C.J. Pong earns bronze medal in PIAA 100 butterfly

Chbg relay

The Chambersburg 200 medley relay team of, from left, Michael Johnson, C.J. Pong, Robert Pong and Aidan McMillen, placed 14th Wednesday at the PIAA Championships at Bucknell University. (Photo courtesy of Chad White)

LEWISBURG — Chambersburg senior C.J. Pong saved his best 100 butterfly time for his last high school race in the event.

At the PIAA Swimming Championships on Wednesday evening at Bucknell University, Pong swam an excellent time of 49.26 to place third in the Class 3A event, earning a bronze medal.

Pong at PIAA

C.J. Pong placed third in the 100 butterfly.

The winning time, by Matthew Jenson of Upper Dublin, was 46.58, which set a new PIAA record. Seneca Valley’s Owen Blazer was second in 47.95.

Trojan coach Chad White said, “C.J. really attacked his 100 fly. He went out with passion and determination. The last 50 he really pushed his underwaters and finished very strong.

“That time broke the team record by half a second and was a personal best by over a second. I am super proud of him.”

Pong, who will attend Drexel University next year, entered states with a qualifying time of 50.44, then beat that in Wednesday morning’s preliminary round with a 49.86.

He also helped Chambersburg’s 200 medley relay team to a 14th place. The team of Pong, Michael Johnson, Robert Pong and Aidan McMillen posted a time of 1:36.98.

White said, “The relay was the first Chambersburg (relay) team to qualify for the finals in over 10 years. The boys worked super hard this week to maintain their speed and put up a fast time.”

The splits were 23.30 for C.J. Pong in the fly, 27.00 for Johnson in the breaststroke, 23.63 for Robert Pong in the backstroke and 22.27 for McMillen in the freestyle.

Upper Dublin won the event with a time of 1:30.12.

C.J. Pong will race Thursday in the 100 backstroke, with the prelims at 8:30 a.m. and the final at 6:35 p.m.

Waynesboro’s Lauren Wetzel competed in the Class 3A girls 200 individual medley race Wednesday. She came in with a seed time of 2:07.46, then swam a 2:06.57 in the prelims to qualify for the consolation final.

In the evening race, Wetzel, a junior, swam 2:05.33 to end up in 10th place.