Upper St. Clair's Dudzinski sets new state record with gold medal swim
LEWISBURG — Upper St. Clair's Ryan Dudzinski would look at the PIAA record for Class AAA boys 100-yard butterfly and cringe.
That's because it was set in 2011 by Andrew Kosic of WC Henderson — whom Ryan's older brother, Kyle, finished third to that year.
After Ryan Dudzinski's blistering 100 fly Wednesday at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium — 47.44 seconds, only slightly off the facility record of 47.33 — Dudzinski won't have to think about 2011 anymore.
Now, he owns the state record.
“It was kind of a personal vendetta,” Dudzinski said.
Dudzinski's time beat out second-place Michael Jensen of Upper Dublin, and it completed a strong opening session for the Panthers.
After the first of two days here, La Salle College High School has 173 points to lead North Allegheny (118) and Upper St. Clair (109.5).
Besides Dudzinski, Alex Hardwick nearly caught La Salle's Kyle McElwee in the 200 free relay, but La Salle held on for a narrow win (1:23.12 to 1:23.35).
The early session's opening race was its most competitive. And exciting. La Salle finished first in the 200 medley relay ahead of North Allegheny and Upper St. Clair, but all three broke the PIAA mark.
North Allegheny's Zach Buerger trailed Michael Thomas of Hatboro-Horsham by nearly a full body length halfway through the 200 IM before closing with the breaststroke then passing Thomas in the freestyle.
Buerger's winning time was 1:45.64.
“I knew his backstroke was really strong, so I had a feeling he might be ahead at that point,” Buerger said. “But I knew if I kept to my race and worked that breaststroke that I would have a chance.”
North Hills' Noah Bostick earned his second consecutive medal in boys 1-meter diving with a third-place score of 473.75.
A finish that could not possibly have been any closer opened, then defined, the Class AAA girls race.
North Allegheny's 200 medley relay team of Jacquelyn Du, Erin Kuhn, Kayla Churman and Morgan Soulia finished second in 1:42.10. Hershey was first in 1:42.09.
“It was so close,” Churman said. “Too close to call.”
It was eerily similar to last year, too, when Hershey out-touched North Allegheny by three-hundredths of a second in the same race.
The near misses continued in the 50 free, where Mt. Lebanon's Katie Ford (23.16) was runner-up to Hershey's Madelyn Veith (23.13).
“Everything is close,” Ford said. “We're just getting out-touched.”
Norwin's Kathryn Painter swam a personal-best 2:01.78 in the 200 IM, but it mattered little to Georgia recruit Meaghan Raab of Hershey, who cruised in a state-record time of 1:57.13.
“I was proud about how I swam,” Painter said. “It didn't matter what place I got. I am happy I got second, though.”
North Allegheny closed the meet with a second-place finish — again to Hershey — in the 200 free relay.
The Class AAA portion of the meet wraps up Thursday with girls diving, as well as the 100 and 500 freestyle, the backstroke and breaststroke and the 400 freestyle relay.
Hershey leads North Allegheny in the girls team standings 159-130.