Dudzinski smashes state record
Ryan Dudzinski shattered the state record in winning the 100-yard butterfly and while Upper St. Clair also broke the mark in the 200 medley relay, the Panthers trailed La Salle College and North Allegheny in the Class AAA boys' team standings after one day of competition at the PIAA swimming and diving championships being held at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.
Dudzinski won the fly in 47.44, smashing the PIAA mark by .24 seconds. Andrew Kosic from West Chester Henderson set the record in 2011. Dudzinski's time was .11 off the pool record of 47.33. The National Federation of High School's record is 45.52 held by Joseph Schooling from Florida.
A junior, Dudzinski led off USC's medley. Tomos Williams, Fynn Minuth and Nathan Novak followed and finished in 1:31.02. While the time broke the state record, the Panthers settled for the bronze medal as La Salle College won the event in 1:30.26 and NA swam a silver-medal time of 1:30.86.
After the first session, La Salle had amassed a 173 score. NA picked up 118 points. USC follows in third place with 109.5 points.
The Panthers placed second in the 200 freestyle relay. Their time of 1:23.35 was just off the winning pace of 1:23.12 recorded by La Salle. Alex Hardwick anchored the unit, which included Williams, Patrick Lersch and Novak.
Individually, Minuty finished eighth in the 200 IM, Williams took 10th in the 50 free and Jake Johnsen picked up six points for the Panthers with 11th in the 100 fly.
Some other first-day highlights featuring local lads included:
• Mt. Lebanon's 200 medley relay team of Andrei Mihailescu, Brian Ramsey, Noah Wechter, Alex Rice winning its heat in 1:25.23. The unit took ninth place overall.
• Lebo's 200 free relay team of Mihailescu, Gabriel Nass, Nik Victor and Rice placed 13th.
• Bethel Park's Mitchel Stahara took 13th in the 200 free.
In first day of action for the girls, Katie Ford missed a gold medal by the slimmest of margins, three-hundredths of a second. The Mt. Lebanon senior secured silver in the 50-yard freestyle with a 23.16 time. The winning mark was 23.13 by Madelyn Veith.
Ford also helped the 200 free relay finish fourth in 1:36.33. Kathryn Nicholson, Meghan Schilken and Veronica Bogdanski also comprised the unit.
Upper St. Clair's Victoria Shaffer, Carly Olsakovsky, Carolyn Novak and Lindsey Choate combined for sixth in the 200 free relay with a 1:37.18 time.
In the medley relay, Maeve Lersch, Kelly Kopko, Lindsey Choate and Olsakovsky won their heat, taking ninth overall.
Individually, Allie Brinkhoff from Bethel Park was 11th in the 200 IM while Palu Benson-Saorise of Peters Township duplicated that showing in the 100 fly.