Bearcats win team titles

District 6 swimming championships

UNIVERSITY PARK — It was a bright and sunny day in central Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon at the District 6 Swimming & Diving Championships at Penn State, but it couldn’t have been any brighter than the gold the Huntingdon Area High School swim team was wearing at the end of the event.

The Lady Bearcats captured the 2A title with 166 points, 22 points ahead of Bellefonte (144). The Bearcat boys won with 243 points. Somerset was second at 182.

“I figured we had a good chance for the boys, but the girls, I thought it would be a toss-up because the seeds seemed evenly split,” Huntingdon coach Melanie Varner said. “I don’t know if it sunk in yet. I am just so proud of our kids. They do all the hard work. I just do a lot of yelling at them.”

Haley Goldstone, Mallory Woodward, Jaelyn Mitchell and Sydney Houck each won more gold for the girls, as did Andrew Edwards, Matias Berger, Nick Buckley and Ben Atherton. They all won gold on Friday.

On Saturday, Goldstone won the 100-yard freestyle (54.27), while the four girls teamed up to win the 400 freestyle relay (3:49.91). Woodward took second in the 100 backstroke (1:02.02) and will have to wait to find out if she did well enough to qualify for states. Houck was fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.88).

For the boys, Ben Atherton won the 100 backstroke (57.34) while Edwards, Berger, Buckley and Atherton won the 400 freestyle relay (3:24.77). Buckley took second in the 100 (49.29). Jake Atherton was third in the 500 freestyle (5:37.60).

In the Class 3A field, Hollidaysburg’s Shani Evans and Conor McKeirnan had solid days for the Golden Tigers.

Evans won gold in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.68). She finished second in the 100 freestyle (53.52), but coach Deb Solomon believes the time is good enough to get her through to states in that event as well.

“She swam extremely well. She exceeded her seeded time,” Solomon said. “With her breaststroke time, we were really excited for her. I thought 1:07 would be great but 1:06 was really exciting.”

McKeirnan placed second in the 100 freestyle in 53.52, but he, like Evans, will have to wait until Monday to find out if he qualifies for states. The top 16 district winners go in each event, and then the next best 16 times around the state also go.

“He will have to wait and see,” said Solomon on McKeirnan in the 100 free.

McKeirnan had already qualified for Bucknell University in two weeks in the 200 free.

McKeirnan, Nick Helsel, Dane Holtz and Will Tyndall finished second in the 400 freestyle relay in 4:02.12. Other Tigers included Allison Black, who took third in the 100 backstroke (1:04.91) and Emma McCall, who finished fourth (1:09.11). The girls 400 freestyle relay team of Megan Dinges, Clair Sauerland, Kara Vyborny and Black took fourth (4:02.12). Gage Paul was fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.91).

Altoona’s best showing for the girls team was Brittany Fouse, who took ninth in the 100 backstroke in 1:15.98. On the boys side, the top showing was the 400 freestyle relay team of Dylan Kratzer, Jared Mearkel, Blake Slobodnik and Rusty Focht, which placed fifth (3:54.29).

Cambria Heights had several top five performances in the 2A field.

The girls 200 freestyle relay team of Sarah Petry, Morgan Watt, McKenzie Watt and Maddi Dzurko took second (1:45.89) and fourth in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:56.57. Dzurko was third in the 100 butterfly (1:02.64) and fourth in the 100 freestyle (57.89). Petry placed fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:05.11), while Neil Sutton was fifth in the 200 freestyle (2:00.62).

On Friday, the Heights girls 200 freestyle relay team — the same four members — missed a gold medal by .63 seconds, placing second. Dzurko placed third in the 100 butterfly, while McKenzie Watt was sixth in the 100 butterfly and Morgan Watt sixth in the 50 freestyle. Petry was seventh in the 200 freestyle. On the boys side, Neil Sutton was fifth in the 200 freestyle where he set a school record.

Central’s Christopher Bush was second in the 200 IM, while teammate Jackson Jeffries was fourth in the 50 freestyle. Northern Cambria’s Jenna Grove was sixth in the 200 freestyle.


