The District 6 Swimming and Diving Championships, slated for today and Saturday at the Penn State Natatorium, will be littered with swimmers from the Mirror coverage area in both the Class AAA and AA field.
The group is headed by Hollidaysburg's Mace Long, a junior who is hoping to make his third return trip to the PIAA state championships. Long will be competing in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, as well as part of the medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams. He will be joined by his brother, Colter, a sophomore, who like Mace is seeded high in his events, the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Colter will also swim in the medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.
"We are very excited for the meet," Hollidaysburg coach Deb Solomon said. "I expect to see many personal bests on both [days], and we anticipate outstanding swims from the relay teams."
Last year, Mace Long won gold in the 100 butterfly at districts and also took home a silver in the 100 backstroke. He and his brother, Colter, were part of a 200 medley relay team that also won silver.
"Mace is looking to return to the state meet for the third time in as many years in both the 100 fly and 100 back, and Colter is seeded well in both the 50 free and 100 breast," Solomon said.
Veterans like Marie Gorman, Tori Landry, Megan Keefer and Meghan Grassadonia are also on hand for the Lady Tigers.
Altoona is hoping its strength is in numbers as the Mountain Lions are led by the likes of Kyle Heasley, Aaron Cummings and Connor Hallinan. The Lady Lions are mostly sophomores and juniors with the likes of junior Brianna Geist leading the way.
"Our goal is to put a lot of swimmers on the medal stands this year," Altoona coach Andy Smearman said. "Both of the boys and girls have numerous chances to achieve personal bests."
Last year, Central Cambria sent Kelsie Conrad, Kole Newcomer, Alex Chiappini, Matt Brady and Adam Westrick to states. Only Chiappini returns this season as he will compete in the 50 freestyle, the 100 freestyle and as part of the 200 medley relay.
"We have several swimmers that have a great chance to make it on to the podium this year," Central Cambria coach Ann Risaliti said.
Chiappini is seeded high in the 50 and 100 free, according to Risaliti, and swimmers like Zach Gerlach, Collin Buynack and Gabby Gironda are also seeded high.
"For several of our team members, this is their first year swimming so I can't wait to see how they handle swimming at districts," Risaliti said.
Central is sending six swimmers to the event, and three are seeded high in the form of Taylor Flaugh, Brock Dodson and Alyssa Clark. Dodson is seeded second in the 100 breast and fourth in the 200 IM. Flaugh is seeded first in the 200 free and second in the 500 free.
"I am very pleased with the seedings we received," Central coach Amanda Herr said. "I am excited to see how their hard work over the past three weeks pays off."
Tyrone coach Tom Getz says this is likely the largest number of swimmers he has taken to districts in his tenure with the Golden Eagle program. Seniors Alyssa Brisbin and Brandon Fink lead the way, with Brisbin being a four-time district qualifier. Junior Rhett Everhart is seeded second in the 500 free and third in the 200 free.
"I am excited for this meet and I feel we have some swimmers who could make some noise against the good teams," Getz said. "They have been working hard the last month and I would be disappointed if we did not have some very fast times."
Cambria Heights has eight swimmers competing in the event with seniors Jaime Sheehan, Nate Bradley, Dylan Matthew, Timm Link and Tristin Irwin leading the way.
"Our best shot is probably Tristin in the 500 freestyle," Heights coach Jim Sheehan said. "We are hoping for all of the swimmers to have their best times. All of our seniors have been there before."
Huntingdon has eight girls and six boys - including the relay team of Jacob Brown, Nick McKim, Brent Stevens, Alex Eietjens - competing at this weekend's event and it may be a youngster who gets the best chance at standing out.
"[Freshman] Claire Atherton has done really well this season. She has the best shot at placing the highest for us," Huntingdon coach Melanie Varner said. "I think my boys ... the relays have a good shot at placing the highest."
Northern Cambria rookie head coach T.J. Mullen will experience his first district meet. His team is headed by the likes of juniors Renee Paronish, Lakyn Fornari and Julianne Hutsky, along with junior boys Dartagnan Suchar, Logan Miller and Steve Pederson.
"We have a lot of young kids, but Dartagnan and [sophomore] Brad Janosko, they are the more experienced ones. They have a pretty good chance at finishing in a good spot," he said. "I feel very positive going into this."
