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Improvement is goal for district meet

Silver for Juniata’s Houtz is top medal

Sentinel photo by MATT STRICKER
Mifflin County’s Ella Stuck competes in the girls 200-yard individual medley during the District 6 Class 3A swimming and diving championships Friday at Penn State’s Natatorium.

UNIVERSITY PARK — One of the goals for each member of the Mifflin County swim team is to simply do their best and finish each race with their fastest time.

In their first day of action in the District 6 Class 3A swimming and diving championships, all has gone well according to that plan — there were personal records broken all over the Penn State Natatorium in the first day of the meet.

“That’s exactly what I’m looking for. All I want to see is your knocking down your time and improving,” Mifflin County coach Gretchen Seyler said. “In practically every event today we lowered our times.”

It was also a day when to Juniata swimmers show their expertise as well, in the Class 2A meet.

Junior Sydney Houtz finished second in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.18. She will have to wait until all district meets are over to see if she receives an at-large bid to states. Only the winner advances automatically.

Sentinel photo by MATT STRICKER
Juniata’s Emily Houtz competes in the girls 200-yard individual medley during the District 6 swimming at diving championships Friday at Penn State.

It’s been quite a personal rivalry for Houtz and Penns Valley swimmer and winner of the 100 butterfly, Sophia Gearhart, who posted a state-qualifying time of 57.21. The two have been competitors since they were elementary age.

“They swam against each other this season at the Juniata Valley YMCA. So that’s where they got those seed times,” Juniata coach Amy Houtz said. “They do this all the time, they go back and forth. Hopefully this time will get (Sydney) there but we’ll just have to see.”

A year ago, Sydney Houtz advanced in two events and became the first from her school to win a state medal in the sport.

Juniata freshman Emily Houtz finished fourth in the 200-yard individual medley with a personal best time of 2:24.63.

Mifflin County put a few swimmers on the medal stand.

The boys 200-yard medley relay was third, as was Hannah Bonson in the 200-yard freestyle. In the boys medley, the team of Ethan Andrews, Ethan Patkalitsky, Adam Clemson and Calvin Ivie finished with a time of 2:08.85, an improvement of nearly six seconds from their prior best.

Mifflin County’s girls 200 medley team also recorded its best time, posting a 1:58.84.

Bonson finished third in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:03.65. Teammate Morgan Robinette finished with a season best time of 2:12.79 in the event.

In a fast moving field, the Huskies upped their tempo as well. From the very first race, Mifflin County battled rival State College.

In the girls 200-yard individual medley, Ella Stuck finished with a fifth place time of 2:22.82, down almost two seconds from her top race.

Mifflin County had two girls in the 50-yard freestyle. Julia Montgomery finished with a season best time of 28.72, dropping of more than a second. Madeline Baisey finished with a season best time of 27.81.

The boys also had two competitors in the 50 free.

Clemson finished with a best time of 26.21 while teammate Ivie had a best time of 26.94. Teammate Ethan Andrews finished sixth in the boys 200 IM with a time of 2:17.66.

Macy Becker placed fifth in the 100-yard butterfly with a season low of 1:03.54.

Mifflin County ended the day like it started, with new bests.

In the girls 200-yard freestyle relay, the combination of Becker, Julia Montgomery, Baisey and Robinette finished with a 1:49.72, three seconds off their previous best.

Rounding out the night for the Huskies was the boys 200 freestyle relay — Andrews, Patkalitsky, Ivie and Clemson — who were fifth with a time of 1:50.94.

The meet concludes this afternoon.

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