Marcus Wagner added to his district medal collection.
As a result, he helped the Dallas boys swimming program add to its streak of District 2 Class AA team championships.
Wagner won two individual gold medals and two relay gold medals for the second straight year.
The Mountaineers have won team championships in all four years of the high school careers of Wagner, Brian Stepniak, Jack Matusiak and Grant Luksic.
“That’s pretty neat,” Wagner said of the district team title sweep. “We came in with a few more kids in our freshman year, but us four core kids pretty much stuck together.”
The results have been impressive and went well beyond what Wagner anticipated when it all started.
“I really didn’t pay attention to times until I got to high school,” Wagner said. “In age group swimming, I kind of did it just for fun.
“I still have fun, but high school swimming really made us see how well we were doing as a group.”
Wagner, the distance specialist, led that group. He won 200- and 500-meter freestyle titles each of the last three years, giving him six career individual golds. He has 10 total medals in a case in his room at home after also contributing to 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay wins in the last two years.
The highlight in the latest championships March 1-2 at the Wilkes-Barre Catholic Youth Center was a personal-best performance in the 500 freestyle where he came in more than three seconds below his seeding time at 4:51.64, destroying the field to win by more than 13 seconds.
“I would probably say the 500 is the most significant one for me,” Wagner said. “I really take pride in that event because it’s the longest event there is in high school swimming.”
Dallas coach Romayne Mosier said Wagner has done the work to make those results happen.
“For Marcus, it’s sheer determination in setting his goals to be able to accomplish that drop in time,” Mosier said. “Every practice, he has a goal. He’s not just setting a goal for the next meet.”
Stepniak and Matusiak joined Wagner and Patrick Gelso on the two winning relay teams. They also joined Wagner in qualifying as individuals for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships at Bucknell University.
Grant Luksic was part of a fourth-place finish in the 200 medley relay, along with Ezra Moore, Porter Luksic and Reid Luksic. He also contributed with an eighth-place finish in the 200 freestyle. The top 12 finishers in each event scored team points.
Dallas won the team championship by outscoring Scranton Prep, 262-196. Lake-Lehman was 10th of 13 teams with 31 points.
Projecting the meet based on seeding in advance would have made the Mountaineers the favorite, but the large margin of victory was impressive.
“I knew it was going to be a tougher time to win this year because of the additional teams that dropped down from Triple-A to Double-A,” Mosier said. “We had to beat more teams.”
Stepniak contributed three gold medals and a silver. He won the 50 freestyle in 21.88 seconds, earning a sixth-seed at the state meet, the highest of any Mountaineer. Stepniak also qualified for the state meet while finishing second in the 100 freestyle because his time ranked high enough among performances in district championships around Pennsylvania.
Matusiak qualified for the state meet on time with his third-place finish in the 200 individual medley. He was also sixth in the 100 breaststroke.
Patrick Madaya was third in the diving, which was held a week earlier.
Ezra Moore, who was third in the 500 freestyle, joined Stepniak, Jack Matusiak, Porter Luksic, Reid Luksic and Gelso in scoring points in two individual events. Nick Malkenes and Owen Kiluk also contributed points to the team title.
Most of Lake-Lehman’s points came from Matthew Edkins winning and Dustin Zeiler finishing fourth in diving. Edkins will also compete in the state championships.
Edkins repeated the district title he captured last year as a sophomore on the way to a sixth-place finish in the state.
Dallas finished sixth and Lake-Lehman ninth out of 17 teams in Class AA girls, which was won by Holy Redeemer.
Sami Sabol took third in the 100 backstroke and sixth in the 200 freestyle for Lake-Lehman.
Kaylin Augustine tied for fifth in the 100 backstroke for Dallas and was part of a fourth-place 400 freestyle relay team with Abby Berger, Amanda Schwerdtman and Lauren Finnegan.