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Trojans compete at state championships

Even though Kayla Johnson and Madison Tewksbury both came away from the PIAA swimming championship with medals, both believe that the day could have been much better. In all, Parkland captured all four of the medals that went to District 11 girls swimmers or relay teams in Saturday’s meet, which was held at Cumberland Valley High School.

Johnson won a bronze medal in the 50-yard freestyle event and then placed seventh in the 100-yard freestyle. She started and ended her day in relay events, opening with a 14th-place finish as part of the 200-yard medley relay team and closing with a 13th-place finish with the 400 freestyle relay team.

“I wish that I could have done better, but I’m still happy with how I placed overall,” said Johnson, a junior. “It felt great that we were even able to have states, so overall I’m happy because we were never sure we would be able to be here.”

Johnson already has a goal for next season, which includes going to districts and taking another shot at besting the District 11 record in the 50 freestyle, which was set in 2016 by Parkland’s Siena Salvaggio.

This season Johnson missed Salvaggio’s mark by just 0.27 seconds on her way to district gold. Johnson would also be one of the favorites in the state for the 50 freestyle next season.

Madison Tewksbury was also on two of the Parkland relay teams and medaled with a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:05.69. Like Johnson, Tewksbury was glad to have had the opportunity to compete but felt she could have accomplished a little more.

“I feel like I could have done better. I wasn’t very pleased,” said Tewksbury. “I am still very happy that I had the chance to come to states and compete with my team.”

Senior Olivia Stevenson finished 11th in the 500-yard freestyle and 14th in the 200-yard freestyle events.

Claire Weaver was the only member of Parkland’s team to swim on all three relay teams. Sophia Cerimele swam on the 200 medley relay team and with the 400 freestyle relay team while Devon Corvaia swam for both the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams. Simone Lin swam the third leg of the 200 freestyle relay for Parkland.

The Parkland girls finished with 74 points in the team standings, giving them 14th place among 48 schools. Stevenson and Corvaia were the only two seniors on this year’s state team.

North Allegheny won this year’s team championship.

On the boys’ side, Ethan Radio finished fourth in diving, which was held one week before the swimming competition.

John Fahrney was the only member of the team to compete at Cumberland Valley Saturday and he finished 14th in the 500-yard freestyle.

The Parkland boys finished tied with West Chester Henderson for 35th place out of 56 schools in the competition.

LaSalle College won the boys team competition easily with a final score of 309 points, besting second-place Emmaus, who finished with 162 points.

PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSON Parkland's Kayla Johnson steps up to the starting block at the state championship meet.