STATE COLLEGE - The St. Marys Area High School Swim and Dive Team successfully showcased their talents at the District VI/IX AA Swimming and Diving Regional Championships held at the Penn State McCoy Natatorium this past weekend. Besides winning medals, the top three positions in each event qualify for the PIAA AA Swim and Dive Championships at Bucknell University on March 16-17.
The team was led by Andrew Cotter, who was crowned regional champ in one individual and two relay events. Cotter took first in the 100-yard breaststroke and regained the title he earned two years ago prior to missing his junior year due to shoulder surgery. This time, however, Cotter grabbed the title with a near-record time of 59.73 seconds, followed by Bellefonte’s Andrew Rosenberger with a 59.95 seconds.
Cotter also anchored both of the winning relays, where each leg posted career-best split times on their way to their gold medals.
It wasn’t until the last event on Friday evening that the Dutchmen won their first relay title. The 200-yard freestyle relay of Matt Hoffman, Ryan Struble, Jeffrey Moore and Cotter finished three seconds better than their seed time with a 1:32.11 finish, touching the wall just ahead of the powerful Bellefonte and Clearfield foursomes.
It was almost the same story on Saturday night when the Dutchmen quartet of Corey Koss, Hoffman, Moore and Cotter took the blocks for the final event of the day and the competition. With the regional team title still on the line, the team gave it everything they had, charging through a mid-race deficit to win the event and set a new school record of 3:21.26.
“That was one of the most exciting races I have seen in high school swimming,” said SMA head coach Mark DeMuro. “It wasn’t the time, it wasn’t the win and it wasn’t even the record that impressed me the most. It was hard-fought. The kids were in this for more than themselves all weekend long. It was a fitting finish to an emotional week. ”
Meanwhile, the diving crew made their own noise when Jake Burns captured the first of the team’s individual gold medals for his performance on Saturday afternoon. Burns earned 355.25 points for his 11 dives, followed by teammates Tim Mosebarger with 342.25 and Kyle Pistner with 320.90 points. The trio swept the top three spots, automatically qualifying them for the trip to Lewisburg.
“It has been a goal of ours for the past couple years to capture the three top spots because of the quality divers we have on our team,” said SMA head diving coach Eric Wonderling. “It is very rewarding for us to be able to make this trip together because of how tight-knit our group is. We will be well-represented.”
The weekend was marked by many personal bests and state qualifying performances.
When the competition kicked off on Friday evening, it wasn’t long before the first medals started being collected by Dutchmen and the Lady Dutch. The boys’ 200 yard medley relay consisting of Corey Koss, Cotter, Renwick and Ryan Struble notched the first spot for their second-place finish behind Bellefonte.
In the following two events, Moore and Corey Koss took home third place medals in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley, respectively.
Emma Daghir followed suit by earning the first medal for the Lady Dutch for her third-place showing in the 50-yard freestyle.
Renwick added another medal to his collection when he finished second in the 100-yard butterfly in a career-best time.
At the end of day one, the Dutchmen were in second place with 127 points to Bellefonte’s 142, while the Lady Dutch were fifth with 74 points behind the Clearfield girls, who were leading with 137 points.
The swimming competition resumed on Saturday afternoon after diving.
Moore was the first medal winner of day two of swimming with his third-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle.
Later, Kylee Proudfit finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke and earned the last individual spot for the Lady Dutch and is headed to States.
“We are very proud of what the team accomplished. For the girls, this is the first time ever that we are sending two individuals to States to the best of our knowledge,” said assistant coach Mary Secco. “Emma and Kylee have done amazing all season long, so it is fitting to see them both advancing to States.”
Additionally, podium-worthy performances were recorded by the following Dutchmen: Hoffman (fourth – 200 free, fifth – 100 free), Renwick (fourth – 200 IM), Ryan Struble (fifth – 50 free, sixth – 100 free), Josh Reed (sixth – diving) and Corey Koss (fifth – 100 back).
The Lady Dutch scoring in the top six included Proudfit (fourth – 200 IM), Alette Kraknes (sixth – diving), Daghir (fifth – 100 breast).
At the conclusion of the meet, the Dutchmen narrowly missed bringing home the D6/9 trophy by a mere 12 points. The final standings for the boys was Bellefonte (281), St. Marys (269), Clearfield (180), Bradford (104), Central Cambria (85.5), Brookville (75), Richland (62), Huntingdon (61), Somerset (54), Ligonier Valley (44), Westmont Hilltop (40), Tyrone (37.5), Cambria Heights (23), Penns Valley (21), Bishop McCort (13), Northen Cambria (8), Martinsburg Central (6), Forest Hills (5), Marion Center (2).
The final standing for the girls was Clearfield (271), Westmont Hilltop (181.5), Bellefonte (165), Bradford (123), Somerset (118), St. Marys (117), Central Cambria (92), Martinsburg Central (64), Ligonier Valley (53), Northen Cambria (45.5), Richland (33), Saltsburg (30), Bishop McCort (29), Huntingdon (12), Tyrone (10), Otto-Eldred (9), Penns Valley (7), Brookville (4), Marion Center (2) Forest Hills (1).
200 medley relay – first Bellefonte, 1:41.8; second St. Marys (Corey Koss, Andrew Cotter, Alex Renwick, Ryan Struble ), 1:42.74; third Clearfield ,1:45.86.
