LEWISBURG The PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships came to a close at Bucknell University's natatorium on Saturday, with two more local finishers representing the area well with their performances in the water.
Palmerton's Karl Pielmeier III and Sawyer Allen both had good enough results in the morning session of preliminaries to advance to the consolation finals later on in the day.
Pielmeier finished just short of taking part in the finals of his event (500 freestyle), but came up big in the consolation finals, finishing tied for the fastest time, along with Jesse Fallon of Springfield Township, as they both clocked a time of 4:45.56. That was good enough to earn him 9th place overall.
Meanwhile, Allen came in 15th in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:02.51.
Despite the lack of medals, as the top eight performers take one home with them, there was plenty to be proud of, as the season came to a close.
"They both did really well," Palmerton coach Karl Pielmeier Jr. mentioned. "The goal is to make it back to the night session and they both had good enough of morning swims and got there, giving themselves a chance."
Pielmeier's son swam well throughout the championships, but turned out to have an oddity in the pool, as he actually tied with a fellow swimmer.
"The 500 (freestyle) is a long race and to end up tied...to swim that far and hit the wall at the exact same time was hard to imagine. But it worked out really well and he had a great swim."
Reflecting on the entire group of Palmerton swimmers, Pielmeier commented, "They all had personal bests, which is a goal, of course. So that's always good. It's just hard, when they're tapered for the district meet, they need to train hard, but take it easy and give themselves rest at the same time. It's really a balancing act on their part and the competition is just so tough out there at States.
"Just because they are seeded eighth or ninth, or whatever, you almost have to drop your time in order to finish where you're seeded, because everyone is swimming their best swims."
Now that the scholastic season is finished, instead of resting, it's back to the pool for the student-athletes for a couple weeks.
"They'll practice probably for another week or two because they like to have them in the pool after they taper," Pielmeier admits. "They'll take two weeks off after that and then, around Easter time, they'll start back in the water, training."
Pielmeier summed up the state meet, saying, "Overall, their dedication and hard work paid off and I think they're happy with their individual results. They seem to think they can always improve, so for them to