LEWISBURG – Madison Burns might only swim in one high school state championship meet. So she made the most of the one she decided to enter.
The Northwestern High School junior won her second gold medal in two days at the PIAA Class AA Swimming and Diving Championships.
After setting a state record on her first day of competition at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium, the Northwestern High School junior picked up a second gold medal Thursday, winning the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.72, well ahead Olivia Tierney (Villa Maria Academy) in second place at 1:06.08.
"It's a really good meet," Burns said. "I'm not sure if I'm going to come back, but this year was a good experience."
Burns, the District 11 champ in breaststroke, came into states as the top seed and posted the fastest time in preliminaries at 1:04.73. She dropped a second off of that in finals.
"I just try to take it out a little faster [in finals]," she said.
Burns competes outside the scholastic circuit in USA Swimming where she's a very successful swimmer. She trains with Parkland Aquatic Club alongside another double gold medalist, Kutztown High School's Gillian Ryan, who won state gold this year in 200 and 500 freestyle. Neither of the two swimmers have high school teams, so having each other at practice and at states is a great benefit.
"It's really helpful," Burns said. "We push each other a lot."
Burns will swim in a USA Swimming sectional meet at the end of this month. She interrupted her training for sectionals in order to swim at states. And her reward was two gold medals.
Tamaqua senior Dane DeWire earned his first trip to the state championships.
The District 11 diving champ had hopes of finishing in the top eight and earning a state medal. He was in contention for most of the 11-round competition before finishing in 10th place.
He was in fifth place after landing a 49-point dive in the ninth round. But his final two dives scored 26.35 and 18.7, respectively, to drop the Blue Raider five places.
"It was a just bad day," he said. "Today my dives were either really bad or really good. You can't have really bad dives at states. That's what happened."
DeWire achieved a career-long goal by reaching the state championships in his final season, however his performance left him disappointed with the experience.
"I felt all right after the good ones," he said. "Half of them today weren't. At districts all my dives were all right.
"I was hoping to medal, but it didn't happen. I was happy when I got here. Not anymore."
Tamaqua's Joann Butkus missed a spot in the 100-yard freestyle consolation by two places. The freshman placed 18th in preliminaries with a time of 54.86.
Palmerton's Katie Pielmeier was 19th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:09.55. Panther Valley's Karoline Vavra also competed in the breaststroke, finishing 26th with a time of 1:10.32.
Palmerton's Sawyer Allen competed in the boys 100 breaststroke. The Blue Bomber junior swam it in 1:03.01 for 25th place.