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Schnars finishes PIAA state swimming championships with two 3rd place medals

By Kenny Varner

LEWISBURG – It was a great two days for Bellefonte swimmer Colton Schnars. Not only did he pick up a third place finish on his first day of individual competition but picked up a chance to capture another medal in on day two.

The final day of the PIAA State swimming competition had a number of Red Raiders vying for their time to shine on the podium, like teammate Schnars did the day before in his 3rd place finish in the 100-yard butterfly.

In the finals, Schnars was in heat two and lane 3 as he went for the gold. Despite a strong effort in the event, Schnars placed third with a time of 51.51 right behind record times from Brent Benedict from Corry and Griffin Schaetzel of Merceyhurst who finished with times of 48.74 and 50.92, respectively.

“Colton had an exceptional day today,” Bellefonte coach Serena Pfaff. “ We knew we had some competition coming in and it wasn’t going to handed to him and he had to work for it and that was the focus.”

The only female participant for Bellefonte Miranda Fedor was the first swimmer of the day, participating in the 100-yard backstroke. She was seeded in the first heat of the event and finished with an overall time of 1:03.33 good enough to place 30th in the state.

Patrick Scordato led off the boys portion of the day, swimming in the grueling marathon-type event, the 500-yard freestyle.

Starting in lane eight, Scordato got off to a strong and steady start but couldn’t keep up the pace of some of the others, finishing in 8th place in the heat and an overall placing of 32nd with a time of 5:11.18.

Through the first nine events, the Bellefonte boys team carried a team placing of 18th into its final few preliminaries.

Colton Schnars was back at it again, earning a place in the finals. Competing in the 100-backstroke, Schnars finished his heat in the top spot with a 52.00, good enough to qualify for the evening’s festivities. The magical time of 52.00 was good enough to earn him a third place seeding just behind leader Brent Benedict of Corry Area and Griffin Schaetzle of Mercyherst Prep. Benedict’s time of 48.55 was a new state record.

“He’s worked hard. He’s very focused and determined so he had his goals and he got where he wanted to be,” Pfaff said.

In the final team event of the day, the Bellefonte boys 400-yard freestyle event the group fought valiantly but did not pick up a quick enough time to qualify for the evenings finals activities but was able to qualify for the consolations. The team of Grey Rockey, Scordato, Finn Nixdorf and Schnars finished with a time of 3:22.11 good enough to capture a 14th place finish on the day.

In the night cap, the boys 400-yard freestyle relay finished fifth in the consolation round, finishing with a 3:21.02.

The event closed out a strong season for the Bellefonte boys and a good season for the girls as well.

“I am very proud of all of them. They worked hard this past week. We missed practices because of the weather so they had to compromise but that’s been our entire season,” Pfaff said. “This whole season has been a lot of adapting to things that have happened all season so this was a great outcome for a couple of roadblocks we had had. So I am pleased. I am very pleased.”

The Bellefonte boys team finished the meet as the 18th best AA team in the state.


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