ShareThis Page

Harkins leads Quaker Valley into PIAA meet

| Monday, March 13, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Quaker Valley's Harry Harkins competes in the boys 100 freestyle  during the AA WPIAL swimming championship Friday, March 3, 2017, at Trees Pool.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley's Harry Harkins competes in the boys 100 freestyle during the AA WPIAL swimming championship Friday, March 3, 2017, at Trees Pool.
Quaker Valley's Harry Harkins
Quaker Valley's Harry Harkins

Quaker Valley senior Harry Harkins had no firm goals heading into the PIAA Class AA boys swimming championship meet Thursday and Friday at Bucknell.

“I'm just going to try to do what I did at WPIALs: give it my all, and make a memorable last high school meet,” he said.

Harkins came in first in the 50-yard freestyle (21.33 seconds) and 100 freestyle (46.74) events at the WPIAL championship March 2-3 at Pitt. He was seeded fifth in both at the PIAA meet.

He anchored the winning 200 freestyle relay (1 minute, 29.84 seconds) and the 200 medley relay (1:40.45) that placed third.

He carried the Quakers to their third consecutive WPIAL title and raised their hopes for a top-10 finish at states. The Quakers were PIAA champion in 2015 with Harkins as a contributor.

“As (a) senior and team captain, I knew it was my role to lead,” he said.

Quakers first-year coach Jacinta Batisky said Harkins has been indispensable.

“Drawing on his previous years of experience, he seemed to have taken precise notes (on) things such as preseason captain's practices, pre-meet psych-up routine and even (the) hair-dying ritual,” she said. “He has been a constant and reliable leader for this team.”

Harkins was proud how every one contributed to the WPIAL championship.

“It took an enormous team effort,” he said.

The meet came down to the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, which Harkins enjoyed watching.

“This was actually my first WPIALs in which I did not compete in the 400 freestyle relay,” he said. “Being able to watch my teammates place high enough to give us the win was extremely exciting.”

Harkins was surprised by his two individual victories.

“I just wanted to swim personal-best times and place in the top three,” he said. “When I touched the wall and saw I had won the 50, I was in disbelief.

“Going into the 100, I was even more nervous than before because it felt as if there were more expectations on me.”

Harkins holds school records in both events.

“Looking at the (Quaker Valley) record board, it's obvious Harry has been one of the most talented athletes (to) have come through the boys program,” Batisky said, adding she trusts him to know how to win.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me