Painter takes two second-place finishes at state meet
Kathryn Painter swam her way to a pair of individual titles at last month's WPIAL Class AAA championships, and she came seconds within duplicating that feat at the state level last week.
The Norwin junior registered runner-up finishes in the 200-yard individual medley and 500 freestyle at the PIAA Class AAA championships last Wednesday and Thursday at Bucknell University.
Painter began the competition Wednesday with a second-place finish in the 200 IM. She swam the race in 2 minutes, 1.78 seconds, finishing behind Hershey's Meaghan Raab, a University of Georgia recruit who posted a state-record time of 1:57.18.
“I wasn't really worried about (the second-place finish) because I know that I swam the best that I could,” Painter said. “I wasn't mad or sad about getting second because I was proud about how I swam; it didn't matter what place I got.”
Painter ran into another difficult race in the 500 freestyle. Though she swam a race-best time of 4:54.30 in the preliminaries and shaved her time down to 4:54.15 in the finals, Cumberland Valley senior Sabrina Mortell bested her with a time of 4:52.55 in the finals. Mortell swam 4:56.44 in the preliminaries.
Although Painter took second in both races, her times marked personal records.
Painter's performances were the best of competitors from Norwin, Franklin Regional and Penn-Trafford at the state swimming and diving meet. Her two second-place finishes propelled the Norwin girls to a 19th-place finish with 34 points. Hershey won the girls title.
Norwin's girls 400 free relay team of Painter, Rachael Smrekar, Hannah Rusinko and Courteney Hubert also competed at the state meet. The relay finished 19th in the preliminaries with a time of 3:37.81.
Franklin Regional's Alyssa Ruffing placed eighth in the 50 free, and Tyler Stevenson took 12th in the 200 IM. The Panthers' girls 200 free relay finished 16th. Penn-Trafford diver Joey Ference finished in 11th.
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib. Staff writer Jason Mackey contributed to this report.