4 MC swimmers notch post-season times

BURNHAM – Mifflin County’s Evan Becker was neck-and-neck the whole way with State College’s Brian Nordgen and Jordan Hillsley in the boys 200 yard individual medley when the teams faced off for a Commonwealth Division swim meet Thursday in Burnham.

In the end, Becker didn’t win, but he did make time for the Mid-Penn and District 6 meets. Becker made the accomplishment along with Ali McCurdy, Drew Kline and Zack Bonson, all of whom also swam qualifying times for one or both of the post-season meets.

“He’s been tremendous,” Mifflin County swimming coach Amy Houtz said of Becker. “He’s been improving every meet. He’s been making Mid-Penn times and making district times. It’s great to see him swim.”

The Huskies lost the girls meet by a 126-41 final and the boys by a 125-26 margin.

Becker eventually lost out by seconds to finish third behind Nordgen and Hillsley, touching the wall at 2:13.12 four hundredths of a second behind Hillsley and 29 hundredths behind Nordgen.

The sophomore was leading the race through 100 yards, but his third leg caused him to fall behind and face a deficit he couldn’t make up.

He needed a sub-30 second fourth leg to come in first, but the best he could do was a 30.23 second leg, which was best among the four competitors but not enough to take the race.

“It’s just all in learning pacing and everything,” Houtz said. “It’s how he approaches the race. We work on that every single practice. He’s been getting better and better at it every single meet. It’s just something to keep improving on. He’s been doing excellent at it, that’s why he’s making the times.”

Becker also came in second in the boys 100 yard freestyle with a time of 54.49.

He made up plenty of time on the winner in the second 50 of the race, but it wasn’t enough to catch Joseph Liechty of State College, who won in 53.97.

The sub-55 second time was good enough to qualify for states.

Bonson also earned a Mid-Penn qualifying time in the boys 500 yard freestyle, coming in at 5:27.66.

Kline missed a Mid-Penn time in the boys 100-yard breaststroke by a little over a second, but did make a districts-qualifying time.

On the girls side, the Huskies were again led by freshman McCurdy.

McCurdy earned three points in the girls 100 yard breaststroke, coming in at 1:24.01.

McCurdy finished behind second place Hannah Finton of State College (1:20.10) and the winner Sarah Koberna, who finished in a blistering 1:14.41.

“I’d say probably Ali McCurdy is tops (among girls),” Houtz said. “She made districts in the 100 butterfly. She’s been really doing great this season.”

Allison Besch also turned in a three-point, third-place finish for the Huskies.

She finished the girls 50-yard freestyle in 29.53, tops among Mifflin County competitors in the event.

The Mifflin County girls earned eight points in the girls 400 yard freestyle relay, finishing in a time of 4:45.17.

The team consisted of Besch, Claire Mulkey, Rachael Spotts and Jenna Kile.

Becker, Bonson and McCurdy all made district qualifying times during the meet.

The Huskies will compete next on Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. when they host Bellefonte.