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High School Sports

WPIAL swimmers set state records

| Saturday, March 15, 2008

LEWISBURG -- What started as a slow night for WPIAL swimmers hit record pace when Shady Side Academy's Trevor Scheid and Greensburg Central Catholic's Andrea Marko took their marks.

Scheid, a senior headed for Stanford University's renowned swimming program, broke his own 200-yard freestyle state record with a time of 1:38.35 finish to capture his 12th PIAA medal.

Marko set the state 100 butterfly record -- and won the only other gold medal by a Class AA WPIAL finalist so far -- at the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships Friday night.

The AA championships conclude with preliminaries and finals in six events today at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.

"I'm pretty excited about it, but I was hoping to go a little faster," Scheid said. "I just put way too much pressure on myself the whole year.

"I got way too nervous before my race," he said. "I'm not mad right now, but I'm not as happy as if I had gone 1:37 or something like that. My first 50 could have been faster, and my turns were a little sloppy."

Scheid said he would have been more upset if he hadn't lowered his previous PIAA mark of 1:39.02, which he established a year ago.

Marko, a sophomore from New Alexandria, had the opposite reaction: She stunned herself by winning in 54.92. "Gosh no, I never expected to set the state record," she said.

Runner-up Victoria Gillespie of Nazareth Academy challenged Marko most of the way before finishing more than a second behind in 55.93.

"The state record came out of nowhere, but I'll take that," Marko said. "Winning the state title, it hasn't hit me yet. I'm really excited.

"You can't express what it feels like to be on top (of the medals stand) unless you have been there," she said. "It's indescribable."

Marko lowered the record of 55.45 set by Yough's Kelsey Grushecky in 2005.

"My goal was to just win the race, and maybe next year get the state record," Marko said.

Marko, who said she swims up to 8,000 yards per practice and lifts weights twice a week, took third at states in the 100 butterfly last year.

Oakland Catholic grabbed the girls team lead with 92.5 points, followed by Radnor (72), Wyomissing (71) and Shady Side (71).

Hershey compiled 108 points to lead the boys team standings, followed by York Suburban (102) and Shady Side (91).

In AA girls events:

• Derry senior Amanda Palenchar, who will join the Penn State track and field team next year as a pole vaulter, earned a bronze medal in 1-meter diving with a score of 397.25. Allentown Central Catholic's Catherine Rose won the gold with a 421.65.

• Ambridge junior Briana Emig placed third in 1:54.55 in the 200 freestyle final.

• Oakland Catholic sophomore Aileen Smith finished fifth in 2:09.91 in the 200 IM final.

• Greensburg Salem junior Kim Davis placed fourth in 24.42 in the 50 freestyle final.

• Hampton won a silver medal in the 200 medley relay final in 1:51.41 with a lineup of Megan Hennessey, Alexis Garza, Megan Huber and Maggie Powers.

• Shady Side earned a bronze medal in the 200 freestyle relay final in 1:39.78 with a lineup of Vincett, Margaux and Alexis Georgiadis, and Anne Marie Bilott.

In boys AA action:

• With Scheid in the lead, Shady Side added a bronze medal in the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:28.35 finish. Frank Brown, Max Ginsberg and David Paulk completed the relay.

• Blackhawk junior Mark Stepanian won a bronze medal in the 50 freestyle final in 21.29.

• Blackhawk senior David Thayer placed sixth in the 200 IM in 1:58.16.

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