Beard repeats in L-L breaststroke
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
The past week hasn’t been an easy one for Warwick’s Nick Beard.
Fighting a sinus infection made it nearly impossible for him to get any pool time to prepare for the L-L League Championships.
But when it mattered most on Tuesday night at the Lititz recCenter, Warwick’s senior rose to the occasion.
He won the League gold medal in the boys 100-yard breaststroke for the second year in a row, holding off Manheim Township junior Anthony Sciscento by a mere three-hundredths of a second in the final 25 yards, as he touched the wall in a time of 1:02.80. Sciscento took the silver in 1:02.83, while Hempfield’s Riley Stadel captured the bronze medal in 1:03.04.
"I saw (Sciscento and Stadel) coming up on both sides, so I knew I had to really kick it into gear," Beard said. "And I think that just helped me fuel myself into finishing first. It feels good (to repeat). I guess my main goal is Districts and hopefully States, but this is definitely an accomplishment for me."
"(Nick)’s been sick for a whole week," Warwick coach Mark Daum said, "and it was just guts. He just gutted it out in the last 25. I was amazed that he did that well considering he hasn’t been in the water in a week."
Beard’s gold was one of nine medals that the Warriors took home on their way to a third-place finish in the team standings with 73 points. Township won its third straight L-L crown with 114 points, with Hempfield (101) taking the silver.
"We did as well as can be expected," Daum said. "Between being sick and injured and everything else, that’s as good as we could have done tonight. They didn’t leave anything left to chance or anything else."
Junior Justin Mitchell earned two individual medals to help lead the way — taking a silver in the 500 free in 4:48.76 while shaving over four seconds off his seed time (4:53.37) and a bronze in the 200 free in 1:50.56. He also swam with Jonathan Zartman, Ryan Mitchell and Tim Griest on the bronze-medal winning 400 free relay (3:20.54).
"(Justin) is sitting well for Districts," Daum said. "I think his times are ahead of where he was last year at this time and hopefully his seeds are going to be good at Districts. But he looked strong tonight."
So did Zartman, who won two individual medals — fourth in the 200 free (1:50.56) and fifth in the 500 free (5:01.98) — and two relay medals. In addition his bronze with the 400 free relay, he placed fourth with Seth Cagno, Chris Cicala and Ryan Mitchell in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:33.48.
Ryan Mitchell added a sixth-place medal in the 100 free (49.85) and he placed seventh in the 50 free in 23.39 seconds, and the 200 medley relay, consisting of Jack Lance, Cagno, Beard and Tyler Steudel touched the wall fourth in the 200 medley relay in 1:45.31.
Cicala missed a medal by one spot in the 100 breast, placing seventh in 1:06.98, and Lance, earned an eighth-place finish in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.17.
Beard also added a couple of points by taking seventh in the 200 I.M. in 2:06.13.
But it was the 100 breaststroke where Beard shined brightest. Although his finish was just off his seed time of 1:02.21, nobody was complaining.
"I’ve been sick recently," he said, "so for me to go close to my best time is really good for me. So I’m happy with the time." More WARWICK BOYS, page B-2