The DuBois girls swimming team enjoyed quite the trip to Erie on Saturday, as Lady Beavers captured one individual title and placed second as a team at the District 9/10 Class AAA Swimming Championships held at the Hagerty Family Events Center’s David M. Hallman III Aquatics Center.
That individual crown came from junior Abby Dressler, who beat McDowell senior Molly Seburnia to the wall by nearly two seconds (1:59.47-2:01.47).
Dressler dropped more than four seconds from her seeded time to win the gold, which was one of 13 Top 6 individual finishes for DuBois which helped the Lady Beavers edge out Meadville, 233-218, for second place in the team standings. McDowell won the team crown with 414 points.
That runner-up performance was an exclamation point on what was undefeated regular season for the Lady Beavers.
"We are thankful for the opportunity to have this season and a championship meet," said DuBois coach Michael Gressler. "This was a hard year to say the least. There were starts and stops, snow days and quarantines, uncertainty about if we would have a season, what it would look like, and how it would end.
"The fact they came in every day to train and work themselves to exhaustion in spite of all of that reveals so much about their character. They should be proud of what they were able to do this season."
"Every member of this team, including those who didn’t make the district cuts, should be commended for pushing through this season. It has been a difficult year for everyone and these kids made the best of the opportunities they were given. I couldn’t be prouder of them."
Dressler added a silver medal in the 500 free, dropping more than 15 seconds off her seeded time to touch the wall in 5:24.04 — just 1.47 seconds behind gold medalist Jazmyn Myers of McDowell.
"Abby’s 200 freestyle was a great race," said Gressler. "She was behind at the halfway point, but she used a very impressive second half to get the win. That’s her training and hard work coming through right there. Now, she gets to swim again at the PIAA meet. She followed it up with a very fast 500 freestyle to get the runner up spot in that one."
She also was part of two relays that posted Top 3 finishes.
Dressler swam the anchor leg on the 400 freestyle relay squad that finished the meet with a silver medal with a time of 3:45.17. Freshman Sidney Beers and seniors Anna Wingard and Rayna Fenstermacher joined forces with Dressler, as the quartet lowered their seed time by just over eight seconds.
In the 200 free relay, Dressler again swam anchor behind Beers, senior Trista Truesdale and Fenstermacher as the group placed third with a time of 1:48.84 — nearly four seconds faster than the team had swam all year.
Beers put together an impressive showing as a freshman in her first district meet as she also won a silver medal in the 50 free (25.46) and a bronze in the 100 free (55.75), both of which were her fastest swims of the year in those events.
"Sidney Beers also placed very well," said Gressler. "She’s learned a lot this year about training, racing, and swimming in general. I know she has some big goals, and while she didn’t get them this year, she’s putting herself in position to reach them in the future.
"Sidney and Abby teamed up with Rayna and Anna for the 400 relay. They were able to move up a spot from their seed position to earn a second place finish. It was a great way to end the meet with the team earning a second place overall finish. Everyone contributed points in a true team effort."
Fenstermacher was fourth in the 200 IM (2:20.09) and fifth in the 100 free (56.50) — her best times of the year in those events — while Wingard finished fifth in the 200 IM (2:24.98). Fenstermacher dropped more than four seconds in the 200 IM and Wingard more than five seconds.
Wingard also chipped in a seventh in the 100 breaststroke with a season-best time of 1;16.48.
Truesdale, another senior swimming for the last time for DuBois, was fourth in the 50 free (26.47) and fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:07.10). In a common theme, both of those swims were more than a second faster than her seed time.
DuBois also got a pair of fourth-place finishes from Dru Javens in the 200 (2:05.49) and 500 (5:39.80) freestyles. She dropped nearly five seconds in the 200 and more than nine in the 500.
Lady Beavers were Lily McCauley (100 butterly, 1:13.03) and Delaney Lingenfelter (100 backstroke, 1:08.77) each added sixth-place finishes in their respective events.
Dressler will compete in the Class AAA State Championships on Saturday, March 20, with the event being held at Cumberland Valley High School this year.