Grove City Boys and Villa Maria Girls win 2016 PIAA “AA” Championships

The Grove City Eagles captured their first ever PIAA State Championship this past weekend, winning by over 60 points in the Boys “AA” competition. On the girls side, Villa Maria Academy won it’s sixth straight. The biggest star on hand was Gwynedd-Mercy’s Allie Szekely, who won every event she entered over the course of the weekend.

Boys Championship

Grove City bookended their meet with victories in both the 200 Medley and 400 Freestyle relays. The medley victory was most impressive, with the Eagles recording a 1:33.94 in a field where no other teams were under 1:37. They had just one individual champion the rest of the way, Austin Wilson in the 100 backstroke at 49.18.

Second place Trinity managed to touch Grove City out in the 200 freestyle relay, 1:26.69 to 1:26.76. They also came away with an individual victory in diving, where Bradley Buchter broke his own state record with 652.45 points.

Salisbury junior Malon Reihman won both the freestyle races he entered with ease. In the 200 free he carved a 1:38.82, he would go on to win the 100 freestyle in 45.58.

Matthew Daniel (Manheim Central),  was also a double champion, taking the 200 IM (1:52.68) and 500 free (4:32.57).

Other winners over the course of the two day championship:

  • Gabe Castano (Allentown) 50 free 20.98
  • Logal Palochak (Hopewell) 100 fly 50.56
  • Jonah Crawford (Bloomsburg) 58.16

Top three team scores:

  1. Grove City 212
  2. Trinity 151
  3. Quaker Valley 143

Girls Championship

As mentioned, Szekely provided the biggest fireworks, but her team was unable to overcome the depth of Villa Maria. The team had just one relay and one individual victory, but nevertheless won by over 100 points.

That relay victory was also a PIAA “AA” state record. The team of Olivia Giampetro, Nina Smith, Emily Cornell and Maura McManus sliced a half second off of the previous mark with a 1:35.81.

Editor’s Note: There were actually two schools at this meet named Villa Maria, so the 6th-place team was not a “B” relay, simply another school.

Emily Cornell was the only individual winner for Villa Maria, she cruised the 200 free in 1:49.56.

Gwynedd-Mercy scored two relay victories and state “AA” records with Szekely leading the way. First they clipped the 200 Medley Relay record with Stephanie Szekely, Annie O’Dare and Hannah Blaser joining the elder Szekely to go 1:43.96. The same foursome also swam to the 400 freestyle at 3:27.69.

Szekely won the 100 backstroke in 53.93, coming up just short of her own state record of 53.80 from 2014. Her other first place finish came in the 200 IM where she swam 1:59.33

Emily Zimcosky from Geibel Catholic was a double individual champion. She won the 50 freestyle in 23.12 before stepping up to an even more impressive 100 free (49.96).

Other winners over the course of the two day championship:

  • Becca Luft (Northern), 100 fly 55.72
  • Hailey Bonnett (Highlands) 500 freestyle 4:52.00
  • Abby German (Fairview) 100 breaststroke 1:02.48
  • Taylor Hockenberry (Mars) Diving 439.85

Top three team scores:

  1. Villa Maria Academy 314.5
  2. Gwynedd-Mercy Academy 214
  3. Shady Side Academy 116

Link to all results, splits and scores, 2016 PIAA “AA” Championships


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Kelley Zimcosky
7 years ago

So proud of you Emily Zimcosky. You have brought a state championship back to Geibel Catholic. First one since 1978.

Michael Hay
7 years ago

This was a record breaking 6th consecutive PIAA State Championship by the Villa Maria Academy Hurricanes, which is the most consecutive PIAA State Championships won in any Division of any Sport. The Hurricanes also did so with a record breaking most points scored in the PIAA AA Women’s State Championship history by nearly 45 points, breaking their own record set last year.

7 years ago

PIAA does not allow for multiple relays to be entered. There are two girl’s schools named Villa Maria, one is from District 1 (VMA) and the other is from District 10 (VM).

About Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis is a swim coach, writer and swimming enthusiast. Chris does private consulting and coaching with teams and individuals. You can find him at Chris is a 2009 Graduate from the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the first professional athletic coach …

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