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PHS swimmers compete at BU

The Parkland girls and boys swimming teams faced a challenge at the New Year’s Challenge Invite held last Saturday at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, which also happens to be the site of the PIAA Championships in March.

The Trojan girls team finished sixth out of seven schools with 185 points, while the boys finished seventh with 168 points.

Kayla Johnson took home the day’s only gold medal for Parkland, winning the 50-yard freestyle in 23.59. She also took fourth in the 100-yard fly in 58.78.

“Kayla is one of the top overall athletes in the region,” Parkland coach Robert Robitaille said. “We are excited to watch her last season at Parkland.”

Claire Weaver also performed well for the Trojans, claiming seventh in two races - the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard freestyle. Also, Sophia Cerimele proved competitive in two races - the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly - finishing 10th and 11th, respectively.

“Claire is the true definition of a teammate at Parkland,” Robitaille said. “Sophia has a great underwater attack that we look to use tactically this year in all races.”

Nick Zaffiro was the top Parkland boys finisher, claiming fourth in the 200-yard individual medley. Robitaille describes the senior as “a hard worker and true team guy.”

Luke Willard also represented himself well in Lewisburg. The senior finished fifth and sixth in the 100-yard fly and 200-yard freestyle, respectively.

“He’s a real grind-type of athlete,” said the coach. “Always working hard and for long durations.”

The field included Cumberland Valley, Hershey, Wilson, North Allegheny, State College and Emmaus.