Sayre's McClelland ninth in the 500 at states - 2018 NTL and District 4 News -

Sayre's McClelland ninth in the 500 at states.

By: Brett R. Crossley | Towanda Daily Review | March 18, 2018


LEWISBURG — The second day of the PIAA Class AA Swimming and Diving Championship offered Sayre's Caleb McClelland a chance to compete in his main event the 500 free.

McClelland opened the meet with a strong showing in the 200 free, placing for the B final during the night swim and placing tenth. In the final of the 500 free, McClelland proved his worth in the pool, posting a 4:46.25 for a ninth overall finish.

Despite being a little intimidated in the early goings of the meet, McClelland, with little brother Joshua as the lap counter, looked unfazed by the swimmers in the finals heat.

"Those guys can kick like a banshee," McClelland said. "They've got a lot of power behind their kicks. It's pretty intimidating. They are crazy fast. It's such a long, long race. You can keep up with them for a 100, but they just keep such a fast pace."

Pace is often times the most difficult part of the 500 free. It's tempting to jump out to a quick start, but any good swimmer knows that type of speed can't be maintained.

"I just tried to maintain what I posted at districts and I pretty much did," McClelland said.

McClelland finished the 2017-18 swim season as a two-time district champion. He also placed at states and supported his brother Joshua throughout the district and state meets. McClelland will go the way of the senior at the end of the year, but he has left a lasting impression on the district about what Sayre swimmers are capable of. He also left his brother plenty motivated for a return to next year's meet.

Athens' Abby Thoman was 20th in the Class AA, Girls' Diving Championships as she made it past the first cut.

Thoman finished with a score of 178.10.

After the preliminaries she was 20th at 117.85 but wasn't able to sneak into the top 16 for the final cut.

"A nice finish to a terrific year for the senior wildcat," Athens swimming coach Mark Keister said.


About the Author

Brett R. Crossley Author Bio
Brett R. Crossley

Brett Crossley has been covering sports in the area for more than a decade. Through that work he has built close community relationships with athletes, coaches, and athletic directors. In 2013 and 2015 he won Keystone Press Awards for Sports Story of the Year. He has worked as a photographer, columnist, beat writer, and sports editor.