Blair County gets plenty of gold on first day

UNIVERSITY PARK – It was a good first day for several area swimmers at the District 6 Swimming and Diving Championships at Penn State University.

In Class AAA action, Hollidaysburg’s Greg Dinges, Mace Long, Colter Long and Alex Gehringer won gold in the 200-yard freestyle relay by winning the event in 1:29.98.

“I really did [think they could win it] because State [College] has been stacking their medley and 400, and I thought our boys had a really good shot,” Hollidaysburg coach Deb Solomon said. “After Greg swam a 21.0 in his leg, I knew they could do it.”

On his own, Mace Long qualified for states for the fourth straight year by winning gold in the 100 butterfly (52.17) with a new district and school record.

Altoona got a gold out of junior Katerina Parowski, who won the 200 freestyle with a personal best time of 1:57.13.

“I liked the fact that she dropped a ton of time from her previous swim this season,” Altoona coach Andy Smearman said. “After being seeded second [in the event], she was kind of like the underdog coming into this event. She was really strong at the end.”

In Class AA action, Central’s Taylor Flaugh repeated her gold-medal effort in the 200 freestyle by winning it again as a sophomore. She finished first in 2:00.06. It was also a new school record, breaking the old one held by Flaugh.

“I really thought she had a good chance of winning,” Central coach Amanda Herr said. “Since she won as a freshman, I was hoping she could repeat. She was definitely ready to swim.”

Hollidaysburg got silver medals from Colter Long in the 200 individual medley (1:58.44, a new team record), while Dinges got a silver in the 50 freestyle (22.65). Max Gehringer took sixth in the 200 IM (2:10.04) and sixth in the 100 butterfly (56.42). On the girls side, the 200 medley relay team of Casey Holliday, Emily Brown, Maddie Clapper and Cassidy Saleme got a silver in 1:57.88. Another silver went to the 200 freestyle relay team of Saleme, Brown, Maise Supp and Clapper in 1:45.35.

On their own, Clapper took fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:03.24), Courtney Noal was fifth in the 200 IM (2:26.79), Saleme fifth in the 50 freestyle (26.50) and Supp sixth in the 50 freestyle (26.66). Jessie Nagle was sixth in the 200 freestyle (2:11.69).

Altoona’s boys 200 freestyle relay team of Aaron Cummings, Kyle Heasley, Caleb Marasco and Steve Betar got the bronze (1:37.38), while the 200 medley relay team of Nate Lawhead, Dima Kuntsbeck and Seth and Caleb Marasco got fourth (1:57.85).

On the girls side, Brianna Geist was fourth in the 50 freestyle (26.47), while the medley relay team of Taylor Stoudnour, Rachel Heasley, Anastasia Lecrone and Hannah Jacobs placed fifth (2:16.20). Lecrone was sixth in the 200 IM (2:49.96).

In other class AA action, Tyrone’s best showing on the girls side was Mikayla Harris who took fourth in the 50 freestyle (30.61). The 200 freestyle relay team of Emily Beam, Jordan Wiser, Emily Nagle and Harris was fourth (1:53.12) while the 200 medley relay team of Harris, Wiser, Beam and Nagle took fifth (2:07.91).

On the boys side, Johnny Payne, Collin Rhoades, Rhett Everhart and Ben McConnell took fifth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:40.46). Everhart placed sixth in the 200 freestyle (2:01.32).