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Central Mountain swimming closes regular season out with success at Altoona

Central Mountain’s Leisher Gugino swam the 100 breast against Altoona in 1:02.33, setting a new school record in the process. It was the highlight of Central Mountain’s dual against Altoona on Saturday.

The Central Mountain boys went 4 for 4 in every event and the girls team won, 93-72.

Gugino also won the 200 free. Parker Orndorf also went 2 for 2 in the pool, winning the 100 free and 100 back.

“They can only swim two individual events per meet. Once again, they went 4 for 4 tonight (Saturday). We have to consider that a ‘W’,” Central Mountain coach Scott Bair said. “We knew coming into the season that we wouldn’t be winning team score battles. It’s impossible against teams with 10 or 15 swimmers. But when they win every event they swim, I can’t ask for more from them.”

The girls’ team got out to an early lead, and then had to have some great swims in the second half of the meet. Maddie Bair, McKenna Fox, Ana Persun, and Hannah Brian started things off by recording their best swim of the season in the 200 medley relay, finishing in 2:02.00. That time not only won the event, it qualified the team to move on to next week’s District 6 Championship meet in State College.

In the 200 free, it was a 1-2-3 finish by Persun, Autumn Garman and Fox that added to the Wildcat lead. Hannah Brian cruised to a win in the 200 IM, followed by Bair by 0.2 seconds to win the 50 free. The Wildcats went into the meet break with a commanding lead after Ana Persun took the 100 fly by almost seven seconds.

The meet resumed with the girls’ 100 free, where Morgan Brian fought back in the last 25 yards but was out-touched at the wall. Brian’s sprint to the finish did give her a personal best time of 1:03.50 in the 100 free, good enough to send her to the District 6 Championships.

Hannah Brian then followed her sister’s fast swim with one of her own, taking the 500 free by almost 15 seconds. The Wildcat girls then sealed the win when they went 1-2 in the 200 free relay, as the team of Bair, Morgan Brian, Hannah Brian and Persun was followed into the wall by the team of Chrissy Smith, Haley Burrows, Eva Jones, and Jocelyn Sproat.

“What a great season,” reflected CM assistant coach Carole Matheney. “We knew we had a great group of seasoned swimmers coming back, but numbers were low. We had to rely on the younger girls to come through with team points. We’re very happy with the improvement they have shown throughout the season, and we’re looking forward to having them back next year.”

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