LEWISBURG — After becoming the first DuBois swimmer to achieve all-state honorable mention status in last year’s PIAA Swimming Championships, Lady Beaver senior Gabi Wayne was at it again Thursday afternoon at Kinney Natatorium on the campus of Bucknell University.
Wayne swam the 200 free relay in a time of 1:56.40, bettering her seed time by .12 seconds, to earn a 13th-place finish in the event. She came into the meet seeded 12th.
West York’s Courtney Harnish won the gold with a new PIAA record time of 1:44.73.
“It’s a fast meet overall down here,” DuBois head coach Mike Gressler said. “She dropped a little bit of time off what she did in districts, so we’re happy about that. That’s the one thing we can control. We hoped to place well and 13th ... we’ll take it.”
The Lady Beaver medley relay team of Wayne, Lauren Usaitis, Julie Marchioni and Kiersten Pearce just missed making honorable mention all-state status, placing 17th with a time of 1:53.70.
DuBois had the tough job of swimming in Lane 1, but nearly overcame it for a Top 16 finish.
“We were in a tough position in that race in an outside lane,” Gressler said. “The team next to us, Holy Redeemer, had a really nice race. I told the girls before they went in to stick with Holy Redeemer.
“They went out real quick, and we had a lot of wake hitting us from the other lanes and really got tossed around over there.”
DuBois picked up one more swim when Marchioni got to compete in the 100 fly after another competitor was removed from the race. She finished 32nd with a time of 1:02.54, but Gressler was just happy she got into the event.
“That was a surprise swim,” he said. “Someone had declared a false start during registration and instead of having an open lane, they went with the next fastest time and that happened to be Julie.
“Until about 1:30 this afternoon, she was just doing the medley relay.”
Clearfield’s Paige Mikesell was second in the 100 fly, swimming a time of 56.67. Moravian Academy’s Kyra Manson touched first in 55.91.
St. Marys’ Mandy Geci was District 9’s representative in the 50 free. She was 30th with a time of 25.30.
The DuBois girls are 40th in the team standings out of 48 teams that scored. Clearfield is currently 15th,
The DuBois boys had a competitor in Thursday night’s session as Drew Canter swam the 200 free. He was 19th with a time of 1:46.82, which shaved .20 seconds off his runner-up District 9 time.
St. Marys’ Ben Koss added a 21st in the 50 free, swimming a 22.59.
Clearfield picked up a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay as the team of Isaac Swanson, Chase Bietz, Luke Mikesell and Hayden Steiner swam a 1:37.45.
Bietz followed that up with a sixth in the 200 free, swimming a 1:42.40 and Mikesell added a ninth in the 100 fly, recording a time of 52.12.
Mikesell just missed the podium in the 100 fly, having to settle for ninth, while the Bison 200 free relay of Steiner, Tate Swanson, Peyton Preister and Isaac Swanson were 13th.
Today’s session begins at 10:45 a.m.
NOTE: Due to the winter storm that affected much of the state, the format for this year’s championship meet was changed to timed finals so that the schedule could be compressed.