LEWISBURG – It’s not often that Northern senior Kate Luft has someone pass her in the water.
Yet, while it happened during Wednesday’s first day of the PIAA Class 2A Swimming Championships at Bucknell University, Luft can take heart in a terrific silver medal-winning 200 freestyle swim of 1:49.15.
The fact that the time came immediately after she opened the Polar Bears’ seventh place 200 medley relay was not lost on Luft.
Leading for most of the 200 free, Luft knew that Northgate’s Karen Siddoway closed the gap and ended up touching her out by a miniscule .07 seconds.
“It was hard going back-to-back, so I couldn’t be more happy that I got a best time,” she said. “At the beginning, I knew I was ahead and I saw her coming and coming, catching up and catching up. It was all I could do to keep spinning my arms. At that point there was not that much I could do other than finish the race and do my best.”
She was not the only state silver medalist from the area on display at Bucknell.
The hardware brigade started during 2A girls’ diving when Erica Kenski of Trinity earned a silver medal and Boiling Springs’ Lily Reighard scored a fifth-place medal.
The senior was all smiles after totaling 382.35 points, adding that she felt more at ease at states than during her District 3 gold performance.
“I am so proud of how I did today,” she said. “It’s my first time at states. I had no past experience and came in as an unknown senior. I feel I did the best of any 11-dive meet I have ever dove.”
Reighard, a junior, was also quite happy. Her score of 334.60 gave her the highest state medal won by a Bubbler girl at states. A “nothing-to-lose” approach was the key.
“Essentially, it was consistency,” Reighard said. “It’s better to keep getting five and six scores than two great dives and two poor ones. I came in here knowing this was the finish line. It makes me a little excited (for next year).”
The girls swimming finals started with Luft teaming with Evangeline Soerens, Dahna Yoon and Jackie Brettschneider to swim a 1:48.36 medley.
“I feel good about it. I am really proud of my relay. It’s the first state relay medal we have gotten in 3 or 4 years,” said Luft, the District 3 record holder and top seed in Thursday’s 100 backstroke. “It was really amazing and I am so proud I get to experience it with them. I am very excited for tomorrow.”
After tying for the 16th and final consolation swim spot in the 100 butterfly, Yoon was forced to swim off against Maia McAllister of Masterman. Although she had a terrific time, Yoon placed 17th.
East Pennsboro freshman Isabella Kil swam the consolations of the 200 individual medley and finished 10th overall.
Shippensburg won the consolation heat in the girls 200 free relay to place ninth and Trinity capped the day 15th in the free relay.
Seeded 23rd entering states, the Boiling Springs boys 200 free relay team swam the 11th fastest preliminary time to reach the consolations. Cole Ellis, Evan Kase, Kevin Barnes and Garrett Asper earned a terrific 16th-place finish.
Other girls results
Shippensburg’s Makenna Morris placed 18th in the butterfly and teammate Madison Osanitsch was 22nd in the 200 free. East Pennsboro placed 24th in the medley relay. Trinity’s Apple Burton was 23rd and Katelyn Boyce of Northern 24th in the 200 IM. Northern also garnered the 22nd spot in the 200 free relay. In the girls IM, Sara Turner of East Pennsboro was 20th
Other 2A boys results
Northern’s medley relay was 27th. Polar Bears junior Noah Spencer was 20th in the butterfly. Trinity teammates Scott Majka and Tommy Chase finished 24th and 26th, respectively, in the 200 IM and fellow Shamrock Rece Shelly was 29th.