Swim Team Takes States

After a season full of success, the Dallastown Swim Team ended their season at the PIAA State Championships.


Swim Team Booster Club

Multiple members of the swim team attended the district swim meet at Cumberland Valley High School to compete in numerous individual and relay events.

As the temperature began to rise and the spring sports season began at Dallastown, there was still one winter sports team that wasn’t finished yet. That is the Dallastown swim team, who headed off to Bucknell University for their final meet of the season: the PIAA AAA Swimming and Diving State Championships. 

Attending this meet were six Dallastown students: Cooper Stiles (11), Lawson Neutzel (11), Tomek Smolinski (12), Noah Krebs (11), and Robby Marston (12) from the boys swim team, and Julia Havice (10) representing the girls. 

The boys competed in the 400 yard freestyle relay, which is where every member of the relay team swims 100 yards freestyle. 

Individually, Havice swam in the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard freestyle races. Smolinski was also in the 100 yard freestyle race and Stiles swam in the 100 yard breaststroke race. 

Making it to states wasn’t easy though. The swim team has a rigorous practice schedule during the regular season. From Monday through Thursday the team has practice from 6-7 a.m. and after school from 3:15-6 p.m. every day. They also have practice from 7-9 a.m. on Saturday mornings and members are required to attend at least five of these practices a week. 

All their hard work paid off though when both the girls and boys teams won the YAIAA County Championships. 

The boys’ team captured first place after going undefeated in the regular season. The girls’ team finished the season with four wins and one tie at their meet against Central York, and also got first place in the division. 

“This is our third year in a row winning counties, so we were very excited.” says junior Lawson Neutzel, one of the boys team captains. 

Swimming is different from most other sports at Dallastown because not every member of the team attends the postseason meets. In order to compete in the county, district, and state meets, swimmers must earn a place by beating a certain time. 

“Once we started winning the meets, we realized we had the potential to make it to states,” says boys team co-captain Cooper Stiles. 

The boys 400 freestyle relay team after competing at the PIAA State Championships on March 17. (Dallastown Swim Booster Club)

After the regular season, the team begins a process called “tapering”. This is when the practices get a little easier and a little shorter so that the team is able to rest more. They do this before counties, districts, and states. 

“It’s a lot more rest than usual so that you can swim faster at the meet,” says Neutzel. 

The team ended the season in Bucknell, Pa for the state meet. Individually, Smolinski placed 18th in the 50 freestyle, Havice placed ninth in the girls 50 freestyle and 23rd in the 100 freestyle, and Stiles got 31st in the 100 breaststroke. The boys 400 freestyle relay team placed 27th overall. 

Now, the swim team is focused on next year. During the offseason, many swimmers will continue to practice either with another team or over the summer at Dallastown. This is important for staying in shape and improving their times, in hopes of having another great season next year. 

“We hope to win counties again and take even more people to states next year,” says Stiles.