DISTRICT THREE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Schrantz's favorite kick: winning GS senior will count on leg strength in pursuit of AAA gold Schrantz's favorite kick: winning Class AA BY PETE KAUFFMAN, Sports Writer
The most dangerous thing about an iceberg is the part unseen under the surface of the water.
That can be said about Andrew Schrantz, who generates an enormous amount of thrust and power with his underwater kicks.
"His underwater fly kick off the walls really provides a secret weapon of sorts against other swimmers,'' Mike Swanson, head senior coach at Diplomat Swim Club, said in an email. "Andy will win races with his underwater ability.''
Schrantz, a senior at Garden Spot who is awaiting word of a possible appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, said he hopes to use that part of his strokes to his advantage at this weekend's District Three Class AAA Swimming Championships.
The two-day meet at Cumberland Valley High School begins at 5 p.m. today, and includes the 200-yard medley relay, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle relay events.
The meet, expanded this year from 24 to 32 entries in each individual event, continues at 3 p.m. Saturday with the 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay.
The top three finishers in each event earn berths in the PIAA Championships March 15-16 at Bucknell University, although at-large state berths are also up for grabs.
Schrantz made it to states last year, in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, but did not medal, garnering 14th-place finishes in both events.
This year, he hopes to change that. To that end, Schrantz has been working extremely hard in practice, according to Swanson.
"What makes him a good swimmer is not only his work ethic and dedication to training, but also the way he carries himself. He is a quiet, charismatic leader,'' Swanson said. "The other swimmers on the team are attracted to this and everyone benefits.''
Schrantz benefits greatly from a stroke he said would keep him competitive with most other swimmers, but then he adds in that kick, and he really takes off.
"My underwater is where I can excel. I do work on that to get that edge that most people don't see,'' Schrantz said. "It's especially nice when I'm under water, and people don't know where I am until halfway down the pool and I break the surface and it's a bit of surprise.''
It's no surprise that Schrantz enters districts as the No. 2 seed in both of his signature events: today's 100-yard butterfly and Saturday's 100 backstroke.
His 51.78 in the 100 fly is a shade behind the 51.51 of top-seeded Austin Doss of Hershey, while his 51.70 in the back is second to only the 51.49 of Doss, last year's champ in 52.07.
"I feel really confident I can go in (to districts) and put some big drops in time,'' said Schrantz, who added he'd like to break into the 49s in fly and low 50s for back. "My mindset is to get into the pool and swim as absolutely as fast as I can.''
Schrantz said he's been swimming times already this season that compare favorably to what he's done in the past under a full taper. He said he was going to be tapered (longer rest periods, shorter but more intense practices) for districts, "mainly because in District Three, you don't know who may step up and put some (fast) times up.''
He doesn't want to take any chances on not earning one of the top-three automatic berths and depending on a possible at-large berth into states.
Swanson, for his part, thinks Schrantz is peaking at the right time physically, and he has the mental aptitude to get the job done.
"What is finishing out his drive this season is to leave a lasting impression on the Lancaster swimming community. I think he wants to be a senior who leaves with a bang,'' Swanson said. "It shows with his continued dropping of times, which can be attributed to his dedication to our new practice styles and tactics this year.''
If all goes well in his events, Schrantz will incorporate his usual race tactics.
"I like being out ahead, seeing where other swimmers are in the group,'' Schrantz said. "I try and put a gap between myself and the other swimmers. Swimming from ahead is way better than trying to play catch-up.''
Swimmers will also be playing catch-up to a number of other Lancaster-Lebanon League athletes who earned top seeds for the meet.
On the boys' side, Manheim Township's Dan Ross (1:42.99) is seeded first, Hempfield's Denny Atkinson (1:45.22) third and MT's Tyler Russell (1:46.33) seventh in the 200 freestyle. Ross (4:45.35) is fourth, Warwick's Justin Mitchell (4:48.76) seventh and Atkinson (4:50.26) eighth in the 500 free.
Hempfield's Kristian Voulopos is seeded third in the 100 free (48.23) and seventh in the 50 free (22.23), while Conestoga Valley's Todd Wilson (54.01) is fourth in the 100 back.
Penn Manor's Cooper Lindsley is seeded seventh in the 100 free (48.50) and eighth in the 50 free (22.24), MT's Kameron Kubicki (53.81) fourth in the 100 fly, and Warwick's Nick Beard (1:02.21) seventh in the 100 breaststroke.
Township (1:41.47) and CV (1:41.65) are seeded fifth and sixth in the 200 medley relay, Hempfield (1:30.73) is sixth in the 200 free relay, and Hempfield (3:17.15) is fourth, MT (3:18.63) fifth and Warwick (3:20.54) eighth in the 400 free relay.
The L-L girls are even better represented, with Warwick's Emily Cameron the top seed in the 200 IM (2:05.22) and fifth seed in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.58), an event she won in 1:02.34 last season. Cameron also won the 50 free (23.19) in 2012, but switched back to the IM, in which she holds the state record, for her senior season.
MT's Katie Diller is seeded second in the 100 fly (57.72), in which she won states but not districts last year, and sixth in the 100 free (53.12).
Manheim Central's Paige Daniel is No. 3 in the 200 free (1:55.32), with Cocalico's Sam Marino (1:55.69) fifth and Hempfield's Val Urban (1:56.08) seventh. Urban (5:09.36) is second and Daniel (5:10.30) third in the 500 free, while Marino (1:00.61) is eighth in the 100 back.
Hempfield's Amber McDonnell is second in the 200 IM (2:05.76) and fourth in the 100 fly (58.48). Hempfield's Paige Spradling is sixth in the 200 IM (2:10.45) and third in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.06).
Cocalico's Olivia Evans (59.12) is third in the back and Sidney Evans (2:13.18) is seventh in the IM, Hempfield's Maddy Popalis (1:08.31) sixth and Warwick's Maddie Schouten (1:09.40) in the 100 breaststroke.
Elizabethtown's Tess Hayward (24.16) is fourth, MT's Meredith Newman (24.37) fifth and Warwick's Morgan Haney (24.43) sixth in the 50 free. Hayward (52.79) is fourth and Newman (52.90) fifth in the 100 free.
In the relays, Warwick (1:51.45) is fourth, Hempfield (1:53.81) sixth and Elizabethtown (1:54.28) eighth in the 200 medley; Township (1:41.30) is fourth and Hempfield (1:41.54) fifth in the 200 free; and Warwick (3:38.76) is third, MT (3:38.98) fourth and Hempfield (3:41.92) seventh in the 400 free.