The District 4 Swimming and Diving Championships open this week with plenty of local swimmers hoping to either repeat or reach the podium for the first time.
The two-day event at Williamsport features the best swimmers the District has to offer. These are the races we’ve all been thinking about throughout the year, and there will be plenty of good storylines to follow. Let’s take a look.
Repeating Champions Looking to Repeat
The District 4 Swimming and Diving Championships is a mix between individual performances and groups of swimmers competing for the greater good of the team. Each individual will have a chance to qualify in their respective event along with helping the team secure a top overall finish.
For the individual swimmers, especially on the boy’s side of the meet, there is a chance for a lot of repeating champions. Of the 11 events, not including diving since there’s only one event, six were claimed by a repeating champion last year. Sayre’s Caleb McClelland won the 200 free, and 500 free, Danville’s Luke Stine won the 100 fly and the 100 back, and Lewisburg’s Christian Coleman won both the 200 IM and the 100 free. Both Stine and Coleman will be back for this year’s meet. McClelland might not be back for Sayre, but his brother Joshua, who won the 50 free, will be back.
Both Coleman and Stine have looked outstanding throughout the regular season. Both should contend for top spots. They will also be key in helping their respective schools compete in the three relay events that include the 200 medley, 200 free, and 400 free.
Central Columbia, which won the boy’s side of the District 4 meet, claimed all three relays last year and should still be a threat as most swimmers on those relays return.
The girl’s side of the District 4 meet features the return of a three-time State Champion in Shamokin’s Abby Doss. She will once again be favored for the 200 IM and the 500 free.
As for the local scene, plenty of swimmers should enter the meet with high hopes. Jersey Shore’s Jordan O’Connor has been outstanding all season and will likely compete for the top overall spot in multiple events. She will also be helping Jersey Shore’s 200 medley relays, and 200 free relays attempt to repeat as champions.
Warriors Hoping for Big Two-Day Run
Montoursville’s Sam Jordan and Kurtis Johnson will enter this week’s meet with the hopes of claiming a few events. Those two along with Angelo Silvagni and Jacob Fellinger will be serious contenders in a loaded field of relays on the boy’s side.
Montoursville’s final dual meet prior to the District 4 meet saw Jordan and company taking on Lewisburg. The Green Dragons group of Thomas Haynos, Christian Coleman, Jack Drouin, and Austin Blakeslee are some of the best swimmers in the area. Montoursville got the better of the Green Dragons, which should give the group a lot of confidence as it heads into the District 4 meet this week.
“We’re hoping to get first, but that all depends on the other teams,” Jordan said. “There are a lot of other competitive teams. We should be in the top three for sure.”
Jordan and Johnson, who have spent the entire season competing against each other, are outstanding freestyle swimmers. They have performed well in freestyle events throughout the season. Jordan even won the 500 free during the meet against Lewisburg. He’s typically a sprinter, competing in the 50 free.
Dragons Hoping for Another Big Send Off
Lewisburg has perfected the art of sending their seniors off with one final boom at the District meet. This year should be no different as Christian Coleman and Lauren Michaels headline a solid group of seniors who return with District gold medals.
Coleman returns as the 200 IM and 100 freestyle champion from a season ago. He also returns as a state qualifier, which should give him plenty to feel good about as he enters the meet. He qualified early in the season and has spent his time fine-tuning his technique in the hopes of more gold.
“I feel really strong,” Coleman said. “I feel like our team is really strong at the moment. Everybody will be tapered and well rested. I just want to work on the little things. Faster reactions and better starts. The little stuff.”