Pine-Richland swimmer Schonbachler makes statement
For the second consecutive season, Pine-Richland's Ryan Schonbachler made the trip to Bucknell for the PIAA Class AAA swimming championships. But this time, the senior collected two top-15 finishes.
Schonbachler took 14th in both events last weekend: in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 42.12 seconds, and the 500 freestyle (4:37.49).
Although he said he wasn't pleased about adding a few seconds to his time in the 500 free that won him first place at this year's WPIAL championships, Schonbachler said he is proud of scoring a handful of points for his school in the team standings.
“The top 16 in those events actually place for team points, so both of those swims were team-scoring events,” Schonbachler said.
“The 200, I felt very confident. That one I felt really smooth in, really long and relaxed. And then with the 500, it was a little slow and choppy, but the same thing kind of happened last year so it wasn't unexpected.”
From here, Schonbachler will travel to Christiansburg, Va., to go up against some of the best swimmers in the region at the Speedo Sectionals. After that, the WPIAL champion and two-time state qualifier said he is looking forward to beginning his college swimming career at Pitt.
Until then, Schonbachler said he still is soaking up the fact he has just completed his final meet for Pine-Richland.
“I don't think it's really sunk in yet,” he said. “I'm having mixed emotions about it. I'm getting ready to be done with high school, but I'm really going to miss the team and the people on it.
“I'm starting to realize it now. It's really great to know that this is what I've been able to do over the course of my high school career. It's where it all started, working with the coaches and the other swimmers to improve myself. It's a great feeling to have done that and seen others improve, as well.”
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.