200 freestyle – first Thomas (Belle), 1:51.05; second Flanagan (Clear),1:54.43; third Moore (SM),1:55.25; fourth Hoffman (SM),1:56.63.
200 IM – first Fisher (Clear),2:01.47; second Schnars (Belle),2:10.31; third Corey Koss (SM),2:13.77; fourth Alex Renwick (SM),2:14.87.
50 freestyle – first Ransel (Brook),21.99; second Bair (Hunt),22.58; third Haesler (Belle),22.86; fifth Ryan Struble (SM),23.86; 19th Tim Mosebarger (SM),25.63; 25th Joey Ferragine (SM),25.92.
100 butterfly – first Mihalko (Rich),55.73; second Alex Renwick (SM),56.89; third Bair (Hunt),57.98; 19th Joey Ferragine (SM),1:06.17; 24th Gideon Woelfel (SM),1:10.04.
200 freestyle relay – first St. Marys, 1:32.11 (Matt Hoffman, Ryan Struble, Jeffrey Moore, Andrew Cotter); second Bellefonte, 1:32.79; third Clearfield, 1:33.34.
1M diving – first Jake Burns (SM), 355.25; second Tim Mosebarger (SM), 342.25; third Kyle Pistner (SM), 230.90; sixth Josh Reed (SM) 145.15.
100 freestyle – first Ransel (Brook),48.54; second Newman (Belle),50.23; third Haesler (Belle),51.31; fifth Matt Hoffman (SM),52.31; sixth Ryan Struble (SM),53.06; 15th Wes Challingsworth (SM),55.35.
500 freestyle – first Thomas (Belle),5:00.67; second Flanagan (Clear),5:04.8; third Jeffrey Moore (SM),5:08.63; tenth Nathan Koss (SM),5:35.16.
100 backstroke – first Schnars (Belle),55.94; second Newman (Belle),56.25; third Mihalko (Rich),56.45; fifth Corey Koss (SM),58.54; 14th Wes Challingsworth (SM),1:05.21; 17th Nathan Koss (SM),1:08.92.
100 breaststroke – first Andrew Cotter (SM),59.73; second Rosenberger (Belle),59.95; third Fisher (Clear),1:01.14; 23rd Gideon Woelfel (SM),1:14.46; 29th Max Struble (SM),1:17.42.
400 freestyle relay – first St. Marys (Corey Koss, Matt Hoffman, Jeffrey Moore, Andrew Cotter),3:21.26; second Bellefonte, 3:21.7; third Central Cambria, 3:35.98.
200 medley relay – first Cleafield,1:55.8; second Bellefonte,1:55.81; third Bradford,1:59.09; sixth St. Marys (Michaela Rupprecht, Emma Daghir, Lauren McAnany, Kylee Proudfit),2:02.57.
200 freestyle – first Noll (WH), 2:00.92; second Crust (Belle),2:01.62; third Thorp(Clear),2:02.19; ninth Lauren McAnany (SM),2:14.88; 11th Stephanie Buerk (SM),2:15.90.
200 IM – first Scordato (Belle),2:13.72; second Lowery (Belle),2:13.72; third Melgard (Clear),2:20.44; fourth Kylee Proudfit (SM),2:25.23; 15th Melinda Stebich (SM),2:34.10.
50 freestyle – first Noll (WH),25.1; second Kovach (WH),25.57; third Emma Daghir (SM),25.81.
100 butterfly – first Noll (WH),1:01.48; second Love (Salts),1:04.57; third Schleich (Somer),1:07.92; seventh Michaela Rupprecht (SM),1:10.79; 17th Maura Keyes (SM),1:17.45.
200 freestyle relay – first Clearfield, 1:43.48; second Westmont Hilltop, 1:44.55; third Bradford, 1:46.02; fifth St. Marys (Emma Daghir, Lauren McAnany, Michaela Rupprecht, Kylee Proudfit),1:48.25.
1M diving – first Shomo (Clear), 419.35; second Lowder (Clear), 310.55; third Knapik (Clear), 299.8; sixth Alette Kraknes (SM), 243.65; eighth Alexis Hanes (SM), 235.25; ninth Maranda Leidwinger (SM),214.10.
100 freestyle – first Noll (WH),54.80; second Confer (Brad),56.89; third Kovach(WH),57.03; 18th Alette Kraknes (SM),1:04.32; 26th Maura Keyes (SM),1:07.36 .
500 freestyle – first Crust (Belle),5:29.70; second Yagodich (Rich),5:35.59; third Thorp (Clear),5:37.03; tenth Lauren McAnany (SM),6:05.79; 13th Steph Buerk (SM),6:17.95.
100 backstroke – first Lowery (Belle),1:01.85; second Wriglesworth (Clear),1:03.13; third Conrad(CC),1:03.50; 14th Michaela Rupprecht (SM),1:11.03; 22nd Melinda Stebich (SM),1:14.07.
100 breaststroke – first Scordato (Clear),1:08.87; second Mellgard (Clear),1:10.09; third Kylee Proudfit (SM),1:11.86; fifth Emma Daghir (SM),1:12.08; 18th Mikayla O’Dwyer (SM),1:24.46.
400 freestyle relay – first Bellefonte,3:47.18; second Westmont Hilltop, 3:48.83; third Clearfield, 3:59.60.