By DICK VANO’LINDA
SPRING GROVE — When swimming practice opened at Spring Grove High School this year, Colton Boyles had a flashback to three seasons ago.
“My freshman year, we only 12 on our team,” Boyles said.
This year’s team has even fewer swimmers. Just 10 represented the Rockets in Thursday’s crossover meet against Dover.
“We had a phenomenal year my freshman year,” Boyles said. “We lost just one meet (Dallastown) and tied South Western. We didn’t have a whole bunch of guys, but the skill set we had was outstanding. This year, I believe is the same as my freshman year.”
The small sqaud came up big on Thursday afternoon by gaining a hard-fought 92-83 decision.
The Dover girls, meanwhile defeated the Spring Grove girls, 106.5-78.5.
The boys’ meet went down to the final event, the 400 freestyle relay. Spring Grove entered with an 84-77 lead, and the Rockets’ quartet of Boyles, Taylor Myers, Nolan Kling and Collin Ruby clinched the victory by finishing first in a time of 3 minutes, 30.87 seconds.
Spring Grove also captured the other two relays, the 200 medley and 200 freestyle. The three victories accounted for 24 points.
Kling, Myers, Ruby and Justin Culp were on the 200 medley team, and Boyles, Culp, Jay Kuhn and Corey Roberts comprised the 200 freestyle team.
Kling (200 freestyle), Myers (200 individual medley), Ruby (50 freestyle) and Culp (100 breaststroke) won individual races.
“With 10 guys, it’s so hard, you know, because we have one open lane in almost every event,” Boyles said. “I knew it was going to be a tight one today. My coach told me that if we got second in the last relay, we would win by one point. We’re determined to win. We set our hearts on it (winning Thursday’s meet), and we got it. We achieved it.”
Spring Grove head coach Peggy Kile reworked the lineup a number of times heading into meet against Dover.
“Some of them (Spring Grove swimmers) were not in their comfort zone today swimming their normal events,” Kile said. “Luckily, it worked out. My 500 (freestyle) swimmer, Corey (Roberts) did really well. He swam the 500 (second place), then the 200 free relay and the backstroke (second place). That’s three events in a row, and that happens when you only have 10.”
Kile, like Boyles, was not surprised the outcome wasn’t determined until the 12th and final event.
“We saw them (Dover) at the Dover Invitational, and knew they would swim well, I was really pleased with the way my guys performed,” she said.
Casey Marshall earned first-place finishes for Dover in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
Girls’ meet: The Dover girls, meanwhile, delivered an impressive showing, winning eight of 12 events, including all three relays.
The Eagles’ Morgan Staub put up the best times in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle, and Lindsay Brenneman won the 500 freestyle and took second in the 100 butterfly. Both Staub and Brenneman swam on two of the winning relay teams.
Spring Grove’s Emily Jenkins touched home first in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
Dover has captured the York-Adams Division II title the past four seasons, but the Eagles began the season minus a group of talented swimmers (Nicole Smith, Summer Dacheux, Mia Becker, Shea Beierschmitt and Rachel Spaulding), all of whom graduated last spring.
“Our kids performed above expectations today,” Dover head coach Rich Janosky said. “”It was nice to see them do season-best and lifetime-best times. It looked on paper like we would be third or fourth in our division and that we wouldn’t win the crossover with Spring Grove. Now, I think we have a viable chance in our division.”
OTHER BOYS’ SWIMMING
Dallastown 143, Susquehannock 37: At Dallastown, the Wildcats captured first place in all 12 events to secure the non-divisional victory. Individually for Dallastown, Spencer Hill won the 200 free and 500 free, while Logan Brockway won the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.
New Oxford 95, West York 75: At Graham Aquatics Center, Kyle DuPree led the Colonials to the non-divisional victory by capturing the 200 IM and 500 free. For the Bulldogs, Ben Spangler, Jake Spangler, Greg Landis and Jared May combined to win both the 200 free relay and 400 free relay.
Central York 121, Northeastern 61: At Central, the Panthers captured first place in all 12 events. As a team, the Panthers captured 36 points between the three relays.
OTHER GIRLS’ SWIMMING
Dallastown 152, Susquehannock 31: At Dallastown, the Wildcats captured first in all 12 events to sweep to the non-divisional victory. Individually for the Wildcats, Erica Wise won the 50 free and 100 free, while Mikaelie Gonzalez won the 100 butterfly and 100 back.
West York 94, New Oxford 76: At Graham Aquatics Center, the Bulldogs, behind the foursome of Maelyn Elder, Claudia Keller, Taylor Hoover and Maddi Stoner, combined to win both the 200 free and 400 free relays to secure the non-divisional victory. Individually for West York, Hoover won the 200 free and 500 free, while Stoner won the 200 IM and 100 breast.
Central York 117, Northeastern 67: At Central, the Panthers captured first place in 9 of the 12 events. The Panthers picked up 32 points between the three relay events.
— Reach Dick VanOlinda at firstname.lastname@example.org.