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Harnish starts record-breaking night at YAIAA meet

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It took merely a few moments to wow the crowd that packed the natatorium at Central York for night one of the YAIAA swimming championships.

The West York foursome of Claudia Keller, Tesia Thomas, Courtney Harnish and Maddi Stoner needed only 1:49.93 to swim their 200-yard medley relay. That time not only won gold, but broke the pool, meet and league records in the process.

Harnish wasn’t done there as later in the night, she swam a 100 butterfly in 54.94 to break all three records again.

While happy with her personal record, Harnish was much more pleased with the Bulldogs’ relay.

"That feels even better. I know those girls worked so hard," she said. "I just wanted to go out there and see what I could do."

Host Central ended the girls’ portion of the competition in style by finishing first and third in the 200 freestyle relay.

The team of Brynn DuRand, Kelsey Hartman, Courtney Thornton and Gabby Miller won the race in 1:41.89. Amazingly, the sophomore Durand is the elder statesman on that squad. The other three are freshmen.

Another Panthers’ freshman, Micah Sopko, swam a 1:56.52 to win the 200 freestyle race. Sopko teamed with Sarah Hartman, Sarah Spinney and Kayla Swaltek for bronze in the 200 free relay.

Mustang boys break long-standing school marks

Alex Yokem and his South Western teammates had an amazing opening night of the YAIAA boys’ swimming championships.

It started when he anchored the 200 medley relay, combining with John Gill, Todd Jones and Ben Shoul to not only win the event, but break a school record standing since 1993.

A short while later, Yokem did it individually with his winning time of 22.01 in the 50 freestyle, this time taking down a record going back to 1984.

That same foursome finished with a 1:28.67 that won the 200 free relay, and eclipsed another Mustangs mark from 1993.

“When we walked in here we knew we could do it. There was no doubt about it,” Yokem said. “It’s very special. To think it’s been 20 years, or 30 years since anyone has been able to touch them, it’s awesome.”

Bobcats Wilson takes two

Northeastern’s Drew Wilson said he was going after a record when he got on the board for the boys’ 200 freestyle.

The junior ended up with an extra one after winning gold with a time of 1:43.69. Wilson took down a 20-year-old Bobcats' record, set by Kyle Almoney, as well as a 28-year old league record set by Scott Conley of Dallastown.

“I had no idea what the meet record was. I was just going after the school record,” he said. “I remember when I started swimming, looking up at the board and (Almoney’’s) name is all over it.”

Keating gets Rockets on top of podium

Spring Grove’s Abigayle Keating hoped she would drop time in the girls’ 200 individual medley. The senior did that and more, swimming a 2:13.14 to take home gold — from lane seven.

"I just had the motivation to do the best I could. It was one of my goals this season to get a first at counties in some event,” she said. “(It helped) having such fast girls in the heat and also my teammates on the sideline cheering me on.”

Youthful sprinters

The girls’ 50 freestyle saw freshmen and sophomores take the top five spots. Dover’s super sophomore Grace Beierschmitt was tops in the race at 24.86.

"Don’t breathe and try not to drown,” Beierschmitt joked on her formula for success. “Good flip turns are the key. I wanted to go under 25 and I am so happy."

Wildcats duo does their thing

Dallastown’s Logan Brockway and Jake Stoner entered with expectations as the top seeds in their events.

The two didn’t disappoint. Brockway posted the only sub-2 minute time, swimming a 1:58.86 to win gold in the 200 individual medley.

A short while later, Stoner held off a furious charge from Susquehannock’s Justin Reed, who broke a Warriors’ record, to win the 100 butterfly with a time of 51.57.