It’s Fun to Swim at the YMCA


Junior Abby Whipple prepares to dive in for her leg of the 400 yard freestyle relay at a swim meet on Friday, January 11th. The meet was against Bellefonte, Penns Valley, St. Joseph’s, and Central Bucks, with the State High girls and boys winning. “I swim better when the whole team is behind me,” said Whipple.

Quincy Steidle, Staff Writer

On Friday, January 11th, the State College Area High School boys’ and girls’ swim teams met at the Centre County YMCA for an aquatic showdown against two local high schools: Bellefonte Area High School and Penns Valley Area High School, with St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy and Central Bucks submitting exhibition swimmers.  The boys’ team beat Bellefonte by a score of 123-30. The girls had a tri-meet, defeating Bellefonte by a score of 65-29, and Penns Valley by a score of 58-33.

Team captains Payton Nicastro, Noah Witt, Sarah Finton, and Maya Urbanski led the boys’ and girls’ teams to victory in 14 events, including the girls and boys 200 Yard Medley Relay, the girls and boys 200 Yard Freestyle, the boys 200 Yard IM, boys and girls 100 Yard Butterfly, the boys 100 Yard Freestyle, boys 500 Yard Freestyle, boys 200 Yard Freestyle Relay, boys 100 Yard Backstroke, boys 100 Yard Breastroke, girls 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, and boys 400 Yard Freestyle Relay. “I value hard work without recognition,”  Nicastro said, who swam the anchor leg for the boys 200 Yard Freestyle Relay with junior Foster Heasley and seniors John Cottingham and Joseph Mao, taking first with a strong time of 1:34.92.

“I swim better when the whole team is behind me,” junior Abby Whipple said, “Being a part of that is a privilege I get.” Whipple swam the anchor leg on the winning girls 400 Yard Freestyle Relay with sophomore Colleen Adams and seniors Sarah Finton and Meghan Hughes.

Whipple also swam on the girls 200 Yard Freestyle Relay with senior Shea Stuyvesant, freshman Mackenzie Pagett, and junior Sarah Ambrose, finishing with a time of 1:50.70, which would have placed first had the relay not been entered as exhibition.

“I like the challenge and the closeness of the team,” echoed junior Jodie Challis, who took second in both the 50 Yard Freestyle and 100 Yard Backstroke.  So far this season, the girls are 6-0 and the boys are 4-2. Over the next few dual meets in the coming weeks, State High will continue to prepare to compete at the Mid-Penn Conference Championship meet at the end of February and the District VI competition in early March of this year.