No champs on Day 1; Gearhart breaks record

ERIE – There weren’t any District 10 champions from Warren at Friday’s Class AAA Championships at Penn State Behrend, but the Dragons had several inspiring performances.

Senior Logan Gearhart, for example, broke his own school record in the 200-yard freestyle event, finishing third in 1:46.72. Gearhart was a tenth of a second out of second place and broke his own school record set last year at districts. Gearhart just broke the school record in the 200-meter free at the Warren County YMCA, so he has been doing his best swimming of his career.

“Everybody dropped times,” said Warren coach Jeff Walters.

Only the D10 champion in Class AAA automatically advances to states. Junior Elin Smith won the 100-yard backstroke event last year, and swims in that event on Saturday at Penn State Behrend,

On Friday, the girls’ 200 medley relay team of Smith, Anna Falvo, Mandy Fehlman and Valerie Latimer were disqualified, but swam the race of their life. They would have finished second in 1:56.83, which would have bettered their seeding time of 2:03.75.

“They did exactly what it takes to beat that top seed time in 1:58, but the winning time was a 1:54,” said Walters.

Smith was fifth in the girls 200 free, making the medal stand, Valerie Latimer fifth in the 50 free – in 26.40, a half second faster than her seed time, and Samara Steber finished in 27.73 in the 50 free.

Mandy Fehlman was seeded third in the girls 100 butterfly, but finished second in 1:07.51, nearly two seconds faster than her seed time.

The girls’ 200 free relay team of Steber, Smith, Fehlman and Latimer finished fourth in 1:49.20, or more than four seconds faster.

For Warren’s boys, Sean McGuinness was 10th in the 200 IM, Cameron Daniels seventh in the 50 free in 22.69, his fastest time ever, Clark Eason eighth in 23.07, and Bennett Steber 12th in 23.22.

Warren’s boys 200 medley relay team of McGuinness, Steber, Gearhart and Daniels was third in 1:45.55, or -1/2 seconds faster than its seed time, and the 200 free relay team of Gearhart, Eason, Steber and Daniels fourth in 1:31.06, ahead of its seed time of 1:35.68.