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Central Mountain swimmers preparing for District 6 meet

At one point, the Central Mountain swim team doubted they would even have a season this year. Not only were start dates pushed back several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but more importantly, they didn’t have a pool to swim in.

The LHU pool was unavailable due to virus restrictions, and the YMCA pool is closed and awaiting repairs.

Just when all seemed lost, an agreement was made with the Western Clinton County Recreation Authority to use the pool at their Renovo facility for practices. The coaches and team went right to work.

They lined up transportation, rigged homemade lane lines and backstroke flags and they built a season they thought they had lost. And not just any season, a very successful season.

That season culminates Friday as eight members of the team travel to State College for the District 6 Championship meet.

“This has been a great season,” said first-year coach Scott Bair. “These kids obviously love to swim. They’ve faced adversity all year long, and they just keep swimming. We’ve all had to be flexible, but I haven’t heard a single complaint all year. They’ve worked hard, had a lot of fun, and gotten faster with each passing week after our late start. I’m proud of every one of them, and I’m happy so many have qualified for the district meet.

Both members of the boys team are headed to State College. Parker Orndorf qualified to swim in the 100 free and 100 back and Leisher Gugino will swim the 200 free and 100 breast.

Orndorf already set a new school record in the 100 back this year, as has Gugino in the 100 breast. Bair is expecting great showings from both boys this Friday.

On the girls side, six members will be making the trip, including two relay teams. Those teams include Maddie Bair, Hannah Brian, McKenna Fox and Ana Persun in the 200 medley relay, and Maddie Bair, Hannah Brian, Morgan Brian and Ana Persun in the 200 free relay.

“Both of our relays qualified in our last meet of the season.” said coach Bair. “That shows me that they just don’t quit, and they’re hitting their peak at just the right time. “Both relays have the third-fastest qualifying time going into the meet, and I’m excited to see where they end up.”

The girls will also be swimming in numerous individual events, with Autumn Garman swimming the 100 back, McKenna Fox in the 100 breast and Morgan Brian in the 100 free. Maddie Bair qualified in the 50 free and the 100 breast, Hannah Brian in the 50 free and 500 free, and Ana Persun the 200 free and 100 fly.

The 2021 District 6 Championship meet starts Friday at 5 p.m., and will be broadcast live on the State College School District YouTube channel. No spectators will be allowed in the venue.

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