SILVER SPRING TWP. — Jarod Anderson isn’t sure how he’s able to focus so narrowly on a singular task.
But even if the Big Spring swimmer doesn’t know how, he knows why. He doesn’t like to come up short, and near misses drive him crazy.
The senior breaststroke specialist had missed the District 3 Class 2A boys 100 breast record, a 58.51 set by Matt Weiser in 2001, last year by .05 seconds. The close call drove Anderson for the past 12 months.
“I don’t like missing things by that little of a timeline, so I really just worked all season to really get that this year, senior year,” he said Saturday from the pool at Cumberland Valley High School.
“I don’t know how I do it, when I’m driven to something, when I’m close to something I know I can get, I really focus on that one thing.”
Trips to PowerTrain Fitness in Carlisle and a reworked pull-out, plus Anderson’s obsessive focus, fueled the swim he had been dreaming of for more than a year, as Anderson set the new 100 breast district record with a 57.91.
“Honestly, I don’t even remember thinking during that race,” he said after the Bulldogs finished fifth as a team with 164 points. “I don’t even know where my mind was, it just happened.”
Anderson split his pull-out into two parts, separating the dolphin kick from the arm motion in a move that shaved precious time. The extra weight training also helped, as he topped Boiling Springs’ Peter Greenbaum by two full seconds.
It was a busy weekend for the senior, who surprised himself with a 200 IM gold Friday, in a time of 1:54.57. And his anchor leg in Saturday’s 400 free relay helped the Bulldogs claim fourth in 3:19.88, a hair behind Bishop McDevitt for bronze.
His 100 breast gold and Big Spring’s relay medal were the only two medals for the Bulldogs Saturday. Greg Kinch finished fourth in Friday’s 50 free and Anderson helped in their 200 free relay bronze medal performance, giving the Bulldogs a healthy contingent for the PIAA Class 2A championships at Bucknell University in two weeks.
“I’m just really happy with how this season’s been turning out,” Anderson said.
Webber tops 100 free podium
It was also a happy day for Boiling Springs’ Billy Webber.
The senior edged Schuylkill Valley’s Colin Gwiazdowski by .29 seconds to win the boys 2A opening event, the 100 free, with a 46.46.
“I did what I needed to do, coming into position, and I knew the second 50 I could come home faster than my competitors,” Webber said.
It was a great start for a Bubblers team that held a 19-point lead over York Suburban after Friday’s races. But YS, which never won a race over both days, used depth and consistent podium finishes to eventually catch and surpass the Bubblers, who ended with a fourth-place finish (201 points) in the District 3 championships.
Big Spring finished a distant fifth with 164 points.
Webber added his freestyle gold to his Friday 200 free silver and 200 free relay gold to return once more to Bucknell.
Boiling Springs got two medal performances Saturday, pairing Webber’s free win with Greenbaum’s breaststroke silver. Webber was elated with the team’s fourth-place finish, despite just five swimmers who qualified for individual district events.
“We were so happy,” he said.
“Our team’s small in general, even in the regular season. We’re all just so close and we only have a couple guys being able to qualify for these events.”
Wyant fights, claims bronze
Trinity’s Sarah Wyant was battling a cold during the District 3 championships, and she felt it during her third-place finish in the girls 2A 100 free.
Wyant had the luxury, if she could call it that, of opening the morning right away with the race, which she was seeded first in. She missed that seed time by tenths of a second, swimming a 53.21 for district bronze.
“I mean, it hasn’t been my best meet, but I’m not complaining,” said Wyant, who also finished second in Friday’s 50 free.
Schuylkill Valley freshman Marlee Rickert won with a 51.82, and James Buchanan’s Annabelle McCullough edged Wyant by .01 seconds.
“I have a cold and I’m feeling a little down and I just don’t have the pace that I normally (have),” said Wyant, who made states last year as a sophomore. “I’m looking forward to states a lot, hopefully it’s a lot better.”
Luft medals twice
Northern sophomore Kate Luft, younger sister of PIAA gold medalist and Polar Bears grad Becca Luft, swam two strong races in the 100 backstroke and the anchor leg of the 400 free relay, helping the Polar Bears tie for bronze with York Suburban as a team.
“It feels great, we all did really well,” Kate Luft said. “I’m really proud of my team.”
Luft swam a personal best in the back with a 55.70 to finish second behind a valiant effort by West York senior Courtney Harnish, who broke the District 3 record with a 54.95 out of the second heat.
“I’m actually really happy about (my PR),” Luft said. “I’ve come a long way from last year.”
And then Luft, moments after the back, anchored a free relay effort that claimed third (3:42.77). Luft’s anchor leg helped overcome at least one team. West York won with a 3:35.88.
The Polar Bears finished tied for third with York Suburban (183 points), beating fifth-place Trinity (158). Shippensburg’s girls (128) finished seventh, sending freshmen Madison Osanitsch and Makenna Morris to the 500 free podium with fourth- and fifth-place finishes, respectively.