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PIAA swim meet has silver lining for Zimcosky

| Sunday, March 16, 2014, 10:36 p.m.

LEWISBURG — Geibel's Emily Zimcosky wanted to have a little fun.

She knew there would be no way to jettison her nerves Saturday morning and afternoon at the PIAA Class AA swimming and diving championships at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.

But once she began the 100-yard freestyle — the first event of the day's final session — Zimcosky wanted to have fun with it.

“I really just wanted to go in and have fun,” Zimcosky said. “I'm usually really hard on myself, and the 100 is my favorite event. I'm usually extremely nervous for it. I just wanted to enjoy it as much as I could.”

Zimcosky was all smiles after her time of 50.52 seconds netted a second silver medal in as many days.

“You just have to think, ‘I trained so hard for this. All my hard work is going to pay off. And if it doesn't, oh well,' ” said Zimcosky, who won silver in the 50 free Friday. “I would be upset if it didn't, but the sun's still going to shine.”

Zimcosky's second-place finish in the 100 free came a few hours after her brother, John Paul, took seventh in the boys' race with a time of 48.00.

While John Paul Zimcosky insisted the 50 free is his primary event — “I just like the ‘splash and dash,' ” he said — he wished the turns in his 100 free would have been better.

“I was happier with them tonight than I was (Saturday) morning,” John Paul Zimcosky said. “I felt they could have been better. It is what it is. Can't really change it now. All I can do is go back and practice them again.”

Overall, the Mars boys won gold in the 400 freestyle relay, and the Planets claimed their first PIAA Class AA team title.

West Allegheny's Jarod Kehl won his second PIAA title in as many days, taking gold in the 500 free with a time of 4:28.80.

Villa Maria Academy won the Class AA girls team title with 220 points.

Other notable local finishes included Mt. Pleasant's Fallon Nelson, who was 16th in the 500 free (5:18.91). Laurel Highlands' 400 free relay team of Logan Knoyer, Jacob Hughes, Brandon Thomas and Lucas Thomas placed ninth (3:17.49). Lucas Thomas was 22nd in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.10).

The Zimcoskys train together often, and John Paul coached Emily before the 100 free final on getting a better start, likening it to the push needed in the 50.

“I struggled with my start (Saturday morning), and that's the one thing that threw off my time,” Emily said. “He was like, ‘It's exactly like the 50. You have to learn from it.' We definitely show each other what we need to tweak in the events.”

Emily Zimcosky made the necessary adjustments. And the result turned out to be kind of fun.

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