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Juniata’s Houtz wins backstroke

Victory clinches return to states

UNIVERSITY PARK — She’s back in the big show.

Juniata swimmer Sydney Houtz punched her ticket to the PIAA swimming and diving championships and did it record time.

Houtz, a junior, finished as district champion in the Class 2A 100-yard backstroke, breaking her own meet record with a time of 57.51 seconds. This guarantees her a trip to the state meet at Bucknell University. This is her fourth career district championship.

It appears she will also swim in the 100-yard butterfly in the state meet. The PIAA posted psych sheets — swimming’s form of seeding order — on its website Sunday for the first day in Lewisburg, and Houtz was sixth in that event. The top 16 swimmers statewide who are not automatic qualifiers advance to the meet.

The PIAA had not posted all meet documents Sunday and confirmation of her status was not available from District 6.

Teammate and sister Emily has a strong showing in her event as well.

Emily Houtz, a freshman, earned bronze in the 500-yard freestyle with a personal best of 5:43.76. for her first district medal.

“It was a good day. It was one that we hoped for coming in. Today turned out a little better than yesterday,” Juniata coach Amy Houtz said. “They seemed to get better as the meet went on. We’re anxious to keep moving.”

Mifflin County’s Hannah Bonson highlighted the day for the Husky swim team as she finished with a third place finish in the Class 3A 500-yard freestyle.

“It’s been a great season. They’ve all worked really hard,” Mifflin County coach Gretchen Seyler said. “Like I said yesterday with all the roadblocks like the weather and with the pool closings and other obstacles, they still were able to have a phenomenal weekend.

“It’s been a great season and I am looking forward to next season because I have two junior boys that participated this weekend and will be coming back next year.” she said. “Unfortunately, we will have to say goodbye to some senior girls that just participated in the relay team. Two of my leaders will be leaving and will be missed but we are hoping the younger girls can step up take their leadership roles.”

Bonson’s time of 5:34.01 was a personal best this season for her.

Starting off the event Saturday were Grace Parks and Julia Montgomery in the 100-yard freestyle. Both PR’ed as Parks finished with a 1:12.24 while Montgomery finished with a 1:05.72.

In the boys 100 freestyle, Calvin Ivie also did his season best, posting a 1:01.66.

Mifflin County got two strong efforts in the girls 100-yard backstroke as Madeline Baisey and Ella Stuck finished with times of 1:10.43 and 1:04.49, respectively.

On the boys side, Ethan Andrews finished with a time of 1:00.17.

Parks hit a personal best of 1:35.09 in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Ethan Patkalitsky finished fourth in his heat with a best time of 1:22.48.

In their final event of the night, the girls 400-yard freestyle relay of Macy Becker, Ella Stuck, Morgan Robinette and Hannah Bonson finished with a fourth place time of 3:53.18.

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