will update the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships with a close-to-live blog from Kinney Natatorium at Bucknell University.

Unfortunately, the physical setup at Bucknell does not enable me to do the live chat format that I use for other sports like football, wrestling and basketball. That’s because I cannot take my laptop onto the pool deck and, no, I don’t have a Blackberry or iPhone or any of those other whiz-bang, hand-held gizmos.

I’m an old man. What can I say?

But it is just a few steps from the pool to the media room, so updates of the finals will occur rapidly with notes and commentary.

For live results, go to here or here.

Here are the finals for Thursday, March 17 (refresh frequently for updates):


100 freestyle: Sarah Hitchens wins Villa Maria’s first individual gold medal with a narrow win over Adrianna Grabski, a freshman from Mifflinburg. Hitchens touches the wall in 51.45; Grabski in 51.66.

500 freestyle: Kutztown freshman Ryan Gillian wins her second gold medal and secures swimmer of the meet honors with a strong 4:44.29 in the 500.

100 backstroke: The best race of the night, but Mercyhurst Prep backstroke star Marie Georger pulls through again, beating Mars’ Margaret Huber by .12 of a second. Georger wins her third backstroke title with a time of 55.34, just beating Huber’s 55.46 and denying Huber a third career gold medal.  Georger is a junior and has opportunity next year to become the first Class AA girls’ swimmer to win four backstroke titles.

100 breaststroke: No one is in sight when Madison Burns of Northwestern Lehigh breezes to her second win of the meet with a swim of 1:03.72, nearly three seconds ahead of the field.

400 free relay: Villa Maria Academy clinches its first team championship with a run of 3:32.30 in the relay. Hitchens wins her third gold of the meet, and is joined by Molly O’Brien, Julia Wisler and Julia Murphy.

Team champion: Villa Maria Academy with 178.5 points. West Allegheny is second at 159.  Central Columbia, which had a slight lead entering the 400 free relay, was third at 145; the Blue Jays did have a team in the final event.


1-meter diving: Danniel Roberts wins Fairview’s first ever gold medal in swimming and diving with a total of 479.45.

100 freestyle: It’s gold medal No. 2 for Daniel Gosek of Holy Ghost Prep, who is unchallenged in the finals with 45.38. Gosek set state record in 50 freestyle (20.57) on Wednesday.

500 freestyle: David Paulk of Shady Side Academy picks up gold medal No. 3 by easily winning teh 500 in 4:29.41.  Runner-up Jared Haley of Northern York is 4.3 seconds behind.

100 backstroke: Annville-Cleona picks up its first PIAA swimming gold medal when senior Travis Bohn wins the backstroke in 50.99.

100 breaststroke: Bloomsburg senior  Zach Stephens makes sure everyone knows that he owns the breaststroke.  Already the PIAA record holder in the event entering Thursday at 56.43, Stephens breaks his own record twice.  He goes 55.85 in the preliminaries, then knocks down a 55.64 in the finals.  That’s enough to make him swimmer of the meet.

400 free relay: Shady Side Academy completes its run to the team title with a flourish, outlasting Springfield Twp. with a 3:11.91 to Springfield’s 3:12.20. David Paulk wins his fourth gold medal of the meet while leadoff Broderick Kelley picks up his third. Peter Scott and Ryan Koul complete the team.

Team champion: Shady Side Academy, 190 points. Fairview is second at 163.

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