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Dallastown swimmer Spencer Hill wins gold, sets district record

MECHANICSBURG >> Spencer Hill remembered the 2014 District 3 Class AAA swimming championships like it was yesterday.

In fact, the Dallastown junior made a note of the district 100 butterfly record that was set the prior year. He thought about it for 12 months.

On Friday at Cumberland Valley, Hill went out and broke that record, swimming a 49.94 to not only win but also besting the 2013 mark of 50.13 set by Jack Brenneman of the host school.

"It's been my goal all year. To break that record and place first in districts," Hill said after setting the first district mark by a Dallastown swimmer since Reggie Shearer did it in 2002. "It feels incredible. Achieving your goals is one of the best things in swimming."

After the first day concluded, gravel-voice Wildcats coach Rich Howley said of Hill, "That doesn't happen by accident. He puts forth the work. All the kids earn and deserve it."

"I was sitting in the gutter watching it happen and couldn't believe it. I am very impressed and very proud," said Dallastown captain Noah Brockway.

Related: York Suburban has a banner first day in Class AA

Almost overshadowed by Hill's incredible accomplishment is the swim of Central York's Jesse Tate, who went 51.30 in the race to earn a fourth-place medal. Wildcats sophomore Jake Stoner was fifth in 51.32.

"The whole heat was neck-and-neck," Hill said. "That really pushes me to do my best."

That performance was the icing on the cake for the Dallastown boys, who also automatically qualified for states in both the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.

Earlier in the meet, Brockway teamed with Grant Wertz, Hill and Stoner to smash a school record in the medley, with a time of 1:34.00.

"Last year we sent 1:34.6 and were stunned. It was the perfect way to start the meet, Brockway said.

"That set the tone for the meet. If I do well in the 200 medley, I'll do well in my individual events," added Hill.

Of course, Hill and Brockway weren't done there as the two combined with Stoner and Logan Brockway to reach states in the 200 free relay after posting a 1:26.19 for silver again.

The only 200 free relay time better was a district record 1:24.19 set by Hershey.

Central York freshman Alec Peckmann dropped nearly two seconds for a fourth-place medal in the 200 free.

His terrific time of 1:41.93 was overshadowed by that of Muhlenberg senior Vince Filippini, who broke a district record with a 1:39.11, taking more than a second off the previous mark, which was set in 2003.

Related: Results from Day 1 of the District 3 swim meet

A hat trick for Wise >> Dallastown's Erica Wise loves her relay teammates so much that she said the following: "It's cool that I have known these girls since the age of 7. We could have come in last and I would be happy."

That, however, was not the case. Wise teamed with Anna Hess, Jena Woods and Mikaelie Gonzalez to go 1:48.64 in the 200 medley relay, then joined Woods, Hess and Justina Thornley for a 1:40.14 in the 200 free relay.

The Wildcats placed fourth in both relays and while the top three earn automatic berth to the PIAA AAA championship, the foursomes should be in the running for an at-large entry.

Wise also reached the medal stand as an individual after swimming a 24.18 in the uber-competitive 50 free.

"I was hoping my 50 free could get second. I had my best time ever and have a shot at states. That's all I can ask for," she said.

Jenkins goes for two >> Spring Grove coach Peggy Kile said it's been awhile since one of the Rockets reached the medal stand at the district meet — something senior Emily Jenkins took care of not once, but twice on Friday.

Competing in the third of four heats, Jenkins blazed a 2:07.73 in the 200 individual medley, which earned her a sixth-place medal.

A short while later, also from the third heat, she finished fifth in the 100 butterfly with a 57.73.

"I've been working my but off at practice," she said. "My teammates have been pushing me, making me want to work hard. I couldn't do it without them. I am very happy I dropped times and did my best times."

Red Lion's Courtney Schaefer finished fourth in the IM. The standout senior hopes her time of 2:06.62 will reach states via an at-large berth.

The butterfly produced an incredible swim from Central York sophomore Sarah Spinney, who not only won the first heat, but ended up 12th after breaking a minute for the first time (59.89).