Fresh off making school history the last time in the pool, the Tunkhannock Area boys swimming team was hopeful that history would repeat itself.
The Tigers completed an undefeated regular season with a one-point victory over Dallas on Feb. 21 to win the Wyoming Valley Conference division title and join the 1996-97 squad as just the second team in school history to finish unbeaten.
It was an incredible feat, but one that would be hard to repeat come the District 2 Class 2A Swim Championships.
And, the Mountaineers proved just that when the competition wrapped up Monday afternoon at the Catholic Youth Center in Wilkes-Barre.
Dallas showcased its depth and experience while keeping its foot on the gas for both days of the meet, overwhelming the competition en route to the team title with 269 points.
In fact, both Dallas squads dominated, as the Lady Mountaineers edged out their fourth consecutive district championship with 268 points to second-place Wyoming Seminary’s 255.
It marked the third time in four years that Dallas swept the championship.
The Tigers, who were third overall after Day 1 on Saturday, finished second with 196 points, while Holy Redeemer rounded out the top three with 163 points.
“The depth of Dallas really came out,” Tunkhannock head boys coach Tim Mislevy said. “We won the conference against them when they came in undefeated, so we had them head-to-head. It ended up being a good season and I was pleased with everything overall. I told the bous how proud I was for them when the meet was over. They should be proud and I think that they are.”
Though the Tigers missed out on a team title, the squad will still have a solid representation at states.
Senior Alex Bushre won the 100 freestyle by 48-tenths of a second over sophomore and teammate Davis Tidball.
Bushre’s time in the 50 free also qualified him for states despite finishing in second.
Tidball and Bushre, along with juniors Dyllan Henning and Dylan Mislevy will also represent the Tigers in the 200 medley relay after their second-place time qualified.
Tunkhannock entered the district meet with a needed advantage, courtesy of the points garnered by seniors Sawyer Aitken and Hunter Whytashek in the diving competition the week before.
But as the competition of Day 1 wore on, the Mountaineers kept cutting into that deficit before eventually separating themselves to lead with 120 points, with Scranton Prep in second at 106 points.
“We were watching the score and Dallas was making up ground rather quickly,” Mislevy said. “Unfortunately we didn’t win the (200) medley relay and some things weren’t going our way. I felt that to change the momentum it would be good to go with our A-team for the final relay and end the day on a high note.”
Unfortunately for Tunkhannock, the day ended sour.
Henning, Mislevy, Tidball and Bushre teamed up once more, this time winning the 200 freestyle relay by about three seconds to give the Tigers some much needed momentum to end Day 1.
However, the Tunkhannock team was disqualified for a false start, as was second-place Scranton Prep, which awarded Holy Redeemer with gold and kept Dallas in first place.
“It ended up not mattering because Dallas won handedly,” Mislevy said of shuffling the relay team. “We talked about it at Sunday’s practice and just had to set that aside and move on to Monday. We shifted gears a little bit, but the plan was still to show up and swim how we know we want to swim.”
Though Dallas trailed by one point with three events remaining, the Mountaineers outscored the Tigers by 76 points the rest of the way for its third title in four years
That streak started the year after Tunkhannock won the district championship by besting Dallas in 2014.
For Bushre, Monday was a shot at redemption.
The senior entered the 50 freestyle on Saturday as the top seed, but made the slightest of errors on the turn by not getting a complete push off the wall.
Those precious tenths of s second lost would be the difference at Scranton Prep senior Michael Durr edged Bushre, 22.05 to 22.13, though that time was still good enough for a state trip for the second consecutive year.
Bushre’s seed time coming in was 21.87.
But on Monday, Bushre was flawless in the 100 free, matching his seed time at 49.09 and edging Davis Tidball’s time of 49.57.
Mislevy was also right behind in fourth to wrap up places in three of the top four spots at 51.23 to give the Tigers the lead at the time.
“I hit a goal, and it was a nice feeling to be able to win,” Bushre said. “It definitely feels a lot better. We had practice on Sunday and went over turns and techniques to make sure that we don’t screw up. We’ve all been working hard, and Monday was all about making no mistakes.”
Tidball will be third alternate at states for the 100 free along with qualifying with the 200 medley relay, a team which he, Bushre and Henning were part of last year that won gold.
Henning also finished in fourth and senior Ben Tidball placed sixth to get on the medal stand in the 50 free.
Tidball also finished eighth in the 200 IM.
On the girls’ side of things, Tunkhannock finished in sixth with 74.5 points.
Leading the Lady Tigers were Camryn Rogers, who finished sixth in the 50 free and eighth in the 100 free, and senior Sara Fetter, who took eighth in the 500 free.
Out of the Lackawanna League, the Elk Lake boys finished in sixth with 98 points.
Leading the way for the Warriors was senior Kale Decker in seventh in the 200 IM and sixth in the 500 free, and senior Nathan Grosvenor, who took seventh in the 100 fly.
Decker, sophomore Noah Staff, Grosvenor and his younger brother Zach, a sophomore, also teamed up to win third in the 400 free relay.
The Elk Lake girls finished in seventh with 53 points.
