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Quaker Valley swimmers adjust to delay at PIAA meet

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 7:54 p.m.
Quaker Valley's Maddy Andrews (third from right) took third in the 500-yard freestyle at the state championships.
The Quaker Valley 200-yard freestyle relay team of, from left, Harry Harkins, Kevin Bergdoll, Andrés Hübsch and Michael Parker.
Northgate's Karen Siddoway (left) and Maddy Andrews at the state championships.
Quaker Valley's Amelia Besterman (left) and Maddy Andrews at the state championships.
Quaker Valley's (from left) Alyse Ray, Maddy Andrews, Amelia Besterman and Sophie Besterman at the state championships.

The Quaker Valley boys and girls swimming teams fell short of their goals at the PIAA Class AA championship meet Thursday and Friday at Bucknell University in Lewisburg.

The two are in 14th and 12th places, respectively, so far. Diving will be held Saturday and Sunday. The Quakers had no one qualify.

Senior Maddy Andrews was the only Quaker to earn medals individually.

Andrews was third in the girls 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 51.41 seconds) and 500 freestyle (4:59.31).

“I gained time, but I went my second-best times, so I am still pleased with my results,” said Andrews, who claimed victories in both events at the WPIAL championship earlier this month.

Senior Amelia Besterman finished 12th in the 200 individual medley (2:10.82) and 10th in the 500 freestyle (5:11.83).

“It was a very different meet with the delay due to weather,” Besterman said, referring to the lack of preliminaries. “We all had to make the best of it.”

The 200 freestyle relay of freshmen Sophie Besterman and Alyse Ray, Amelia Besterman and Andrews was ninth (1:39.38) and missed the podium by one place. They were WPIAL champions in the event. The foursome came in 13th in the 400 freestyle relay (3:40.18) to earn points in the final event.

“I think we all did the best we could under the circumstances,” Sophie Besterman said, adding she will always remember competing with her sister.

The boys, who won the WPIAL title for the third year in a row, came up with medals in only one event.

The 200 freestyle relay of juniors Kevin Bergdoll and Michael Parker, sophomore Andres Hubsch and senior Harry Harkins placed eighth (1:29.73). They were first at the WPIAL championship.

Harkins, the WPIAL champion in both, was 10th in the 50 freestyle (21.53) and ninth in the 100 freestyle (47.07).

The 200 medley relay of Hubsch, Bergdoll, junior Declan McGranahan and Harkins came in 10th (1:40.02).

“It was a little sad knowing it was (my) last time swimming for (Quaker Valley), but I tried to keep that out of mind, and just think about having fun with my teammates,” Harkins said.

Hubsch was impressed by the competition.

“It was a really good experience to see all of these fast swimmers from all over the state in one place,” he said.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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