Leah Shackley Undercuts National High School Record at PIAA District Meet

2024 PIAA Swimming & Diving District 6 Championships

  • February 23-24, 2024
  • Penn State University, State College, Pennsylvania
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards), Timed Finals
  • Full Meet Results

While most American swimming eyes were focused on swimming at high school state championship meets, college conference championship meets, and LSC championship meets, Bedford Area High School’s Leah Shackley flew under the radar at a district championship meet in central Pennsylvania – though she had one of the best weekends of all of the above.

Shackley, one of just two swimmers from her high school to compete at the meet, won the 100 back and 100 fly for the third-consecutive season, and finishes her career with eight individual titles. In the process, she rose up the National Age Group rankings in one of those events.

Her first win came in the 100 fly, where she swam 51.16. That was about two-tenths slower than her previous personal best in the event, done at last year’s YMCA National Championships in April.

Then, in the 100 back, she swam 50.43, which undercuts her time from Winter Juniors – East by two-tenths of a second. That moves her up to 8th place all-time in the 17-18 National Age Group Rankings, jumping ahead of names like Katharine Berkoff, Gretchen Walsh, Rachel Bootsma, and Amy Bilquist.

Shackley, who will head to NC State in the fall, is the two-time defending AA (small schools) State Champion in both races. If she continues her pattern from past seasons, she would still have another drop to go – at either the State Championship meet from March 13-16 at Bucknell University, or a month later at the YMCA Short Course National Championships. She hasn’t peaked at her district meet in either of the last two years.

In the 100 back, that would put her within reach of Claire Curzan’s National Age Group Record (49.46). She is already faster than the National Public High Schools Record of 50.97, though she was faster than that time at last year’s district meet as well and it was never recognized by NISCA. That recognized record was done in November 2023 by Maggie Wanezek from Brookfield East High School in Wisconsin.

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ACC fan
1 month ago

If she’s this fast now, just wait until she trains with NC State. Wow!

this guy
1 month ago

So at a district meet that she isn’t even close to rested for? whoa. You gotta think she breaks 50 at her state meet.

1 month ago

why was it not recognizeD?

James Beam
1 month ago

Any idea why her time last year wasn’t recognized?

Reply to  James Beam
1 month ago


Garth Chase
Reply to  James Beam
1 month ago

For whatever reason if the record is not set at a state championship meet, it is not recognized.

the olden days
Reply to  James Beam
1 month ago

Looks like PSU isn’t on the list of certified pools. Surprising because I think they used to host the State Championships every year pre-Bucknell. Also, only 28 states are represented on that list, which is unfortunate for the competitors from the other 22 states.

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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