Jersey Shore swimmers defend titles and break records

Photo Provided: Jersey Shore's Kendra White takes seventh place in the 100-yard backstroke.


It is still a few weeks away before the battle of the West Branch waters takes place, but both the Jersey Shore Bulldogs and Central Mountain Wildcat swimmers got a chance to measure each other up at the 2017 Arctic Swim Classic. And in a preview of what to expect for the future dual meet, they had to look no further than the first event.

Central Mountain’s Avery Mahoney was able to hold off Shore’s Gabbie Moore in the opening backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay. Rachel Marek opened a wider lead over Taylor Fleming in the breaststroke. Shore’s Butzler was able to give chase to Olivia McGhee in the butterfly and hand off a small lead to her anchor Kendra White. Central Mountain’s Mikayla Rich was now in the chasing position and out-touched White by 45/100s of a second. The Wildcats finished third in the event with Shore placing right behind them in the four spot.

Both teams continued to size each other up through the individual events. Probably the most glaring example was in the girls 100 yard backstroke where Shore and Central Mountain had half of the top ten seeds (4 for JS and 2 for CM). Swimming beside each other in the two heats, Jersey Shore’s Butzler, Moore, Jordon O’Connor, and Kendra White took 2, 3, 5, and 7 respectively. Intermixed with them were Central Mountain’s Mahoney and Rich at 6 and 9 respectively.

There is a bit of pressure when you are the reigning champion and top seed. The rest of the swimmers are eyeing upset and looking to make a name for themselves. Jersey Shore’s Luke Engel was in that position in the 50 yard freestyle. He initially thought it would come from the Clearfield High School swimmers on either side, but he had to fight off a swimmer from a unexpected lane. St. Mary’s Ben Koss was in the outside lane, far from Engel’s middle lane. “I have seen him swim before and I knew I was going to have to watch him,” said Engel. Sure enough, it wasn’t the swimmers on either side of him that were the threat, rather Koss hiding on the outside lane. “I kept my eye on him the whole race”. Engel was able to hang on and successfully defend his title from hard charging Koss. It was an added bonus that Engel broke his own school record in this event.

Engel also was the top seed in the 100 yard butterfly. In this case, Clearfield’s freshman Luke Mikesell was looking for the upset. He got it by beating Engel by 65/100s of a second. As a result of the close race, Engel broke his school record set earlier this week.

Engel’s teammate on the girls’ side was in a little different situation. Butzler had the pressure to defend her 200 -yard freestyle title and meet record but was seeded second behind DuBois’ Gabrielle Wayne. After the first 50 yards, Butzler was behind by 4/100s. In the next 50 yards, Butzler dug in and passed Wayne. She widened the lead in the next 100 yards, not only winning but breaking the meet record.

“We came in this meet to just have some fun,” said Shore’s head coach Jenna Brooks. “But as the meet progressed, the girls were in the thick of it. It was a fight for the girls to capture second place overall team score. I told our 400 yard free relay that they had to finish high in order to secure second.”

They girls coasted to a second place finish in the relay and locked down a second place team finish (highest since 2011) while the boys finished. Central Mountain girls took fifth while the boys finished.


Team Standings and Key

1. Clearfield, CFD, 240

2. Jersey Shore, JS, 185

3. DuBois, DB, 177

4. Dover, DV, 155

5. Central Mountain, CM, 140

6. St. Marys, SM, 115

7. Hollidaysburg, HBG, 102

8. Penn Valley, PV, 54

9. Mifflin County, MC, 53

10. Bellefonte, BFT, 35

11. Juniata High School, JHS, 29

12. Brookville, BKV, 10

13. Altoona, ALT, 7


200 MR: 1. Clearfield, 1:55.31; 2. DuBois; 3. Central Mountain

200 Free: 1. Butzler, JS, 1:57.17; 2. Wayne, DB; 3. Narehood, CFD

200 IM: 1. Gerhart, PV, 2:19.09; 2. Houtz, JHS; 3. Brenneman, DV

50 Free: 1. Beierschmitt, DV, 25.30; 2. Geci, SM; 3. Clapper, HBG

100 Fly: 1. Mikesell, CFD, 1:00.09; 2. Gerhart, PV; 3. Moore, JS

100 Free: 1. Mikesell, CFD, 54.58; 2. Wayne, DB; 3. Redden, CFD

500 Free: 1. Brenneman, DV, 5:31.24; 2. Lenze, SM; 3. Cole, BFT

200 FR: 1. Saint Marys, 1:47.86; 2. Clearfield; 3. DuBois

100 Back: 1. Houtz, JHS, 1:01.52; 2. Butzler, JS; 3. Moore, JS.

100 Breast: 1. Usaitis, DB, 1:12.90; 2. Marek, CM; 3. Beierschmitt, DV

400 FR: 1. Clearflield, 3:49.98; 2. Jersey Shore; 3. Dover


Team Standings and Key

1. Clearfield, CFD, 399

2. Hollidaysburg, HBG, 143

3. St. Marys, SM, 137

4. DuBois, DB, 126

5. Central Mountain, CM, 121

6. Dover, DV, 105

7. Bellefonte, BFT, 75

8. Altoona, ALT, 63

9. Mifflin County, MC, 57

10. Brookville, BKV, 45

11. Jersey Shore, JS, 31


200 MR: 1. Clearfield, 1:41.36; 2. St Marys; 3. Dubois

200 Free: 1. Bietz, CFD, 1:45.09; 2. McKeirnan, HBG; 3. Sheets, CM

200 IM: 1. Swanson, CFD, 2:06.35; 2. Canter, DB; 3. McKeirnan, HBG

50 Free: 1. Engel, JS, 22.29; 2. Koss, SM; 3. Gehringer, HBG

100 Fly: 1. Mikesell, CFD, 53.13; 2. Engel, JS; 3. Riccardo, CM

100 Free: 1. Koss, SM, 49.80; 2. Swanson, CFD; 3. McMillen, CFD

500 Free: 1. Mikesell, CFD, 4:55.02; 2. Sheets, CM; 3. Thorp, CFD

200 FR: 1. Saint Mary’s, 1:34.85; 2. Clearfield; 3. Hollidaysburg

100 Back: 1. Canter, DB, 57.88; 2. Swanson, CFD; 3. McAnany

100 Breast: 1. Bietz, CFD, 59.44; 2. Gehringer, HBG; 3. Feldman, BFT

400 FR: 1. Clearfield, 3:20.25; 2. Clearfield; 3. Dubois

Arctic jpg – Jersey Shore girls celebrating their second place performance at the Clearfield Arctic Swim Classic

Shadle – Shore’s Lesie Shadle swimming the100 yard breaststroke.

White – Shore’s Kendra White, swimming the 100 backstroke and finishing seventh.