Last updated: April 30. 2013 1:27AM - 1268 Views

Jack Matusiak of Dallas swimming.Don Carey Times Leader Photo
Jack Matusiak of Dallas swimming.Don Carey Times Leader Photo
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Matthew Edkins


Lake-Lehman


So. – Diving


In just two years, Edkins transformed a once-perennial bottom dweller of the WVC to one of the district’s top diving programs. His near perfection on the diving board merited him a bronze medal at the PIAA Class 2A championships. The Black Knight sophomore registered a 407.35 to secure third place against an underclassmen cast at states. Earlier in the year, Edkins tabbed his second –straight district championship with a 454.65 score.


Tyler Farley


Hazleton Area


Sr. – Medley/Breaststroke


Farley erased 5.48 seconds off his seed time to secure his place on the top of the 200 IM podium, finishing the race in 2:02.56. The Cougar senior won two relays – 400 free, 200 medley – to pave the way for his team’s regional championship. At states, he took 32nd in the 200 IM and his two relays finished 20th and 22nd. He took second in the 100 breast at regionals.


Joseph Grzech


Crestwood


Jr. – Backstroke/Free


Joseph was a multi-event state qualifier with two second-place swims at districts. He trimmed 4.8 seconds off his 200 freestyle time for a 1:48.33 to make the race surprisingly interesting down the finish. Grzech later swam a 55.25-second 100 backstroke to claim silver. In Lewisburg, he made the B-final in the 100 back for a 16th place finish took 22nd in the 200 free.


Josh Grzech


Crestwood


Jr. – Butterfly/Sprints


Josh’s state medal showed he doesn’t need a complete team to be successful. Grzech took seventh at states in the 100 butterfly at 52.28 seconds. He later took 12th in the 100 free at the Lewisburg-based championships. He was a multi-event winner in his most successful districts to date. Grzech narrowly defeated Dallas’ Brian Stepniak in the 100 free (48.2 seconds) and won the 100 butterfly with ease in 53.02 seconds.


Jeff Hicks


Hazleton Area


Sr. – Freestyle


Hicks secured a regional crown in the 200 free, clocking in at 1:49.62. He also qualified for states with a first in the 400 free and 200 medley relays. At states, his 400 free relay garnered 20th at a time of 3:15.65, and the 200 medley bested their seed time with a 1:39.2. Hicks was third in the 100 free at regionals as his Cougars won a regional championship.


Jack Matusiak


Dallas


Sr. – Medley


Matusiak contributed to two district relay championships en route to a fourth district team championship and a WVC South Division crown. His 200 free relay earned a state medal with a seventh-place performance at 1:30.35. At districts, he took third in the 200 IM (2:05.71) and sixth in the 100 breast (1:05.58).


Thomas Missal


Wyoming Valley West


Sr. – Medley/Butterfly


Missal put the finishing touched on a storied career with two second-place swims at the District 2-4 regionals. He cut 6-plus seconds off his seed time to earn silver in the 200 IM with a 2:02.55. A 2-second underdog, Missal nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets of regionals when he touched the wall three-tenths of a second behind the leader in the 100 fly at 53.32 seconds. His 200 free relay team won a district gold and finished 24th at PIAAs.


Ryan Paisley


Hazleton Area


Sr. – Butterfly/Backstroke


Paisley broke a district record in the 100 backstroke, setting the new mark at 52.68 seconds. The record was just the tip of the iceberg as he won first in all four events he swam in at regionals. Paisley squeezed out a 53.02-second victory in the 100 butterfly, narrowly defeating Wyoming Valley West’s Thomas Missal. His 200 medley and 400 free relays both won regional championships in easy fashion. Paisley claimed 21st in the 100 back and 25th in the 100 butterfly as his Cougars won the team title.


Ben Spencer


Tunkhannock


Sr. – Medley/Back


A record-breaking performance at districts and two state medals earned Spencer the distinction of The Times Leader Boys Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Year in 2013. Spencer was nothing short of remarkable, breaking a 23-year old district record in the 200 IM with a 1:58.09. He later claimed the 100 back gold in 53.65 seconds and placed second in two relays. Spencer had the highest WVC swimming showing at states, grabbing fifth in the 200 IM. The next day, he took sixth in the 100 back in 53.21 seconds.


Brian Stepniak


Dallas


Sr. – Sprints


Everything came up sevens for Stepniak in his final state meet: seventh in the 50 free at 21.76, seventh in the 100 free at 47.98, and seventh in the 200 free relay at 1:30.35. His three state medals couple with a three district golds. He won the 50 free in 21.88 seconds and trailed by two-tenths of a second in the 100 free. Stepniak ends his Mountaineer swimming career with eight district gold medals. He was keystone in the Mountaineers’ four consecutive district championships and guided Dallas to a WVC South Division title this season.


Collin Vest


Wyoming Valley West


Sr. – Diving


Vest ended his high school career as one of the most prolific divers in District 2 history. The Spartan senior won his fourth district championship with a 481.8 score. For the second-straight year, Vest medaled with a seventh-place performance at states, registering a 434.7. In Lewisburg, he was the only diver to complete a triple-somersault pike. In 2012, he set the Class 3A district record of an astounding 534.4. Vest is a 2011-12 NISCA all-American.


Troy Valkusky


Hazleton Area


Jr. – Sprints/Distance


In leading his team to a regional title, Valkusky participated in two championship relay teams. His 400 free relay team clocked in at 3:15.65 to get 20th at states, and the 200 medley relay produced a 1:39.2 time to take 22nd. Individually, Valkusky finished second in the 50 free (22.13) and fourth in the 500 free (5:06.29).


Terry Vrabec


Holy Redeemer


So. – Butterfly/Breaststroke


Vrabec electrified the Royals at districts with his first-place swim in the 100 breaststroke at 1:00.53 – the first career gold medal for the Holy Redeemer sophomore. He finished two off of a state medal with a 10th place performance in the 100 breast at states; his 1:00.98 was within a quarter-second of the seventh and eighth place finishers’ finals time. Vrabec also placed fourth in the 100 butterfly at districts.


Marcus Wagner


Dallas


Sr. – Distance


Add four district golds and another state medal to Wagner’s impressive resume. Wagner claimed the 200 free in 1:47.13 at districts. He then lapped the competition in the 500 free; his winning time of 4:51.64 was 14.17 seconds faster than the next finisher. After winning two relays at districts, his 200 free relay team medaled in seventh at states in 1:30.35. In Lewisburg, Wagner earned 12th in the 200 free and 14th in the 500 free. He leaves Dallas with four district team championships and 11 district gold medals.


Ed Zawatski


Wyoming Valley West


So. – Sprints


Zawatski’s sophomore campaign further supported his case as one of the fastest young talents in the state. “Fast Eddie” claimed his first state medal, finishing fifth in the 50 free at 20.92 seconds. He fell two spots short of a state medal in the 100 free with a 10th place finish. Zawatski was a tenth of a second off of a district record in the 100 free, finishing in 46.66 seconds. The Spartan sophomore won the 50 regional gold at 21.01 seconds.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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