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Williamsport Swimmers Make the Most of Two-Day Swimming and Diving Championships at Bucknell

A small group of swimmers, decked out in red and white, sat together after the prelims of the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

The group sat together, joked, tried to work on British accents, and enjoyed every second of the moment. Williamsport’s young crop of swimmers adjusted after a tough first day in the pool. The group knew it was going to be more about the experience than contending for medals. That mentality might very well have the young Millionaire swimmers in position to produce a positive future for the team.

“With all the hard work and things, we learned this year we’ll be even close next year,” Sophomore Lydia Smith said. “With a coach like the Nate, the rest of the coaching staff and our team, having fun is the best part. He teaches us to find the positive and that’s helped so much not only in swimming, but in life. We have so much trust in our coaches.”

Smith swam in the 50 free. She finished the race in 25.75, finishing 31st. It wasn’t the finish she hoped for, but with a wildly successful season, outstanding district 2 meet, and the experience of reaching the AAA Swimming and Diving Championships, it’s easy to see why the future is bright for the young swimmer.

Smith also gained valuable experience as a leader. She was the oldest of the young group, which meant she was expected to lead the group through the two days at Bucknell.

“Everybody is on another level at States,” Smith said. “The girls are a lot bigger, but it’s awesome. I love seeing the competition that’s out there. The past couple years we’ve got close to the main group. Each year we’ve got close and with all the hard work and things we’ve learned we’ll be back next year.”

Isabelle Griswold was another swimmer with prior experience at the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Griswold competed in both the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay with Williamsport.

The group of Smith, Amy Jarvis, Griswold, and Mallory Pardoe competed in the 200 free at the conclusion of the first day. The group posted a 1:41.97 which was a second higher than their District 2 time. The entire group will be back next year.

“Our new coach has done such a good job for us,” Samuel Hillman said. “It’s not just in the water. There’s team bonding outside the pool. It’s definitely a positive step in the right direction. It’s not just how the season goes it’s about the friends you make the memories you make that last after the season is over.”

Hillman swam with Matthew Beard, Joshua Bonislawski and Jack Beattie in the 400 free. The group finished 28th with a time of 3:19.63.

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