Senior Lydia Ofalt finished eighth in the 200 free and fifth in the 100 breaststroke to lead the Lady Warriors.
The PIAA Championships will be held next week at Bucknell University on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17.
Aitken and Whytashek will take to the board on Friday, along with Bushre in the 50 free and the 200 medley relay team.
Bushre will then be back in the pool the following day in the 100 freestyle.
Class 2A Boys Results
Team standings: 1. Dallas 269; 2. Tunkhannock 196; 3. Holy Redeemer 163; 4. Scranton Prep 155; 5. Wyoming Seminary 117; 6. Elk Lake 98; 7. Nanticoke 83; 8. Valley View 80; 9. Berwick 39; 10. Wyoming Area 25; 11. Lakeland 21; 12. Holy Cross 20; 13. Lake-Lehman 15; 14. Meyers 5.
200 Medley Relay: 1. Scranton Prep, 1:39.35; 2. Tunkhannock (Davis Tidball, Dyllan Henning, Dylan Mislevy, Alex Bushre), 1:40.40.
200 Free: 1. Adam Mahler (HR), 1:46.05 (ties meet record, old mark, 1:46.05, Sean McCall, Bishop Hoban, 1985); 7. Kale Decker (EL), 1:56.35; 8. Ben Tidball (TUN), 1:58.21.
200 IM: 1. Mikail Krochta (DAL), 1:59.27.
50 Free: 1. Michael Durr (SP), 22.05; 2. Bushre (TUN) 22.13; 4. Dyllan Henning (TUN) 23.32; 6. B. Tidball (TUN), 24.14.
Diving: 1. Sawyer Aitken (TUN), 415.80; 2. Hunter Whytashek (TUN), 309.00; 3. Zach Shields (EL), 291.85.
100 Fly: 1. Mahler (HR), 50.49 (meet record; old mark, 51.68, Adam Mahler, Holy Redeemer, 2017); 6. Mislevy (TUN), 56.85; 7. Nathan Grosvenor (EL), 1:01.39.
200 Free Relay: 1. Holy Redeemer, 1:34.85; 4. Elk Lake (Decker, Noah Staff, Justin Grosvenor, N. Grosvenor), 1:40.76.
100 Free: 1. Bushre (TUN), 49.09; 2. D. Tidball (TUN), 49.57; 4. Mislevy (TUN), 51.23.
500 Free: 1. Shane Szczecinski (DAL), 5:00.00; 6. Decker (EL), 5:17.26.
100 Back: 1. Krochta (DAL), 53.86; 3. D. Tidball (TUN), 56.73.
100 Breast: 1. Ryan Spears (DAL), 1:01.64; 5. Henning (TUN), 1:04.18.
400 Free Relay: 1. Dallas, 3:19.23; 3. Elk Lake (Decker, Z. Grosvenor, Staff, N. Grosvenor), 3:45.16; 4. Tunkhannock (B. Tidball, Mike Astegher, AJ Hodge, Julien Madus), 3:47.54.
Class 2A Girls Results
Team standings: 1. Dallas 268; 2. Wyoming Seminary 255; 3. Scranton Prep 251; 4. Holy Redeemer 197; 5. Berwick 78; 6. Tunkhannock 74.5; 7. Elk Lake 53; 8. Valley View 42; 9. Dunmore 31; 10. Holy Cross 21; 11. Meyers 25; 12. Nanticoke 21; 13. Honesdale 20; 14. West Scranton 10; 15. Wyoming Area 9; 16. Western Wayne 8.5
200 Medley Relay: 1. Scranton Prep and Wyoming Seminary 1:47.80, tie (meet record; old mark, 1:49.02, Scranton Prep, 2017; pool record, old mark, 1:47.98, Widener University, 2012); 5. Tunkhannock (Taylor Lynn, Alexis Hutchins, Erin Weaver, Camryn Rogers), 1:59.88.
200 Free: 1. Melissa Leonard (DAL), 1:57.90; 8. Lydia Ofalt (EL), 2:05.44.
200 IM: 1. Tara Kupsky (SEM), 2:10.60.
50 Free: 1. Annalise Cheshire (DAL), 24.01; 6. Rogers (TUN), 25.66.
100 Fly: 1. Abby Zolner (DAL), 58.34.
200 Free Relay: 1. Scranton Prep, 1:38.60; 6. Elk Lake (Megan Boscher, Lizzy Lyden, Sam Hunsinger, Ofalt), 1:53.38. 1:53.38.
100 Free: 1. Skylar Roerig (SEM), 52.05; 8. Rogers (T), 56.27.
500 Free: 1. Leonard (DAL), 5:12.70; 8. Sara Fetter (TUN), 5:35.79.
100 Back: 1. Alison Prushinski (SP), 58.04.
100 Breast: 1. Margaret Walting (HR), 1:04.05 (meet and pool record; old mark, 1:04.23, Rebekah Campo, Scranton Prep, 2012); 5. Ofalt (EL), 1:11.99.
400 Free Relay: 1. Dallas, 3:34.52; 5. Tunkhannock (Fetter, Weaver, Lynn, Rogers), 3:57.42; 7. Elk Lake (Hunsinger, Lyden, Boscher, Ofalt), 4:10.17.