Locals with big final day at state swimming.

By: Brett R. Crossley | Towanda Daily Review | March 18, 2017 | Photo courtesy The Review

 

Locals with big final day at state swimmingLEWISBURG — It was his third and final time qualifying for the PIAA Class AA State Swimming Championships, and Wellsboro's Nathan Cotner went out with an outstanding performance in the 100 free.

Cotner swam in the second heat of the event and posted a time of 48.40 just missing his seed time. It was good enough for the 22nd spot in the state for what is the preferred race of Cotner.

"I like the 100, because it's just an all-out sprint," Cotner said. "The 200 was a little more tiring. The 100 felt good. The walls were good."

The opening event capped a two-day swim for Cotner, who also competed in the 200 free. Cotner finished second in each event at districts and

"The postseason went well," Cotner said. "It was just a nice way to end my senior year. I'm looking forward to what's next."

As Cotner put the final races together of his high school career, Sayre's Caleb McClelland was just starting his PIAA State journey as he swam the always challenging 500 free.

"I felt a little outnumbered," McClelland said. "It's overwhelming, because there's people that you've never swam against before. It's a challenge."

For his first state meet, McClelland didn't show many nerves as he posted a 4:50.96, which knocked off five seconds from his district time.

McClelland finished 14th, but also gained a lot of experience. It will help moving forward as he resets his goals for next season.

"I have a little bit more motivation," McClelland said. "I did pretty well and should be able to get it next year."

Throughout his 500 free race, McClelland improved times, which is all any swimmer wants.

"I just go brain dead and don't think about anything until I finish," McClelland said. "I would like to get a 4:45 next year. That would be really nice."

Jeffrey Gao swam the 100 breast for his second event of the meet. He placed 24th in the event with a time of 1:01.38, breaking his own school record.

"The senior Wildcat finishes his state meet and swim career with two PRs and improved both school records by about a second. A nice finish for a good guy," Athens coach Mark Keister said.