Fresh out of last week’s District 3 Class 2A diving championships, Trinity’s Riley Spahr had to shift gears in a hurry.
At the same time, Spahr will have to continue his diving practice. After all, his second-place finish at districts behind Jack Still, of Boiling Springs, qualified him for the PIAA championships.
However, Spahr is also a part of the Shamrocks swimming team, and qualified for the District 3 swim championships that begin Friday.
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“Starting tomorrow, I will start my taper,” he said while donning his silver medal earned on the board at Big Spring. “It’s hard to switch the mindset this quickly, but I have got to focus on swimming now, hoping our relay can make [states].”
The senior will enter his final district swimming championship meet as the seventh seed in the 100 backstroke, and as a part of Trinity relays, including the 200 medley that is ranked No. 3.
Taking up diving in ninth grade, Spahr has come a long way in both sports.
“I used to practice swimming and would look over into the diving well and think, ‘That looks really cool. I want to try that when I get to high school,’” he said. “I signed up and fell in love. It’s a lot of fun.
“I think I finished seven out of seven [divers] my freshman year and I have been working my way up. I was second last year and this year, so I am happy. It’s been a great journey.”
Of course, he had the best mentor available in former teammate Bradley Buchter, who not only won four straight district and state gold medals, but broke four PIAA records.
“I learned a lot from Bradley,” Spahr said.
He’s not the only one to dive and swim during the same season, but he is one of the better ones to do both.
Still, who battled Spahr on the diving boards many times this season, can’t believe how good his friend is.
“I am a terrible swimmer,” Still said while laughing. “[Bubblers] coach [Matt] Brenner will sometimes put me in on the 200 free relay, that’s the only time I ever swim. It’s only a 50 and I find that difficult.
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“The fact you can do both swimming and diving, and do so well in both, really amazes me.”
On March 16, Spahr could potentially do both during the PIAA Class 2A championships at Bucknell University. He will already be there to dive that day, but if the Shamrocks relay does well at districts, he may have to swim as well.
“That’s the plan,” he said. “It will be tough. But it will definitely be really cool. That has been my goal since ninth grade. I said by the end, I want to make it in both.”
Area top seeds
Carlisle senior Devon Chenot is the district’s No. 1 seed in both the 50 and 100 freestyle races in Class 3A boys, as is the Cumberland Valley boys 200 medley relay team.
The 2A girls division has several top seeds, including Shippensburg’s Madison Osanitsch in 200 free.
Sarah Wyant and Mimi Chase of Trinity are top seeds in the 100 free and 500 free, respectively.
Northern’s Kate Luft is the No. 1 seed in the 200 individual medley and is on the Polar Bears top-ranked 200 free relay.