Allen joins Palmerton gold rush
NANCY SCHOLZ/Special to THE TIMES NEWS Palmerton's Sawyer Allen heads for the wall to win the gold medal in the AA boys 100 breaststroke.
SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP -Sawyer Allen got a good look at what it takes to win a district gold on Friday evening.
On Saturday morning, Allen made the most of his opportunity.
The Palmerton junior won the third gold for the school at the District 11 Class 2A championships, taking the 100 breaststroke title on Saturday at Parkland High School.
He joined teammate Karl Peilmeier as Bombers to top the medal podium at the meet. Peilmeier, who won 200 IM gold on Friday, added to his medal haul with the 500 free title on the event's second day.
"It definitely gave me some motivation, but I had a lot of my own," Allen said. "I really wanted to win gold. My time wasn't exactly where I wanted it to be, but I got the gold and that's really what I came here for."
Allen was just a lane away from his teammate in Friday's 200 IM. In the breaststroke, he was flanked by two Blue Mountain swimmers, but focused mainly on his own race.
Blue Mountain freshman Nathanael Marino posed a major challenge. On the final turn the two touched the wall almost in unison. When they came out of the water with just about 20 yards to go, Allen was ahead by about a yard.
"When I hit the wall I did see him and that's when I knew I had to go," Allen said. "So I just put it in gear and went."
It was Allen's second gold medal of his career, matching his 2010 title the 100 breast.
It took Peilmeier about 20 hours to win his second gold medal after breaking through on Friday night.
He smoked the field in the 500 free finishing nearly 11 seconds ahead of second place Garrett Collins of Salisbury. Peilmeier posted a time of 4:50.34.
"This is the event that I really wanted to shine in," Peilmeier said. "I really wanted to go in the 4:50 range and I've been training hard the last few weeks to get there."
Unlike his teammate, who needed a strong final push, Peilmeier wasn't pressed much during the race.
"You try not to think about where you are in the race," Peilmeier said. "It's definitely an individual thing. I knew where I wanted to be and what it would take to get there and I just tried to focus on that."
Peilmeier and Allen earned automatic berths to the PIAA Class 2A Championships on March 16-17 at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.
They will likely be joined by teammate Katie Pielmeier, who earned her second district silver medal with a second place finish in the girls 100 breaststroke.
She swam a 1:08.58 to finish about a second behind Southern Lehigh's Raechel Rodriguez.
"Hopefully we have 100 percent of the team out at states," Karl Pielmeier said.
Salisbury junior Eric Tatum and Bethlehem Catholic freshman Sydnee Karam won the Dennis McGinley Award as the meet's outstanding swimmers.
Karam set a new record in the girls 100 free, where she score a minor upset over Central's Syndey Stinner. Karam finished the race in 52.29 to break the 2004 mark, held by Blue Mountain's Lindsay Guers by 0.26 seconds.
Tatum won a pair of individual golds and was part of a district-record setting win in the 400 free relay to help the Falcon boys to the team title. Tamaqua was eighth.
Tamaqua's Joann Butkus finished fifth in the 100 freestyle, but set a school record in the event with a time of 54.56. Butkus also set a new Raiders' mark in the 100 fly (1:00.85) and qualified for states in both events.
The Raiders' Caroline Kanaskie also will be participating in states in the 200 free. Her time of 2:00.55 on Friday also set a new school record.
District 11 Class 2A Swimming Championships
At Parkland High School
(Top three plus local finishers)
1. Southern Lehigh (SL) 533, 2. Central Catholic (CC) 247, 3. Tamaqua (T) 214, 4. Blue Mountain (BM) 198, 5. Moravian Academy (Mor) 174, 6. Salisbury (S) 167, 7. Saucon Valley (SV) 135, 8. Schuylkill Haven (SH) 122, 9. Bethlehem Catholic (BC) 93, 12, 10. Mahanoy Area (Mah) 71.5, 11. North Schuylkill (NS) 50, 12. Palmerton (Palm) 34, 13. Pen Argyl (PA) 28, 14. Tri-Valley (TV) 26, 15. Notre Dame Green Pond (NDGP) 12.5, 16. Marian (Mar) 10, 17. Palisades (Pali) 6, 18. Minersville (Min) 2.
100 free - 1. Sydnee Karam (BC) 52.29*, 2. Sydney Stinner (CC), 3. Katie Cialkowski (S), 5. Joann Butkus (T), 9. Caroline Kanaskie (T), 19. Amber Gulick (T), 25. Andrea Whitley (T).
500 free - 1. Abigail Thomson (Mor) 5:07.97, 2. Emily Lyons (SL), 3. Samantha Figler (BC), 5. Miranda Amey (T), 23. Nichelle Pucklavage (T).
100 back - 1. Sydnee Karam (BC) 58.48, 2. Madison Amann (SL), 3. Sarah Lyons (SL), 9. Megan Wagner (T), 11. Sabrina Krupko (Mar), 19. Ashley VanBuren (T), 21. Makayla Boyle (T).
100 breast - 1. Raechel Rodriguez (SL) 1:07.6, 2. Katie Pielmeier (Palm), 3. Leah John (BC), 10. Carly Trovinger (T), 13. Emily Bumbulsky (T), 16. Amber Gulick (T), 21. Nichelle Pucklavage (T).
400 free relay - 1. Southern Lehigh (Madison Amann, Emily Lyons, Brianna Yates, Rhyan Rodriguez) 3:41.83, 2. Salisbury, 3. Central Catholic, 4. Tamaqua (Miranda Amey, Danielle DeCindio, Caroline Kanaskie, Joann Butkus) 3:48.01.
1. Salisbury (S) 452, 2. Southern Lehigh (SL) 304, 3. Allentown Central Catholic (CC) 264, 4. Schuylkill Haven (SH) 230, 5. Moravian Academy (Mor) 180, 6. Saucon Valley (SV) 179, 7. Blue Mountain (BM) 148, 8. Tamaqua (T) 109, 9. Palmerton (Palm) 75, 10. North Schuylkill (NS) 45, 11. Weatherly (W) 41, 12. Bethlehem Catholic (BC) 12, 13. Mahanoy Area (Mah) 5.
100 free - 1. Eric Tatum (S) 47.39, 2. Kevin Bakey (CC), 3. Michael Anderson (SL), 7. Matt Cullen (W), 18. Jake Kropp (T), 22. Tyler Butkus (T).
500 free - 1. Karl Peilmeier III (Palm) 4:50.34, 2. Garret Collins (S), 3. Tim Costantini (S), 13. Matt Stanek (T).
100 back - 1. Avery Soong (SV) 56.31, 2. Ethan Stinner (ACC).
100 breast - 1. Sawyer Allen (Palm) 1:02.27, 2. Nathanael Marino (BM), 3. Joe Skibben (S), 6. Alex Sirkot (W), 10. Zak Yachera (T).
400 free relay - 1. Salisbury (Jon Anderson, Tim Costantini, Eric Tatum, Garrett Collins) 3:16.05*, 2. Central Catholic, 3. Saucon Valley, 6. Tamaqua (Gage Whalen, Matt Stanek, Tyler Butkus, Jake Kropp).
* - new District 11 record