The Bellefonte girls’ dramatic win in the 400-yard freestyle relay allowed the Red Raiders to sweep the District 6 Class AA Swimming and Diving meet for the first time in school history on Saturday at McCoy Natatorium.
The triumph gave the Bellefonte girls 208 points, two better than second-place Westmont Hilltop. The Red Raider boys dominated, amassing 358 points. Central Cambria was a distant second at 151.
“That something that’s never been done at the school,” coach Lisa Newman said of the district sweep. “That’s important in program history.”
The Lady Raiders needed a big performance and a little bit of help in the final event. Bellefonte needed a win, plus Westmont Hilltop to place fourth and that’s what happened. Cydnei Crust, Deborah Armstrong, Gwen Lowery and Katie Scordato swam 3:48.90 to win by nearly six seconds in the event and Westmont Hilltop finished three seconds out of third.
Also Saturday, Scordato won the 100 breaststroke (1:08.64). Bellefonte won the girls’ crown for the first time since 2007.
“We only had seven girls entered and to win the districts it was outstanding,” Newman said. “We had a lot of great swims and a lot of personal bests.”
The boys’ team defended its first-ever title from last year. On Saturday, the Red Raiders broke three school records.
Isaac Thomas shattered his own school record by two seconds in winning the 500 freestyle (4:54.55). Colton Schnars snapped the mark by 0.9 seconds in capturing the 100 backstroke (54.68). Thomas, Jordan Newman, Matt Horner and Andrew Rosenberger smashed the school mark by three seconds in winning the 400 freestyle relay (3:18.73).
Also Saturday, Newman took the 100 freestyle (49.47) and Rosenberger captured the 100 breaststroke (59.80).
“Every swimmer hit personal bests,” Lisa Newman said of the boys’ dominating win. “We had many who had podium finishes in the top six.”
The Red Raider winners now advance to the PIAA Class AA Championships, which will be held March 13-14 at Bucknell University.