Looking for a strong finish in the final state meet for retiring coach Frank Tribendis, Wyoming Valley West’s 200-medley relay team came through.
The foursome of Maxim Kowalski, Zac Rosencrans, Logan Fluegel and Josh Zawatski won their heat in the event on Saturday in the PIAA Class 3A Championships at Bucknell’s Kinney Natatorium in Lewisburg.
With a time of 1:35.49, the Spartans squad shaved nearly a second-and-a-half off of their district title mark and finished 11th overall — the top showing of any District 2 entrant on the day.
Fluegel and Zawatski had particularly strong showings to finish it out, vaulting the Spartans up nine spots from their No. 20 seed. Fluegel’s split on the third leg was 22.11 seconds while Zawatski swam a 21.25 on the anchor.
Those two were busy on Saturday.
At the district meet earlier this month, Fluegel had a showdown in the 100 fly with Hazleton Area’s Jorge Moncayo, as both swimmers broke the meet record to qualify for states.
While Moncayo narrowly edged Fluegel two weeks ago, it was Fluegel who came out on top at states, earning a team point for Valley West with a 16th-place showing at 51.27 seconds.
Moncayo took 26th in the event (52.10) and also swam in the 200 IM, finishing 31st (2:02.76).
Zawatski, meanwhile, competed in the 50 free, finishing 25th with a time of 21.73.
The Spartans boys are tied for 23rd in the team standings after one day with 13 points.
Valley West’s Chelsea Mackiewicz was Saturday’s lone Wyoming Valley Conference competitor on the girls side, competing in the 50 free. The district champ finished 32nd with a time of 25.53 seconds.
As was the case for the Class 2A competition on Thursday and Friday, the 3A event utilized timed finals instead of the usual preliminaries-finals setup. Last week’s winter storm caused the schedule to be condensed while also bumping the diving competition to next weekend.
The 3A championships will wrap up on Sunday at Bucknell with seven more WVC entrants ready to compete.
Valley West has Zawatski (100 free), Fluegel (100 back), Rosencrans (100 breast) and a 400-free relay team going on the boys side while Alexis Ivanitch represents the Spartans girls in the 100 breast.
Hazleton Area’s Marina O’Hara will be featured in the 100 back and the Cougars will also be in the girls 400 free relay.
Competition resumes at 10:45 a.m. and can be watched live on PCN.
Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports