Clarion County YMCA Swimmers Compete at State Championships, Evelyn Lerch 4th In 50 Yd Breaststroke, Parker Boyden 14th In 100 Yd Freestyle (03/27/15)

(By Maureen Lavan)

(Photos by Matt Lerch) (L-R) Parker Boyden and Evelyn Lerch in McCoy Natatorium

(Photos by Matt Lerch) (L-R) Parker Boyden and Evelyn Lerch in McCoy Natatorium

Honored and excited, Clarion County YMCA Riversharks Evelyn Lerch and Parker Boyden competed against top swimmers from across the state in the 2015 PA YMCA State Swimming Championships on March 22 at Penn State’s McCoy Natatorium.

And the duo did not disappoint! “Both girls were at the peak of their training and their results showed it,” said Samantha Van Dyke, Riversharks Head Coach. “They both dropped times and came away with their personal bests – they did outstanding.”

There was no denying Evelyn Lerch (10) in the Breaststroke. Using her resilient kick, she started and finished strong and blasted past most of the field in the Girls 10 & Under 50 yard Breaststroke to clinch 4th place. Shaving over a half second from her seed time, she finished in 38.73 seconds. She has been nothing short of brilliant this year in Breaststroke. This was Lerch’s second consecutive appearance at the States in this event.

Matt Lerch - States 2014-15 2“My goal was to beat my fastest time from two weeks ago at YMCA Districts,” said Lerch. “I was really happy to race in the fastest heat as sixth seed and am super happy to come in fourth!”

Parker Boyden (10) did not hold back in her two freestyle events. A power swimmer, Boyden competed in the Girls 10 & Under 50 and 100 yard Freestyle. In her first year qualifying for the big meet, Boyden smashed her own personal best by almost 1.5 seconds in the 100 yard Freestyle to catapult her to 14th place, beating out seven swimmers with faster seed times. The competitive freestyler also swam a solid race in the 50 yard event with a time of 30.36 seconds.

Matt Lerch - States 2014-15 1“I worked really hard this season, and met my goal of getting to States. I had a great time, and even though I didn’t medal I dropped 1.5 seconds in my 100 freestyle, and I’m very proud of that,” said Boyden. ”I hope next year that more people will join the team because it’s a very fun sport,” she added.

“In only their second season, the Riversharks team has an extraordinary amount of talent,” said Van Dyke who believes “they have many swimmers that will be turning in impressive performances and be contenders for years to come. There is much more in store for this team.”

The Clarion County YMCA Riversharks are a community-based swim team that emphasizes individual growth as part of a team. Boys and girls ages 6 through 18 are eligible to join. Team members come from throughout Clarion County. For more information contact the Clarion County YMCA at 814-764-3400 or find the Riversharks on the web at .

(Thanks to Maureen Lavan for this article and to Matt Lerch for the photos. CONGRATULATIONS EVELYN AND PARKER!!!! GREAT JOB!!!!)