On a night when Danville Area High School honored its four graduating seniors, fans at The Peters Family Natatorium witnessed another season of perfection and an exciting finish to determine the final result for the boys meet.
Central Columbia unleashed its vast depth of talent and had little trouble in claiming another undefeated campaign (9-0) in beating the Danville girls, 132-51, while the Blue Jays rode the quick start from Hunter Krum in the opening leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay as the Blue Jays surprised the host Ironmen, 90-85, in the boys meet.
The seniors honored included Erin Leiby and Emily Haney on the girls team while Tyler Vella and Trevor Karchner were recognized for the boys.
The Blue Jays (4-5) needed to win the meet’s final event to secure the upset over the Ironmen (6-3) and the quartet of Krum, Nathan Mott, Colton Schrencengost and Ryan Farrell were just over eight seconds better (3:32.06) than their Ironmen counterparts (3:40.95) (Karchner, Vella, Noah Koltenuk and Joe Malafronte) to finish first and secure the victory in a thrilling regular-season ending for the winners.
“Our boys have been pretty solid all year long and knew what to expect from Danville coming into the meet,” Blue Jays coach Tim Gardner said. “They stepped it up in the final event to make it an exciting finish. Hunter was up to the challenge and gave us his usual great start and the rest of the unit completed the event.
“It’s usually close between us and Danville on the boys side, so the final margin of victory comes as no surprise to me.”
Farrell was also a member of the winning 200-yard medley squad (2:00.33), along with Tyler LaCroix, Colin Farrell and Dylan LaCros, while Mott captured the 200-yard freestyle in 1:59.86 and Krum contributed first-place points after capturing the 200-yard individual medley in 2:01.10; Schrencengos added a win in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.41.
“We are peaking with our training and this meet is a good indicator of just where we are at right now,” Gardner said. “I saw what I wanted and even though we purposely keep them worn down heading into the end of the season, we will now let up and begin to concentrate on getting re-energized and strong again for the district meet.”
Joe Gentilucci won the boys diving competition with 217.85 points, with teammates Nick Kapp (195.25) and Gage Reber (155.55) rounding out the top three finishers. Noah Koltenuk slipped past the Blue Jays’ Nathan Mott — 58.81 to 59.67 — to claim the 100-yard butterfly.
Joe Malafronte (50.17) slipped past Ryan Farrell (50.78) to take home the top spot in the 100-yard freestyle.
“I can’t say enough about how hard our boys work and we battled Central right down to the wire,” Ironmen coach Ryann McConnell said. “It was great that the outcome came down to the final event and we went all out and just came up short.”
The Lady Blue Jays capped another season of perfection (9-0) with their convincing victory over the Ironmen, using outstanding depth and talent to come away with the win in taking 10 of the 12 events.
Megan Shaffer, Katie A. Madden, Emily Sabo and Madi Heintzelman breezed to a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay in 2:00.67 while Madden won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:20.55 and Shaffer teamed with Sydney Price, Hannah Rafel and Heintzelman to claim the 400-yard freestyle relay in 4:15.50.
Sabo came home first (1:03.62) in the 100-yard butterfly and Heintzelman also won the 100-yard freestyle in 59.33, while both joined with Tonoya Sengupta and Katie Madden to win the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:49.76.
Rafel was victorious in the 100-yard backstroke (1:07.09).
Danville’s individual winners included Abby Meredick in the diving competition with 182.30 points and Mikayla Wright in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:16.03.