100 breaststroke: 1, Shani Evans, Hollidaysburg, 1:06.68; 7, Slair Sauerland, Hollidaysburg, 1:16.77; 9, Lauren Imler, Hollidaysburg, 1:19.07; 11, Julianna Kratzer, Altoona, 1:21.67; 12, Sarah Harmon, Altoona, 1:31.29. 100 freestyle: 2, Shani Evans, Hollidaysburg, 53.52; Megan Dinges, Hollidaysburg, 58.73; 8, Taylor Hileman, Hollidaysburg, 59.26; 10, Anastasia Slobodnik, Altoona, 1:02.83; 11, Julianna Kratzer, Altoona, 1:05.03. 500 freestyle: 7, Shannon Campbell, Hollidaysburg, 6:03.95; 8, Aggie Hoover, Hollidaysburg, 6:10.73; 9, Lilly Evans, Hollidaysburg, 6:25.47. 100 backstroke: 3, Allison Black, Hollidaysburg, 1:04.91; 4, Emma McCall, Hollidaysburg, 1:09.11; 9, Brittany Fouse, Altoona, 1:15.98; 10, Elizabeth Manley, Altoona, 1:16.72. 400 freestyle relay: 4, Hollidaysburg (Dinges, Sauerland, Kara Vyborny, Black), 4:02.12.


100 freestyle: 2, Conor McKeirnan, Hollidaysburg, 48.03; 6, Will Tyndall, Hollidaysburg, 51.85; 9, Dane Holtz, Hollidaysburg, 55.92; 11, Jared Mearkel, Altoona, 58.72. 500 freestyle: 6, Aidan Bouchard, Hollidaysburg, 5:29.89; 7, Parker Grigg, Hollidaysburg, 5:34.92; 8, Nick Helsel, Hollidaysburg, 5:38.72; 9, Blake Slobodnik, Altoona, 5:46.11. 100 backstroke: 7, Bob Burns, Hollidaysburg, 1:06.20; 8, Bouchard, Hollidaysburg, 1:06.59; 9, Dylan Kratzer, Altoona, 1:08.10. 100 breaststroke: 4, Gage Paul, Hollidaysburg, 1:08.91; 5, Zach Grabill, Hollidaysburg, 1:11.39; 8, Seth Lowey, Hollidaysburg, 1:15.81. 400 freestyle relay: 2, Hollidaysburg (Helsel, Holtz, Tyndall, McKeirnan); 5, Altoona (Dylan Kratzer, Jared Mearkel, Blake Slobodnik, Rusty Focht), 3:54.29. 100 breaststroke: 6, Rusty Focht, Altoona, 1:13.66; 7, Dan McCoy, Altoona, 1:15.40.


100 freestyle: 1, Haley Goldstone, Huntingdon, 54.27; 4, Maddi Dzurko, Cambria Heights, 57.89; 8, Morgan Watt, Cambria Heights, 59.76; 9, Jaelyn Mitchell, Huntingdon, 59.97. 500 freestyle: 9, Zane Kazmarski, Huntingdon, 6:09.70; 10, Madi Buckley, Huntingdon, 6:12.27. 100 backstroke: 2, Mallory Woodward, Huntingdon, 1:02.02; 4, Sarah Petry, Cambria Heights, 1:05.11. 100 breaststroke: 4, Sydney Houck, Huntingdon, 1:12.88; 10, Katie Freeberg, Huntingdon, 1:22.27. 400 freestyle relay: 1, Huntingdon (Mitchell, Woodward, Houck, Goldstone), 3:49.91; 4, Cambria Heights (Petry, Mo. Watt, Mc. Watt, Dzurko), 3:56.57. 200 freestyle: 7, Sarah Petry, Cambria Heights, 2:08.52. 50 freestyle: 6, Morgan Watt, Cambria Heights, 26.74. 200 IM: McKenzie Watt, Cambria Heights, 2:33.79. 100 butterfly: 3, Maddi Dzurko, Cambria Heights, 1:02.64; 6, McKenzie Watt, Cambria Heights, 1:08.49. 200 freestyle relay: 2, Cambria Heights (Petry, Mo. Watt, Mc. Watt, Dzurko), 1:45.89


100 freestyle: 2, Nick Buckley, Huntingdon, 49.29; 6, Andrew Edwards, Huntingdon, 52.52; 10, Neil Sutton, Cambria Heights, 54.49; 12, Luke Atherton, Huntingdon, 55.41. 500 freestyle: 3, Jake Atherton, Huntingdon, 5:37.60. 100 backstroke: 1, Ben Atherton, Huntingdon, 57.34; 4, Marshall Lowe, Huntingdon, 1:02.05; 10, Max Hosler, Huntingdon, 1:09.73. 100 breaststroke: 6, Julian Groenendaal, Huntingdon, 1:08.20; 9, Adam Bobak, Cambria Heights, 1:12.86. 400 freestyle relay: 1, Huntingdon (Edwards, Matias Berger, Buckley, B. Atherton), 3:24.77. 200 freestyle: 5, Neil Sutton, Cambria Heights, 2:00.62. 200 medley relay: 7, Cambria Heights (Michina, Bobak, McCombie, Sutton), 2:03.34. 200 freestyle relay: 9, Cambria Heights (Michina, Bobak, McCombie, Sutton), 1:48.80.