Centre County may not have medaled during Day 2 of the PIAA Class 2A Swimming and Diving Championships, but Thursday still proved to be a memorable end for the smaller schools.
Bellefonte’s Zoey Cole was Thursday’s top local finisher at the Bucknell pool, swimming to 12th place in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5 minutes, 14.75 seconds — about five seconds away from a medal.
On the boys’ end, Bellefonte sophomore Harrison Horner and St. Joseph’s sophomore Reece Bloom gained valuable experience for what should prove to be solid careers. In fact, in the 500 freestyle, the two county swimmers couldn’t have finished much closer. They were just 0.67 seconds apart.
Horner was 28th with a time of 5:05.46, while Bloom was 29th in 5:06.13.
The only other competitor Thursday was St. Joseph’s senior Garrett Gall, who improved his seed time in the 100 breaststroke by one one-hundredth of a second. He finished 31st by clocking a 1:03.77.
Class 2A competed in the first two days of the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships, with Class 3A set to participate Friday and Saturday. More than a dozen State College swimmers and divers are set to compete the final two days.
So far, Penns Valley’s Sophie Gerhart has been the county’s big winner. On the first day of the championships, in Class 2A, Gerhart placed fourth in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 butterfly. (The top eight medal at PIAAs.)
State College is sure to add to that total. The Class 3A events begin 8 a.m. Friday, with the finals starting at 7:05 p.m. The events then resume 8 a.m. Saturday and continue until 9:15 p.m.