Hershey’s David Nolan wins four gold medals at the PIAA Class AA Swimming and Diving Championships with a time 43.27 in the 100 freestyle and an incredible  42.84 split on the anchor of the 400 free relay for Hershey’s win in a state record 3:03.98.  Believe it or not, runner-up Shady Side Academy had the lead after the first two legs, but Sean Grier and Nolan were exceptional..

He broke the PIAA record for the second time – and possibly third -today. He swam 44.89 in the prelims to break the 1999 mark of 45.03 by Eugene Botes of Garnet Valley, then 43.27 in the final, then 42.87 split in the relay.

Nolan, a junior who has won nine total gold medals, missed the National Federation mark in the 100 free of 45.03 by Jimmy Feigen of Winston Churchill High School on San Antonio, Tex. set on Feb. 23, 2008.

Nolan’s 50 split was 20.74.

Lindsay Vrooman of Ambridge grabs her sixth career individual gold medal in the 500 free and sets a new PIAA record (4:43.93).

Follow the live results from piaa.org here or paswimming.com here.

The swimmer or team in parentheses swam the fastest prelim time.

Boys AA

100 freestyle: (David Nolan, Hershey, 44.89, PIAA record. Breaks 1999 marks of 45.03 by Eugene Botes of Garnet Valley.)  As you can see above, the Rollin’ Nolan does it again, breaking his PIAA record from the prelims with that sharp 43.27.  He did a 20.74 split and made a clean final turn, but just didn’t quite have the speed in the final 10 yards to get the national record.  But once again, what a swim!

500 freestyle: (John Hauser, St. Pius X, 4:33.83, more than three seconds faster than second-best time of 4:40.96 by David Paulk of Shady Side Academy) Hauser has no problems in the finals, going 4:26.95 to win it over Paulk (4:33.19). He defends his title, giving the school its’ second boys’ PIAA swimming gold.

100 backstroke: (Sean Grier, Hershey, 50.83) Grier wins decisively in 49.73 over teammate Benjamin Hagen (51.53) and sets a new state record in the process.  No, not his time.  Grier’s triumph is Hershey’s sixth of the meet, the first time a boys’ team has won six events in a meet.  The Trojans can get a seventh coming up in the 400 free relay. Only one other school, the Upper Dublin girls in 1993, have won six events in a meet.

100 breaststroke: (Zach Stephens, Bloomsburg, 56.43, PIAA record, beats old mark of 57.03 set by Jon Szakelhidi of Ellwood City Riverside last year. Actually, he beat the state record set 3 minutes earlier by Patrick Augustine of Lansdale Catholic, who swam 56.86 in the previous prelim.  Augustine lowered his seeded time by an astounding 3.90 seconds).

400 free relay: (Hershey 3:10.40)

1-meter diving: Philipsburg-Osceola’s Jordan Harris repeats as diving champion with a score of 462.70, but is unable to break his own PIAA mark of 488.70.


100 freestyle: (Mary Moser, Wyomissing, 50.98) … It’s all Moser, who wins her second 100 free title, her second of the meet (50 free) and her fourth open gold of her career.  She’s not done yet, either.  Moser is the anchor leg for Wyomissing’s 400 free relay, which claimed the top time in the morning preliminaries.

500 freestyle: (Leah Smith, Oakland Catholic, 4:49.98) … Lindsay Vrooman of Ambridge closes out a great career with one of the best performances of her career, knocking down a tremendous 4:43.93 to set a new PIAA Class AA record in the 500.  She breaks the record of 4:44.07 set in 2008 by East Pennsboro’s Leah Gingrich, now at the University of Texas. She beats Indiana freshman rachel Zilinskas (4:45.17) in the process.

The gold medal is Vrooman’s sixth and moves her into literally fast company with eight other female swimmers who have won six PIAA individual gold medals: Gingrich, Mallory Dietrich of Oakland Catholic, Tiffany Houser of parkland, Lynn Kohl of Tulpehocken, Melanie Morgan of Gateway, Kaitlyn Orstein of Mount Lebanon, Amy Roth of Fairfield and Jan Ujevich of Center.

Only four other swimmers have won more: Michelle Chow of gateway and Stef Williams of Bloomsburg won the miximum eight while Darci Bodner or Norwin and Katie Nolan of Hershey won seven each.  Fantastic effort by Vrooman, who’s headed for Indiana University.  Uh, the one in Indiana state.

100 backstroke: (Marie Georger, Mercyhurst Prep, 54.87) Georger defends her 100 backstroke title by tapping the wall at 54.61.  That’s her second gold of the meet, having won with Prep’s 200 medley relay on Friday. She beats Steph Kinsey of Boiling Springs (55.68) by slightly more than a second.

100 breaststroke: (Jaime Kane, St. Pius X, 1:06.32) Kane wins with a time of 1:06.32, finishing strong to beat Apollo-Ridge’s Mackenzie Wargo; they were seeded 1-2 in the event.

400 free relay: (Wyomissing 3:34.18)  Wyomissing breaks the state record with a time of 3:32.04, topping the 202 mark of 3:32.42 by Oakland Catholic. It’s Wyomissing’s first 400 free relay title.  Mary Moser swims a 49.97 leg to close out the relay and earn her third gold medal of the meet.  She’s joined by Brianna Bentz, Hailey Doyle and Katie Duggan on the relay.

But it’s not enough to surpass Vrooman as the meet’s oustanding swimmer.  And it’s not enough to keep Oakland Catholic from beating Wyomissing for the team title, 187-157. It’s Oakland Catholic’s fourth straight team title and its ninth overall, extending its PIAA record.  It’s also the fourth straight year the Eagles have won the team titles without an event champion.

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