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MC swimmers bring home medals; Juniata Houtz advances

UNIVERSITY PARK -It was a medal-full weekend for local teams in the District 6 Swimming Championships.
On day two of competition, Juniata’s Sydney Houtz made history in the team’s first season as she finished first and set a new District 6 Class AA record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.59.
“It’s pretty intense. I haven’t hit a time like that since last year about this time. Houtz said afterward. “I’m really happy about it.”
For Mifflin County, the Huskies Coach Gretchen Seyler was kept busy during the medal ceremony as many of her swimmers not only finished with personal bests but also found their way onto the podium.
“This weekend has been phenomenal. It’s more than I ever could of imagined. I am so impressed on how much time they dropped. They all deserve medals. I am super proud of them,” Huskies coach Gretchen Seyler said. “It just showed that all this hard work that we do pays off at the end.”
In the opening race of the day, the girls 100-yard freestyle and it was a strong one for Mifflin County.
Morgan Robinette finished first in her heat with a personal best time of 58.31, taking over three seconds off her previous time.
Teammate Rachel Kohler was fifth in her heat finishing at 1:00.10, also her seasonal best.
Robinette and Kohler finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Braden Kibe finished with a fifth place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a best time of 52.28 while teammate Cade Pollock finished with a personal best time of 57.06.
Kevin Neavling placed 5th in the grueling 500-yard freestyle. and also landed on the podium.
Macy Becker looked strong in her heat in the 100-yard backstroke with a personal best of 1:09.05.
Ethan Andrews also medaled for the Huskies as he placed sixth in the boys 100-yard backstroke with a best time of 1:01.85. He ended up knocking a full three seconds off his previous best.
Teammate Alex Larson bested his time in the same event finishing with a time of 1:04.19.
Hannah Bonson notched a sixth place nod after her 1:14.87 in the girls breaststroke.
It was a nailbiting finish in the girls 400-yard relay as the team of Becker, Robinette, Kohler and Bonson rallied from behind to finish in third place on the last stroke, finishing tied for third with a time of 3:58.09. The team’s previous best was 4:09.68.
The team finished out its very productive weekend with the boys 400-yard relay team that finished with a person best time of 3:38.88.
Kibe, Pollock, Larson and Neavling dropped their record time from 3:45.82.
In the AA boys 100-yard breaststroke Juniata’s Sean Fitzgerald finished with a time of 1:19.66.
“His goal of the season was the qualified for districts and he did just that,” said Juniata coach Mike Fitzgerald. “You can probably say that he finish the season out swimming at Penn State University.”
The ends pleasantly for Mifflin County as their coach watched as her team seemed to peak at the right time but for Juniata and Houtz, they will be heading to Bucknell for state competition.
But her coach Fitzgerald won’t forget the race for a long time to come.
“We are very excited. It was an exciting race to watch and watch her come out of the turn and be ahead,” Fitzgerald said. “When we saw her time at the end we couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

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