Clarion Swimmers Claim Top Spots At Oil City Invitational (12/05/14)

(By Matt Lerch)

The Clarion County YMCA Riversharks, in their second season, made quite a splash at the Oil City Thanksgiving Invitational on Saturday, November 29th. Twenty-seven Clarion swimmers, ages 5-16, made the trip to Oil City while the rest of us recovered from tryptophan and black Friday sales.

(Photos by Matt Lerch) Clarion Riversharks 2015 District Qualifiers as of 12-5-14

(Photos by Matt Lerch) Clarion Riversharks 2015 District Qualifiers as of 12-5-14

The Oil City Invitational drew experienced swimmers from throughout Northwestern PA, and presented a competitive field where the Clarion YMCA Riversharks made a great showing. In the afternoon session for ages 11 and up, top finishers included Alayna Murray (12) with a 2nd place finish in the 50 breaststroke and a 3rd place in the 50 yard butterfly. Beau Verdill (11), placed 4th in the 50 yard breaststroke. Mason Burns placed 3rd against stiff competition in the Boys 13-14 100 yard breaststroke.

Nathaniel Lerch (12) had a great day, qualifying for the YMCA PA Western District Championships in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle.

In the morning session, Jake Nowaczyk (8) had a fantastic meet, with 2nd, 3rd, and two 4th place finishes swimming all 4 strokes.

Kylan Clark swam his way to a 3rd place medal in the 25 yard butterfly. Patrick Young (9) did well in all his events, and qualified for his first District Championships in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 35.63. Parker Boyden (10) also qualified for Districts in the 100 yard freestyle.

Clarion Riversharks with wins at Oil City Invitational

Clarion Riversharks with wins at Oil City Invitational

Making a great debut in their first Riversharks swim meet were Gillian Lattimer (13), Lindsay Schmader (age 7), Hudson Bliss (age 6), and twins Maggie and Callie Snodgrass (age 5). The future looks bright with these new swimmers!

Congratulations to all of the swimmers for their great performances at the Oil City Invitational and thanks to the excellent coaching staff led by former Clarion University swimmer Samantha VanDyke. The Clarion County YMCA Riversharks will open their regular season on Saturday with a local battle against the Brookville Barracudas.

(Thanks to Matt Lerch for this article and photos. Good work Riversharks!!!!)