A long high school season of grueling workouts and tough competition will conclude this week for swimmers in Pennsylvania with the PIAA Championships, hosted by Bucknell University in Lewisburg.
Five swimmers from Shippensburg will kick things off with the Class 2A girls meet on Wednesday and Thursday, while Chambersburg will send five boys into the 3A meet on Friday and Saturday.
“The goal is to get into the top eight in as many events as possible,” Trojan boys coach Chad White said (the top 8 in each event earn a medal). “Realistically, I think we have a chance to do that in a few events.
“I’d love for us to be able to finish in the top 10 (in the team standings). I think the best we ever did was eighth back in 1994 or 95. We were 14th last year.”
On the psych sheets — which use times taken from the qualifying district meets, not the best times for the season — Chambersburg has two swimmers listed in the top eight.
In the 500 freestyle, senior and Penn State recruit Jacob Greenwood has the second-best time at 4:31.56, which is about 2.5 seconds behind Richard Mihm of North Allegheny, the defending champion.
Greenwood won a District 3 title a little over a week ago. Last year, he was seventh in the 500 at the PIAA meet and the year before was sixth.
Senior Avery Barley is listed No. 7 in the 100 backstroke in a time of 51.01, which won districts, but his best time this year was in the 49.8 range. He placed fifth last year at states and was the runner-up in 2017.
“I think I’d have to swim really, really fast to win it,” Barley said, “because (defending champion Brendan) Burns (of Conestoga) is very fast. I’ll need to kill my first 50, focus on the underwaters and then take it home from there.”
Greenwood is also No. 12 in the 200 freestyle in 1:42.55; he was ninth last year at states and sixth as a sophomore.
C.J. Pong is No. 22 in the 100 butterfly (51.66) and Barley is 26th (51.77), while Pong is No. 17 in the backstroke (51.79).
The Trojans also qualified two relay teams, the 200 medley relay (Barley, Michael Johnson, Pong and Greenwood, 1:36.52) and 400 free relay (Pong, Aidan McMillen, Barley and Greenwood, 3:13.51). The medley is No. 18 and the 400 is No. 19.
Barley said, “I’m pretty excited about the medley relay, to see what we can do. We’ve had good practices, but we can all improve our times a little.”
White believes his guys are ready to reach their full potential.
“We had seven guys in districts and the four other than Jacob, Avery and C.J. went in with a four-day taper,” White said. “They all had big drops in their times. This week, the other three will do a four-day taper, so we’re hoping to see big drops from them, too.
“C.J. has looked really good in practice and I think our medley team can at least get in the top 16 and maybe the top eight.”
Barley, who will swim at Messiah College next year, said, “I’ve felt really good in practice and I’m excited for my teammates, too. I know this is my last high school meet, but I’m trying to keep that out of my mind. I just want to have some lasting memories with my teammates.”
Shippensburg qualified girls in seven events for states. The Lady Hounds have two listed in the top 10 — sophomore Julia Strine is No. 8 in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.33) and the 200 freestyle relay (Strine, Teddi Powell, Madison Osanitch and Makenna Morris) has a time of 1:37.88.
Strine placed seventh last year in the breaststroke in 1:05.96, and the relay team was 13th.
Osanitch is swimming in the 200 free, where she is 17th (she placed 10th in the PIAA last year), and in the 500 free (17th). In the 100 free, Strine is No. 16 and Morris is 22, while Morris is 16th in the 100 butterfly.
Ship’s 400 freestyle relay team, with the same order as the 200, is No. 17. It finished 12th a year ago at states.
PIAA Swimming Championships Psych Sheets
(Local performers only)
GIRLS CLASS 2A
PIAA sessions: Wednesday — 8-9:40 a.m. prelims; 4:30-6:10 p.m. consolations, finals; Thursday — 8-9:40 a.m. prelims; 6:25-8:05 p.m. consolations, finals
200 freestyle — 17.Madison Osanitch (Ship) 1:57.38
100 butterfly — 16.Makenna Morris (Ship) 58.71
100 freestyle — 16.Julia Strine (Ship) 53.67; 22.Morris (Ship) 54.04
500 freestyle — 17.Osanitch (Ship) 5:18.42
200 freestyle relay — 9.Shippensburg (Strine, Teddi Powell, Osanitch, Morris), 1:39.88
100 breaststroke — 8.Strine (Ship) 1:05.33
400 freestyle relay — 17.Shippensburg (Strine, Madelyn Facchinei, Osanitch, Morris), 3:41.97
BOYS CLASS 3A
PIAA sessions: Friday — 10:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. prelims; 7:05-8:40 p.m. consolations, finals; Saturday — 10:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. prelims; 7:35-9:15 p.m. consolations, finals
200 medley relay — Chambersburg (Avery Barley, Michael Johnson, C.J. Pong, Jacob Greenwood), 1:36.52
200 freestyle — 12.Greenwood (Chbg) 1:42.55
100 butterfly — 22.Pong (Chbg) 51.66; 26.Barley (Chbg) 51.77
500 freestyle — 2.Greenwood (Chbg) 4:31.56
100 backstroke — 7.Barley (Chbg) 51.01; 17.Pong (Chbg) 51.79
400 freestyle relay — 19.Chambersburg (Pong, Aidan McMillen, Barley, Greenwood), 3:13.51