SWIMMING Cameron on golden path again Warwick senior nets win in girls' 200 IM Cameron on golden path again BY PETE KAUFFMAN, Sports Writer
MECHANICSBURG -- Emily Cameron's been down this path before.
But she's certainly not tired of where it takes her.
Cameron, Warwick's five-time state champion, secured the lone win for L-L League athletes during the opening day of competition Friday at the District Three Class AAA Swimming Championships when she claimed her third gold in the 200-yard individual medley in a near-record 2:02.28.
"It was a solid swim for this point in the season,'' said the Georgia-bound Cameron, who will compete in the 100 breaststroke when the district meet resumes this afternoon.
"I'm just focused on my own race, not worried too much about my times,'' Cameron said of clocking 2:02.28. She set the district standard of 2:01.67 in 2010. "It's only districts, so I'm not too worried about the (times) as long as the outcomes lead to the big time (states).''
Cameron secured her fourth straight trip to the PIAA Championships to pace the local contingent during an extremely fast opening session of competition at Cumberland Valley High School.
Hempfield's Amber McDonnell secured a pair of berths at states by earning a pair of silver medals; finishing second behind Cameron in the 200 IM in 2:04.18 and then grabbing second in the 100 butterfly in 57.11 behind Northeastern's Nikki Price (55.62).
"I'm so happy,'' said McDonnell, who had a somewhat rough district showing a year ago. "I was not expecting to get those times at all. They're more my goal times for states. Guess I have to set them again.''
"She was on,'' Hempfield coach Steve Beck said of McDonnell. "Then again, my whole girls' team was on. They swam an outstanding first day; some great drops (in times); some really good swims.''
Hempfield stands in second in the girls' team race with 133 points behind reigning champion Hershey (217), while Wilson (130) is in third. Defending champ Hershey (249), Cumberland Valley (151) and Dallastown (138.5) lead the boys' team title chase.
Elizabethtown senior Tess Hayward and Manheim Central senior Paige Daniel secured the other silver medals among L-L athletes, with Hayward sprinting to second in the 50 free in 23.52 and Daniel finishing runner-up in the 200 free in 1:52.49.
Wilson's Alexandra Rocket lived up to her name by winning the 50 in 23.42, while Hershey's Meaghan Raab defended her title in the 200, lowering her district record from 2012 to a blazing 1:45.93. Cocalico's Sam Marino claimed the 200 free bronze in 1:52.57.
The Warwick girls' medley relay team of Cameron, Maddie Schouten, Brianna Olivieri and Morgan Haney placed third in 1:49.14, shaving almost 2.5 seconds off their seed time. Hershey won in 1:45.53.
The Township boys' medley relay of Tyler Russell, Anthony Sciscento, Kameron Kubicki and Dan Ross also took third, clocking a 1:38.19, trailing just Hershey (1:33.98) and Dallastown (1:38.19).
Garden Spot senior Andrew Schrantz was the highest finisher among the area boys in individual events Friday, grabbing the bronze medal in the 100 fly in 50.76. Cumberland Valley junior Jack Brenneman set the district record by going 50.13, while Hershey's Austin Doss was runner-up in 50.73, just a shade faster than Schrantz. Township's Kameron Kubicki placed fourth in 51.73.
Warwick's Justin Mitchell joined in the fast pace in the second-to-last heat of the 200 free, going 1:43.05 to finish fourth overall. Daniel Boone sophomore Ryan Owens, who was in the heat with Mitchell, ended up winning the event in 1:42.07. They had to watch the final heat compete before they found out what places they secured.
Swimming in the final heat of the 200, the top-seeded Ross ended up sixth in 1:43.29 and third-seeded Denny Atkinson of Hempfield placed eighth in 1:43.57. Atkinson said, quite accurately, that the 200 was "really moving. That was an incredibly fast race.''
Earning fifth-place finishes on the girls' side were MT senior Katie Diller (57.58) in the 100 fly, Hempfield's Paige Spradling (2:08.66) in the 200 IM and Warwick's Morgan Haney (24.00) in the 50 free. Hempfield's Kristian Voulopos (21.81) took fifth in the boys' 50 free and the Black Knights' 200 medley relay was fifth in 1:50.85.
Diller is the reigning state champ in the 100 fly, and, like everyone else who finished out of the top three spots, will have to wait to see if she earned one of 16 at-large berths to the PIAA Championships. The top three finishers automatically qualified for states.
Township coach Dan Graybill was among several coaches who were checking the results from both the District Seven and District One meets, which both began Thursday and ended Friday. Those two districts, along with District Three, are considered to have the fastest swimmers in the state.
Other placewinners in the girls' meet were the Cocalico (1:51.24, seventh) and E-town (1:52.62, eighth) medley relays, Cocalico's Sidney Evans (209.61, seventh) in the 200 IM and MT's Meredith Newman (24.51, eighth) in the 50 free.
The Conestoga Valley boys finished seventh in the 200 medley relay in 1:41.22, the Warwick boys clocked a school record to take eighth in the 200 free relay in 1:29.88 and Penn Manor's Cooper Lindsley was eighth in the 50 free in 22.20. Hershey's Vinny Tafuto won the 50 in a meet-record 20.19.