UNIVERSITY PARK - Going into her first season as the Mifflin County High School swimming coach, Amy Houtz found herself and her staff with a very young team of swimmers who were determined to dedicating themselves to the programs and pushing themselves to get better and better each time they came out to perform.
At the end of the season all the hard work and sweat have paid off as the Huskies took 17 of their 24-person roster to compete at the 2013-14 District Class 6 Class AA/AAA championships Friday at the Penn State natatorium.
Leading the way on the first day of action was the Mifflin County 200-yard medley relay - consisting of Claire Mulkey, Davania Seguine, Allison Besch and Ali McCurdy - which finished the day with the team's highest finish of third place.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Mifflin County’s Ali McCurdy competes in the 200-yard freestyle event at the District 6 swimming championship Friday at Penn State University. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
The girls 200 free relay team also posted a strong fourth-place finish on the day. The group consisted of the combination of Seguine, Rachel Spotts, Kaitlyn Eckley and Jenna Kile.
Although none of the swimmers qualified for the state meet, the Huskies had some solid performances for their coach.
In the 200 girls freestyle, McCurdy finished eighth.
Teammate Besch swam the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly, but did not finish within the top six.
"There were some good performances out there today. We had a lot with kids dropping their times and swimming really, really fast. This environment for swimming is really great to compete at," Houtz said. "Our boys dropped times. Evan Becker, Zack Bonson and Drew Kline all swam well today and shaved more off their times."
In the boys medley relay, the Huskies finished fifth. Members of that group were Bonson, Kline, Becker and Shane Sennett.
Bonson finished sixth in the 200 boys freestyle, while Becker finished fifth. The two finished within .02 seconds of each other.
Kline swam the 100 fly, but also did not finish in the top six. He was strong in the very fast field
Rounding things out on the day was the boys 200 freestyle relay. The combo of Brendan Durst, Hunter Norris, Luke Felton and Sennett finished fifth.
Mifflin County will be back in action today for Day 2 of the District 6 swimming championships. The meet kicks off at 2 p.m. and will conclude at 5 p.m.
"We are in almost every single event tomorrow (Saturday). They are spread out throughout the day again like today," Houtz said. "We ended up bringing 17 of our 24 swimmers to districts, not a bad start for districts. Coming into tonight I thought we were in really good shape for districts."