LEWISBURG — The Class AAA high school swim season came to a close on Thursday for three area athletes at the PIAA Swimming Championships at Bucknell University.
For Hollidaysburg, freshman Sarah Kaneshiki and senior Shawn Robbins made it to the finals in their events. Kaneshiki competed in the 500 freestyle. In the preliminary round, she finished 14th in 5:07.97, which was good enough to get her into the finals.
There, she finished 12th in 5:06.44. The winning time was turned in by Parkland’s Jaime Malandra in 4:48.43, a PIAA record.
“I thought her preliminary time was fantastic,” Hollidaysburg coach Deb Solomon said. “She hit her splits that she had been training for. That was a five-second drop from her district time, and that was her best time of her career to that point. To come back in the evening and do better, that was just tremendous.”
Solomon loves the fact that Kaneshiki has three more years as a Lady Tiger.
“I am really excited about her for next year, but the tough thing was that all of the girls in the finals were all underclassmen,” she added.
Robbins competed in the 100 freestyle, where he finished 15th in the preliminaries in 47.86. That got him into the finals. There, he finished 16th with a time of 48.63.
“He had a fantastic swim in the morning,” Solomon said. “That was a school record with that time, and I think it’s safe to say it will be there for a long time.”
Robbins finished a career that saw him go to states three years in a row.
“His start in the finals was fantastic,” Solomon said. “He was ready. He looked good in the warmups.”
Altoona’s Josh Gleim competed in the 100 backstroke where he finished 32nd in 56.86. The time did not get him into the finals. The best time in the prelims was turned in by Easton’s Wade Satanik at 51.20.
“He dropped his time, which turned out to be a personal best,” Altoona coach Andy Smearman said of his junior Lion. “That was what we were looking for him, and we are excited to have him back next year. We think we can get him into two events at states next year.”
The final area swimmer competing at states will be Tyrone’s Ethan Nulton, who will compete in the Class AA field today and Saturday. The senior is in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle.