs, 2:07.29; 5. Taylor Hoover, West York, 2:09.52; 6. Peyten Lyons, Palmyra, 2:10.07; 7. Katie Scordato, Bellefonte, 2:10.23; 8. Katie Webber, Boiling Springs, 2:10.47.
   50 Freestyle -- 1. Sarah Hitchens, Villa Maria Academy (new PIAA record, previous record, Stef Williams, Bloomsburg, 1998, 23.16), 22.91; 2. Katie Saloky, Central columbia, 23.46; 3. Erica Clancy, Susquehanna Township, 23.50; 4. Rylee Klomp, Mercyhurst Prep, 24.05; 5. Carson Gross, York Suburban, 24.16; 6. Lake Duffy, Pen Argyl, 24.48; 7. Julie Dobson, Villa Maria Academy, 24.54; 8. Carley Wise, Conrad Weiser, 24.70.
   100 Butterfly -- 1. Margaret Gruber, Mars Area, 54.35; 2. Alexa Fabbri, Villa Joseph Maria, 55.21; 3. Becca Luft, Northern York, 56.29; 4. Beth Grazio, Central Columbia, 57.14; 5. Erin Merkle, York Suburban, 57.59; 6. Lauren Law, Villa Maria Academy, 57.68; 7. Caroline Edelman, Wyomissing, 59.22; 8. Molly Phillips, Mercyhurst Prep, 59.77; 12. Sydney Archuleta, Northern York, 59.84
   200 Freestyle Relay -- 1. York Suburban (Zowie Day, Carson Gross, Anna Schmittle, Erin Merkle), 1:37.55; 2. Villa Maria Academy, 1:37.63; 3. Central Columbia, 1:38.61; 4. Schuylkill Valley, 1:39.54; 5. Fairview, 1:39.65; 6. Southern Lehigh, 1:39.98; 7. Northern York, 1:40.63; 8. Indiana, 1:41.14.
  
PRELIMINARIES
   200 Medley Relay -- 1. Villa Maria Academy, 1:47.09; 2. Central Columbia, 1:47.66; 3. Southern Lehigh, 1:50.14; 4. South Fayette, 1:50.51; 5. Boiling Springs, 1:50.82; 6. Northern York, 1:51.21; 7. Schuylkill Valley, 1:51.89; 8. Indiana, 1:51.90.
   200 Freestyle -- 1. Adrianna Grabski, Mifflinburg, 1:49.42; 2. Lauren Barber, Wilmington, 1:50.67; 3. Victoria Griffin, Delone Catholic, 1:53.23; 4. Sydnee Karam, Bethlehem Catholic, 1:53.30; 5. Braelyn Tracy, Elizabeth Forward, 1:53.59; 6. Kara Kaulius, West Allegheny, 1:53.84; 7. Morgan Fink, South Fayette, 1:53.99; 8. Alexis Mitcheltree, Moon, 1:54.11; 10. Carson Gross, York Suburban, 1:54.94; 26. Anna Schmittle, York Suburban, 2:00.83; 27. Zowie Day, York Suburban, 2:00.84.
   200 IM -- 1. Mia Nonnenberg, Scranton Prep, 2:02.80; 2. Allie Szekely, Gwynedd Mercy, 2:03.10; 3. Jessica Burkett, Boiling Springs, 2:08.12; 4. Lauren Law, Villa Maria Academy, 2:09.25; 5. Taylor Hoover, West York, 2:09.95; 6. Katie Scordato, Bellefonte, 2:10.57; 7. Peyten Lyons, Palmyra, 2:10.59; 8. Katie Webber, Boiling Springs, 2:11.20.
   50 Freestyle -- 1. Katie Saloky, Central Columbia, 23.31; 2. Sarah Hitchens, Villa Maria Academy, 23.40; 3. Erica Clancy, Susquehanna Township, 23.66; 4. Rylee Klomp, Mercyhurst Prep, 24.18; 5. Carson Gross, York Suburban, 24.26; 6. Julie Dobson, Villa Maria Academy, 24.54; 7. Lake Duffy, Pen Argyl, 24.55; 8. Carley Wise, Conrad Weiser, 24.64.
   100 Butterfly -- 1. Margaret Gruber, Mars, 54.33; 2. Alexa Fabri, Villa Joseph Maria, 55.32; 3. Lauren Law, Villa Maria Academy, 57.67; 4. Becca Luft, Northern York, 57.77; 5. Erin Merkle, York Suburban, 57.82; 6. Beth Grazio, Central Columbia, 57.95; 7. Caroline Edelman, Wyomissing, 59.22; 7. Molly Phillips, Mercyhurst Prep, 59.22; 10. Sydney Archuleta, Northern York, 59.61; 23. Emily Schmittle, York Suburban, 1:01.16.
   200 Freestyle Relay -- 1. York Suburban, 1:38.55; 2. Central Columbia, 1:38.83; 3. Villa Maria Academy, 1:39.30; 4. Fairview, 1:39.84; 5. Indiana, 1:40.80; 6. Schuylkill Valley, 1:40.83; 7. Southern Lehigh, 1:40.92; 8. Northern York, 1:41.15.
  
Diving
GIRLS -- CLASS AA
FINALS
   1 Meter Diving -- 1. McKenzie Stelter, Mohawk, 406.70; 2. Kelsey Williams, Holy Redeemer, 399.35; 3. Sydney Szopo, Upper Moreland, 389.25; 4. Jessica Shomo, Clearfield, 389.05; 5. Heather Lonkert, Moon, 385.15; 6. Nicole Sagl, Allentown Central Catholic, 374.90; 7. Gracie Klimek, South Fayette, 349.30; 8. Maggie Stebick, Union City, 336.60.