Almodovar

Millersville's Jayden Almodovar swam a strong 50-meter butterfly for one of his three individual victories during the Lancaster Summer Swim League championships at the Manheim Community Pool, Saturday July 28, 2018.

It's been quite a first season for Millersville swim coach Kristin Allen, and Saturday's Lancaster County Summer Swim League championships only added to it.

Not only did Allen receive the team trophy with her swimmers for winning the LSSL Division II regular season title, but one of her swimmers stood out Saturday at the Manheim Community Pool, where hundreds gathered for the all-day, season-ending meet.

Millersville's Jayden Almodovar won three times the boys’ 11-12 age group.

First was his 28.51 that won the 50-meter freestyle. Later came an impressive winning breaststroke in 37.29. But Almodovar saved his best for last when he blazed a 31.20 to capture the 50 butterfly by 1.72 seconds.

"He is really developing into a great kid and a great swimmer,” Allen said. “I couldn't have asked for a better kid to be a part of the team this year. He always pulls it out. He is here to win, here to race."

Allen, 20, said her goals were simple when she moved from assistant coach to take over the program this season.

"It's amazing. My goal being a first-year coach was to win one meet, so these kids blew everything out of the water," she said. "They are a great group. I have gotten emotional because of them."

Six in a row

The championships are usually held Friday night and Saturday morning, but, this year, everything was held on Saturday when weather forced Friday’s relays to be postponed.

One thing, though, didn’t change. Adamstown won its sixth straight LSSL team championship.

The Gators won 10 individual events and nine relays, which helped them to amass 972 points, 313 ahead of second-place Woodridge.

Annie Gao led the way individually, taking home two titles in the girls' 11-12 age group — the 50 butterfly (31.16) and 50 breaststroke (36.05).

"It's a really fun experience, especially with the people you are around that are helping you and always cheering and giving positive thoughts," Gao said.

The Adamstown dominance was on full display during the afternoon relays, as the Gators set three meet records. The boys’ 13-14 200 free relay broke a mark with a time of 1:46.93 and swam a 1:59.50, breaking the 200 medley relay record by nearly three seconds.

Adamstown’s girls’ 15-and-over team set a record in the 200 free (1:49.58).

Great efforts

Lancaster Country Club brothers Charlie and Henry Gingrich combined for five first-place finishes.

Both won their respective 50 freestyle races: Henry in the 13-14 group (26.32) and Charlie in 15-and-over (23.77).

Later, Charlie won the 50 backstroke in 26.99 and the 50 butterfly (24.97). Henry's second win was also in the 50 butterfly (27.59).

In the girls’ 9-10 field, Camryn Schwartz of Woodridge notched wins in both the 25 breaststroke (19.18) and the 25 free (14.94).

Fun for all

While teammate Jordynn Park won a pair of 15-and-over individual races, Mount Joy swimmers Michael Schiavone and Jake Houck enjoyed the summer's final event.

"It's nice to come out on a beautiful day like today," said Schiavone. "It's a fast meet, but it's not always super serious, so it's nice to sit down and talk to people."

Not only do the teams hang out around the makeshift tent city outside the pool area, but being outdoors changes things in the water, as well.

"Outdoor plays a big factor in some of the events, like backstroke,” said Houck, who came in second in both the 15-and-over 50 fly and 50 back. “It's really hard to swim in a straight line because you can't look at anything because the sky is clear."

Park won the 50 breaststroke in 33.67 seconds and a short while later took honors in the 50 butterfly with a 28.39.

Schiavone, who attends the Hill School in Pottstown during the school year, said the championship meet reiterates what summer swimming is all about.

"Swimming in high school, especially at a boarding school, is really regimented," he said. "You are there to swim fast, put in the work, get the results. That's not necessarily different in summer league, but ... we get to interact with a lot more people and have fun with them."

The right call

Considering the massive rains earlier in the week and the storms forecasted for Friday evening, Manheim swim coach Heather Fittery and event organizers made the decision Friday afternoon to move everything to Saturday.

"A storm rolled through here right after 5 o'clock Friday and we had the decision already made," she said. "It was a longer day (Saturday), but it all worked out."

The Manheim Community pool and surrounding grounds bordering Chiques Creek played a part in the decision.

"Wednesday, we were flooded up to the one pavillon and the whole road was flooded," said Fittery. "And the bank was high, so we were worried about that with them calling for more storms coming as the week went on."