Winter Sports End with Record Breaker
Reece Whitley certainly knows how to provide outrageous entertainment.
In the far-and-away highlight of Penn Charter's participation Saturday on Day Two of the Eastern Invitational Swimming Championships at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Penn Charter's amazing junior broke a NATIONAL high school record and then . . . did so again.
This one? His own!
The event was the 100-meter breaststroke. First, in the morning prelims, Reece the Beast, as he's known in swimming circles, clocked 52.35 seconds to erase the previous mark of 52.65.
Interviewed after that event by the Delaware County Daily Times, Reece called the event "the most emotional swim I've ever had." He'd been thinking about breaking a national mark, he added, since his freshman year.
At night came the finals. Zooooooooom!
This time Whitley clocked 51.84 to crunch his own record by roughly half a second.
Then he looked to his side and was able to enjoy watching senior teammate Evan McFadden place fourth in 56.50. (Also, frosh Lance Rainer, who swam in the previous heat, finished 12th overall in 58.18.) Reece won his third straight Easterns male swimmer of the meet award.
In the 400 free relay, McFadden, senior Emmet Foley, junior Andrew Morris and Whitley used a time of 3:09.76 to earn eighth place while Morris placed 20th overall in the 100 free at 48.25.
Among the girls, freshman diver Avery Myers led the way by finishing seventh with 343.15 points. Also, the 400 free relay carved out a time of 3:39.10 to win its heat and place ninth overall. The foursome: freshmen Gabby Lopez-Ona and Sabrina Shaffer, soph Annika Murray and junior Madison Freeland.
In individual events, Shaffer was ninth in the 500 free (5:10.89), Freeland was 16th in the 100 free (54.33), Murray was 22nd in the 100 backstroke (1:02.75) and frosh Marissa Lopez-Ona (1:07.33) and senior Hannah Griffith (1:09.79 were eighth and 19th, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke.
Meanwhile, three members of PC's boys indoor track team made a much longer journey.
Seniors Akeem Blake, Chris Tucker and Dylan Burnett could be found at Penn State, competing in the Pennsylvania Track & Field Coaches Association's state championships.
Blake was a double-placer, earning fifth in the high jump with an effort of 6 feet, 4 inches, and eighth in the triple jump at 44-9 1/4.
"Tuck" claimed fifth in the 60-meter dash in 6.95 seconds. Burnett, who spent his winter as a basketball starter and co-captain, advanced as far as the semis in the 60-meter hurdles. He clocked 8.44 in the prelims, then 8.47 in the semis.
The wrestling team finished its season by competing in the National Prep Championships at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem. Here's a breakdown from coach Pete Shaifer.
Sophomore TJ Henry battled in this two losses . . . Junior Alex Koenig looked good in going 2-2 . . . Senior Billy Costello fell just short and had to watch two wrestlers he beat earlier in the year reach the podium . . . Senior Gene Naumovsky went 3-2 and finished in the top 12, just one win short of reaching the podium.
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