By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
It was a night of personal bests and exceeded expectations at the District 4 boys swimming championships Saturday at Bloomsburg University’s Nelson Field House.
Through 12 events, with the diving championships to come this week, Bloomsburg forged a commanding lead over Central Columbia, 427-278. Lewisburg is third with 202, while Danville is fourth (172).
With just one senior on the roster, Lewisburg’s overall effort was pleasing to head coach Derek Updegraff.
“For their youth, I thought they did a fantastic job as a team,” he said. “I was very, very pleased. There were a lot of personal best and the swimmers exceeded my expectations.”
Green Dragons sophomore Adon Shapiro finished second in the 500 free with a time of 4:55.18 behind state qualifier Hunter Krum of Central Columbia.
In the 20-lap race, Shapiro was within an arm’s length of Krum through lap 7 and held stride through the half-way mark. By lap 13, Krum started to pull away.
“That time was close to my personal best,” Shapiro said of the event. “It’s been a pretty good season.”
Shapiro, a state qualifier last year, was the lead-off swimmer in the 200 relay where the Green Dragons finished fifth.
Danville’s Joe Malafronte finished second in the 200 free with a time of 1:48.22.
“That was just an incredible swim,” he said. “It was a great race and I took two seconds off my previous best. I also broke 50 seconds in the 100 freestyle. I have to thank my coaches for helping me on getting a better start and turns.”
Ironmen senior Matt Bason qualified for states in the 200 IM with a time of 2:01.51.
Danville senior Zach Smith finished third in the 50 free with a personal best time for the year of 22.68 seconds, just .01 seconds out of second place.
“I’m really excited about my time,” Smith said.
“For a person who is just in his second year of swimming, he has just evolved into a competitor this year,” Daville head coach Ryann Kishaugh said. “He did a great job on his time.”
“I am totally happy that all the swimmers did so well,” she added. “It goes to show that hard work does pay off.”
Sophomore Mitch Shubert of Mifflinburg qualified for states with a time of 1:50.29 in the 200 freestyle.
Midd-West sophomore Ben Kline, an independent swimmer, registered two personal-best times in the 100 fly and 500 freestyle Saturday.
“I was really pleased with my mind-set,” he said. “I run cross country in the fall and track and field in the spring and that help build extra endurance for swimming.”
Kline took 9 seconds off his 500 free time and 2 seconds off his 100 fly time.
Shamokin’s 200 freestyle relay team of Kyle Koontz, Mike Rodarmel, Dylan Bowers and Scott Bradley qualified for states. Koontz also qualified in the 50 freestyle.