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How York Suburban won District 3 swim title with no golds

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MECHANICSBURG – Even with all the yelling going on around them, the York Suburban boys team almost couldn’t believe what it just accomplished at Saturday’s District 3 Class 2A swimming championships.

After all, the Trojans went the entire two-day meet at Cumberland Valley without winning one gold medal.

However, bringing 14 boys – all of whom swam terrific times – set Suburban up and taking second in the final relay secured the District 3 AA team championship.

“It’s a well-deserved victory for the boys. They all cranked it up,” Trojans coach Craig Brennan said.

Suburban entered the day second behind Boiling Springs, but earned four medals and got great swims from the rest of the pack, accumulating points at nearly every opportunity.

Senior Karl Schmittle said that the team had a feeling it could accomplish something special once they tapered following the YAIAA meet. Knowing how close they were after Friday’s first day helped as well.

“We knew how many people were going (to districts) and what everyone could do and what our depth was,” Schmittle said. “We said that if we go what we are supposed to be going, we had a really good chance and that gave us that final push that everyone needed.”

Aidan Fryar, Schmittle, Devon Lonergan and Trent Golden brought the trophy home in style, combining to swim a 3:17.94 in the 400-yard freestyle relay, which earned a silver medal, a huge jump from their seed.

“That was very special,” Schmittle said. “We were seeded seventh and in Lane 1. We came out of the outside, out of nowhere. Everyone on the relay did amazing. We dropped so much time. It was amazing.”

Fryar and Schmittle earned a sixth and eighth-place medals respectively in the 100 free. Lonergan finished seventh in the 500 free. Freshman Matt Peters was eighth in the 100 breaststroke.

The Trojan girls were led by Megan Hunt, who earned bronze in the 100 breaststroke. The senior was also on the 400 free relay that took fourth, teaming with Cara Zortman, Keelie Walker and Havannah Suarez.

Harnish breaks district record in unusual way

West York’s Courtney Harnish caught people by surprise when she entered districts in the 100 backstroke. But with team points at stake, the move made sense.

Once she swam the race, it was obviously a great move.

Although her seed time had her in the middle of three heats, Harnish swam a 54.95 to not only capture gold, but broke a district record by more than a second.

The senior admitted a concern of not being in the fastest heat, but took quick care of that.

“Going into it, the record was in my head,” she said. “It did make me nervous, knowing that I was not going to be able to see the fastest girls, so I just was like no matter how far ahead I am, I am just going to push it.”

Amazingly, Harnish’s time was one of three faster than the record set in 2002 by Trinity’s Sarah Haupt. Northern York’s Kate Luft and Schuylkill Valley’s Marlee Rickert also topped the mark.

“I knew Kate was really fast and she was going to go for it. I decided I am going to give her everything I have got,” said Harnish. “That wasn’t my best time, but going into this I knew not being tapered I was a little concerned. But off-taper 54 was ultimately my goal.”

Harnish, along with Bulldogs teammates Maddi Stoner, Claudia Keller and Meghan French, ended the meet in grand fashion, by winning the 400 free relay in 3:35.88. Harnish swam a split of 49.72.

“It makes me so happy. It’s my first (high school) relay gold,” she said. “I don’t think I have ever had so much adrenalin diving into the pool before than I did during that last 100.”

French earned a silver medal in the 500 free and Keller seventh in the 100 backstroke.

Nalls goes the distance: Even if Eastern York doesn’t have a swim team, Madison Nalls is taking district 2A gold home after her time of 5:06.89 in the 500 free won the event by more than six seconds.

“It was a little slow for my pace. I wanted to be at my seed time or faster,” Nalls said of her swim. “It felt a lot better than (Friday’s 200 free).”

The junior is looking forward to the PIAA meet.

“I didn’t rest for this meet, so I am excited for states” she said. “I feel like big things are going to happen.”

Wildcats medal

Dallastown’s Jacob Stoner and Logan Brockway won a pair of medals each during Saturday’s AAA meet. Stoner, who won the 100 butterfly (47.24) on Friday, took fourth in the 100 free and Brockway (52.74) was fifth in the 100 backstroke.

The duo also bookended the Wildcats’ 400 free relay, combining with Seth Schuler and William Wise to swim a 3:14.17, good enough for fifth.

Now comes the waiting period. District 3 Class 3A receives three automatic berths to the PIAA championships, and the remainder of qualifiers are at-large berths, based on times from around the state.

Already, Wildcats coaches were checking times from other district meets to see if those swims will get them to states.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking but we are just happy with our swims,” said Brockway. “Every year guys have stepped up. It is Dallastown relays, that’s the thing we really swim for.”

Other 2A medals:

Jared Herr won the 500 free, in front of Susquehannock freshman Logan McFadden, who earned a silver. Herr’s teammate Logan Hyde was sixth. Gettysburg’s Nico DeAngelo II was fifth in the 100 free.

Gettysburg (sixth) and Susquehannock (eighth) both medaled in the 400 free relay.

Independent swimmer Miles Cox, a York Catholic freshman, earned a fourth-place medal in the boys 100 backstroke.

On the girls’ side, Dover’s Lindsay Brenneman garnered a bronze medal in the 500 free and teammate Grace Beierschmitt was fifth in the 100 free.

Independent freshmen Jesse McMurray of York Catholic and Sarah Hardy of Biglerville medaled in the girls’ 100 breaststroke. McMurray earned a silver and Hardy a fourth place. Fellow York Catholic student Claire Laux placed seventh in the 500 free.

In 3A, Northeastern junior Drew Wilson, who on Friday earned a fourth-place medal in the boys’ 200 free, scored eighth-place hardware in the 500 free on Saturday.