First Posted: 3/7/2012
Scranton Prep sophomore Mia Nonnenberg knocked an Olympian out of the record books after 34 years and Abington Heights ended two weekends of competition in a share of first place in the team standings to highlight Lackawanna County high school performances March, 3 in the District 2 Swimming and Diving Championships at the Wilkes-Barre CYC.
Nonnenberg finished the Class AA 500-yard freestyle in 5:00.33 Saturday afternoon, taking nearly five seconds off the record set by U.S. Olympian Sue Heon while she attended Abington Heights. Heon set the record of 5:05.11 in 1978.
"It's exciting," Nonnenberg told the Times Leader. "I can't imagine myself in that kind of position yet."
The meet started last week with the diving competition.
Following Friday night and Saturday night sessions, Abington Heights and Hazleton Area wound up tied for first place in the District 2-4 Class AAA girls' standings with 279 points each.
The Lady Comets used a second-place relay finish, compared to fourth by the Lady Mountaineers, in the final event of the meet to force the tie.
Morgan Muller, Emma Gromelski, Rachel Smertz and Vanessa Lempicky formed the closing 400 freestyle relay team for Abington Heights.
Sydney Gualtieri came up with the only individual win of the weekend for the Lady Comets, taking first in the 100 breaststroke.
Abington Heights had three of the top six finishers in the 100 backstroke, led by Smertz in third place.
Scranton and West Scranton finished eighth and ninth out of nine teams in the scoring.
Williamsport edged Wyoming Valley West, 309-303, for the Class AAA boys' team title in what is considered a regional because of the combination of two districts. Valley West becomes the district champion for the highest total from District 2.
Abington Heights was sixth and Scranton seventh out of nine teams.
Nonnenberg led a series of strong individual performances that saw Lackawanna County swimmers take nine of 12 events in Class AA girls.
She won the 500 freestyle by 25 seconds over teammate Kaitie Voitik.
Rebekah Campo posted an eight-second win and broke a 10-year-old record by winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.23. Teammate Janel Harach was third.
Megan Carey of Holy Cross won the 100 freestyle for the second straight year and also won the 100 backstroke for a small team that is not even part of league competition during the regular season.
Valley View's 400 freestyle relay team of Vanessa LaTorre, Haley Mulherin, Lauren Merli and Kasey Franchak finished third.
Holy Redeemer used depth to outscore Scranton Prep, 329-235, for the team title.
Valley View was fourth, Holy Cross 13th and Dunmore 17th out of 17 teams.
Dallas defeated Holy Redeemer, 283-246, for the Class AA boys' team championship.
Scranton Prep was third with 203 points.
Valley View was sixth, Holy Cross ninth and West Scranton 12th out of 15 teams.
Ben Evans (500 freestyle) and Mike Robinson (100 breaststroke) took third in individual events while also being part of the third-place 400 freestyle relay team with Eddie Pfaeffle and Cooper Legg.
The winners of each event automatically qualified for the state championship at Bucknell University in Lewisburg in two weeks. In addition, top times of non-winners will fill the field. Those times will be compared with times from other district championships to determine qualifiers.