GIRLS: Addison Cummings (200 free, 500 free), Hannah Jacobs (200 free); Taylor Stoudnour (200 IM, 100 back), Cassie Bradley (200 IM, 100 fly), Brianna Geist (50 free, 100 free), Francesca Ferguson (50 free, 100 free), Ellie Sommer (100 breast), Rachel Heasley (100 breast). BOYS: Kyle Heasley (200 free, 500 free), Tyler Conrad (200 free), Seth Marasco (200 IM, 500 free), Kurtis Fink (200 IM, 100 breast), Steve Betar (50 free, 100 free), Connor Hallinan (50 free, 100 free), Aaron Cummings (50 free, 100 fly), Shawn Hanlin (50 free, 100 free), Tyler Conrad (100 back), Joey Settimio (100 breast), Dima Kuntsbeck (100 breast).
GIRLS: Jaime Sheehan (100 back, 500 free), Cloey Mulligan (100 back). BOYS: Tristin Irwin (200 im, 500 free), Nate Bradley (200 free, 100 breast), Dylan Matthew (50 free, 100 free), Timm Link (50 free, 100 free), Zach Stolz (100 free, 100 fly), John Galinas (100 breast).
GIRLS: Alyssa Clark, 50 free, 500 free; Ivy Tomlinson (50 free, 100 free), jena Funnett (100 fly, 100 back), Taylor Flaugh (200 free, 500 free). BOYS: Brock Dodson (200 IM, 100 breast), Gabe Berti (50 free, 100 free).
GIRLS: Gabby Gironda (200 free, 100 fly), Allison Risaliti (200 free, 500 free), Lindsy Stohon (200 free, 100 free), Tara Campbell (100 free), Erica Kozorosky (200 IM), Alicia Archangelo (50 free, 100 breast), Breanna Maglet (50 free), Miranda Nalisnick (100 fly, 500 free), Rachel Brady (100 breast). BOYS: Gabe Hall (200 free, 100 free), Tyler Weigel (200 free), Brandon Stump (200 free), Frank Horne (200 free, 100 back)), Ted Dugan (200 IM, 100 back), Alex Chiappini (50 free, 100 free), Zach Gerlach (50 free, 100 breast), Jacob Brang (100 breast), Luke Marcinko (100 breast), Phillip Miller (50 free), Collin Buynack (100 fly, 100 free)
GIRLS: Emily Brown (50 free, 100 breast), Marie Gorman (200 free, 500 free), Meghan Grassadonia (200 free, 100 breast), Rory Grassadonia (100 fly), Casey Holliday (200 IM, 100 breast), Megan Keefer (100 free, 100 back), Tori Landry (100 fly, 500 free), Maddie McKeirnan (100 back), Jessie Nagle (200 free, 500 free), Courtney Noal (200 IM, 100 breast), McKenzie Roberts (50 free), Cassidy Saleme (50 free, 100 free), Maisie Supp (200 free, 500 free). BOYS: Greg Dinges (50 free, 100 free), Brian Flynn (200 free, 500 free), Max Gehringer (100 fly, 100 back), Jon Lewis (100 breast), Colter Long (50 free, 100 breast), Mace Long (100 fly, 100 back), Jaden Mauk (200 free, 100 free), Marcus Pierce (50 free), Emerson Trimble (200 free, 100 free), Ryan Waltz (50 free).
GIRLS: Claire Atherton (100 fly, 100 back); Abby Border (50 free, 100 free), Hannah Lynn (200 free), Madison McCool (200 im, 100 breast); Katelyn Shoemaker (200 IM, 100 breast), Della Talhelm (50 free, 100 free), Alex Watson (100 fly, 100 back), Sara White (200 free, 500 free). BOYS: Martin Berger (100 free, 100 breast), Jacob Brown 9200 free, 500 free), Jon hark (200 free, 500 free), Nick McKim (50 free, 100 free), Brent Stevens (50 free, 100 free), Alex Eietjens (200 free, 100 back).
GIRLS: Renee Paronish (100 breast), Lakyn Fornari (50 free, 100 back), Julianne Hutsky (100 fly, 100 back), Carly Grove (200 IM, 100 breast), Abby McGary 9100 free), Jordan Tenerowicz (100 free), Kayla Sherry (200 free), Hannah Tibbott (200 free). BOYS: Dartagnan Suchar (50 free, 100 breast), Logan Miller (200 free), Steve Pederson (100 breast, 200 IM), Austin Tibbott (100 free), Brad Janosko (100 free, 100 back).
GIRLS: Alyssa Brisbin (200 free, 500 free), Taylor Payne (50 free), Emily Nagle (100 free), Emily Hanwell (200 free), Mikayla Harris (50, 100 free), Rachael Harris (100 free), Jordan Wiser (50 free, 100 breast), Emily Beam (100 free, 100 fly). BOYS: Brandon Fink (50 free, 100 free), Jerame Parson (50 free, 100 free), Rhett Everhart (200 free, 500 free), Collin Rhoades (200 free, 100 breast).