ERIE – The boys’ team had an exhilarating Day 1 at the District 10 swim meet at Penn State Behrend that saw the 200-yard freestyle relay team break a school record and qualify for the state meet, and the excitement continued into Day 2 with state-qualifying efforts from Adam and J.J. Bleday.
The brothers went two-three in the 50-yard freestyle a day earlier, and had the same result in the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday.
Adam clocked a season-best 48.76, which earned him an automatic qualification for the state meet.
J.J. had a personal best in the event with a 48.89 and his second individual qualification for the state meet.
Mac Coat swam his way to a 15th-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:12.81, a personal best for the swimmer.
The 400-yard freestyle relay came just shy of qualifying for the state meet with a fifth place finishing time of 3:22.69.
The team was made up of J.J., Devon Pettit, Josiah Leach and Adam.
When it was all said and done, the Rockets sent four swimmers to states, which will be held at Bucknell University, on March 13 and 14.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team will be made up of J.J., Pettit, Leach and Adam; J.J. will be swimming in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events, as will Adam; and Pettit will be looking to earn a medal in the 100-yard butterfly.
A great deal of attention will be on the 200-yard freestyle relay team, who’s efforts earned them the No. 1 seed in the state.
Head coach Kevin Dawson was excited for the four swimmers, and is hoping for big things at Bucknell.
“While all the swims were impressive, J.J., Devon, Josiah and Adam deserve special recognition for their record-breaking performance,” said Dawson. They were able to put together four terrific individual efforts to earn them the No. 1 seed at the state meet. I am looking forward to preparing them for the chance to compete for a state championship.”
Overall, Dawson said he was happy and proud of his team, who took fifth place out of 19 teams.
“The district meet was a great experience for the boys this season,” said Dawson. “To have over half the team qualify for districts and finish fifth out of 19 teams was a tremendous accomplishment. I am extremely proud of all the boys for a very successful year. Their dedication and willingness to put in the work produced tremendous results. As a team, we were able to accomplish great things and I am already looking forward to next season.”
post personal bests
The girls’ side didn’t advance any swimmers to states, but almost every swimmer who entered the pool over the weekend posted a personal best time.
The 200-yard medley relay team, comprised of Katie Neely, Mackenzie Foley, Natalie Klingler and Laura Wilks, earned a seventh-place finish on Day 1.
Foley then turned her attention to the 200-yard freestyle where she logged a time of 2:11.19, with a 2.5 second time drop.
Klingler had a personal best in the 200-yard individual medley, with a time of 2:34.19, while Ava Young had a personal-best time of 2:30.54 and a 14th place finish in the event.
Megan Bowser got her weekend going with a ninth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, at a personal-best time of 25.87, and Hannah Leach jump-started her meet with an 11th place with a personal-best time of 26.37.
The lady Rockets used their strength in numbers to earn a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, comprised of Young, Bowser, Leach and Morgan Estok.
The team dropped four seconds off their pervious best time, and Bowser, Leach and Estok all had personal-best splits.
On Day 2, Bowser and Leach were back at it in the 100-yard freestyle, with ninth- and 11th-place finishes respectively.
Bowser swam the 100 yards in a personal-best 57.25, while Leach had her fastest time at 59.22.
The lady Rockets were represented by Klingler, Estok and Foley in the 500-yard freestyle, and they all found another gear in their final performance of the season.
Klingler and Foley both dropped nine seconds off their times with a 6:00.12 and a 5:53.79, respectively.
Estok cruised to a 16th-place finish with a personal-best time of 5:55.79
The 100-yard backstroke was well-represented by Titusville with Neely and Young going seventh and eighth in the event.
Neely swam a 1:04.96, a personal best and a four-second time drop, while Young cruised in at 1:05.49.
It was a fast time of 3:54.07 for the 400-yard freestyle relay team, with personal best splits from Bowser, Leach and Klingler.
Although they didn’t send any girls to states, head coach Judy Lesko was ecstatic with her team’s performance and they’re impressive time improvements.
“The girls had a great weekend, posting best times in almost every race,” said Lesko. “This is my favorite time of the year and the atmosphere is so exciting. With a season of hard work behind them, and a little bit of rest, they were ready to go.”
After an impressive weekend, and with a solid core of swimmers returning next season, Lesko is looking forward to whats in store for the lady Rockets.
“I am so proud of the girls,” said Lesko. “We have had a great season and I am already looking forward to next year to see what they can do. With the 200 and 400 relays intact, I would like them to set a goal of breaking a few school records.”
The girls’ team ended up taking ninth place out of 17 teams, with 113 points.