Hard work pushes Susquehannock swimmer to next level
Susquehannock senior Justin Reed has come a long way since taking up swimming for the Warriors in ninth grade. But he decided there was more to be done. More that Reed had to prove to himself.
“I mainly practiced over summer at the York YMCA and really buckled down in my practices,” Reed said. “I stopped dilly-dallying and it actually paid off.
“I practiced the whole summer — two, three times a day, even on the weekends. Practicing four hours on a Saturday when I really didn’t want to wake up. It paid off."
And so Reed enters the YAIAA swimming championships as a high seed in two individual events. The championships are scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Central York.
Susquehannock coach Brian Wingert has seen the difference in Reed each year.
“Justin is one of the kids that never swam (competitively) before high school,” Wingert said. “His freshman year was average, like anyone that has never swam before. The difference is he knew that if he wanted to be good, he had to go the extra mile, and he really did that.”
Reed is seeded second in the 100-yard butterfly, a little more than a second off the top spot held by Dallastown’s Jake Stoner, and fifth in the 100 breaststroke, less than 1.4 away from top seed Lucas Tate of Central.
Chasing down the front-runners is plenty of motivation, but Reed has some additional incentive to have a big league meet. His top butterfly time is only 0.02 seconds away from the Warriors’ team record, which was set by two-time 500 freestyle state champion Zach Phillips.
“The last race I was really going for it, but my arm got caught up,” Reed said of the school mark. “I am looking for a 52 just to chase (Stoner). He can push me as far as I can go. I raced him earlier in the year, and I wasn’t anywhere close. Hopefully I am closer now.”
With incentives come lofty goals, and Reed has set big goals for his final high school swimming postseason.
“It’s bittersweet,” he admitted. “My freshman year I didn’t make counties and my sophomore year I just made it in the middle of the pack. Last year I medaled. I am hoping this time to get top three.”
Reed has set the tone for other Warriors swimmers, particularly younger ones, showing them where they can go if they put in the hard, repetitive work.
“It’s really important and is a great example of 'if you do what I am telling you to do, you can do this kind of stuff,'” Wingert said. “A lot of times when a kid can’t see it, it’s just coach telling them to work harder.
“I’ve got a couple of sophomores this year that trained over the summer, and they are really starting to take off.”
Two other Susquehannock swimmers carry high seeds into the league finals. Freshman Logan McFadden is second in the 200 individual medley and third in the 500 freestyle, and sophomore Katlyn Baer is third in both the 200 and 100 freestyles.
Meanwhile, the YAIAA diving championships kick off at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Central York.
West York senior Erica Sarver, a two-time District 3 Class AA champion, is out to defend her YAIAA title. Panthers senior Garrett Sommer will look to repeat as boys’ champ in his home pool.
Here are the top-seeded athletes heading into the YAIAA swimming championships, which run Thursday and Friday at Central York.
200 medley relay: West York
200 free: Meghan French, West York
200 IM: Jena Woods, Dallastown
50 free: Tesia Thomas, West York
100 fly: Courtney Harnish, West York
200 free relay: West York
100 free: Morgan Merrifield, Dallastown
500 free: Courtney Harnish, West York
100 backstroke: Claudia Keller, West York
100 breaststroke: Jena Woods, Dallastown
400 free relay: West York
200 medley relay: Spring Grove
200 free: Drew Wilson, Northeastern
200 IM: Logan Brockway, Dallastown
50 free: Aidan Fryar, York Suburban200 2
100 fly: Jacob Stoner, Dallastown
200 free relay: Dallastown
100 free: Jacob Stoner, Dallastown
500 free: Drew Wilson, Northeastern
100 backstroke: Logan Brockway, Dallastown
100 breaststroke: Lucas Tate, Central York
400 free relay: Dallastown