Daniel repeats as L-L champ in 500 free

By on February 18, 2016

 

Warwick senior David Heckel makes a final push to the wall en route to winning a silver medal in the L-L 100 breaststroke in 1:01.56 last Thursday. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Warwick senior David Heckel makes a final push to the wall en route to winning a silver medal in the L-L 100 breaststroke in 1:01.56 last Thursday. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Manheim Central senior Paetyn Zeamer turned in a strong personal performance in the 200 yard IM to capture the sixth place medal for the Lady Barons in 2:20.74. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Manheim Central senior Paetyn Zeamer turned in a strong personal performance in the 200 yard IM to capture the sixth place medal for the Lady Barons in 2:20.74. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Matt Daniel didn’t hesitate to admit that he was concerned in the 500 freestyle last Thursday.

McCaskey’s Miguel Jacome was giving the Manheim Central senior everything he could handle.

To win, Daniel knew he’d need a strong finish.

Digging deep, he did exactly what was necessary, swimming a split of 53.59 seconds in the last 100 and holding on to claim the L-L League gold medal in a winning time of 4:40.05, just 44-hundredths of a second in front of the Red Tornado sophomore (4:40.49). It marked the second straight year he took the League title in the 500 free.

That, combined with Daniel’s silver medal in the 200 I.M. in 1:56.81, were the highlights for the Manheim Central swimmers at the League Championships last Thursday and Friday at the Lititz recCenter. Daniel accounted for all 16 of the Barons’ points, helping them finish 10th in the overall team standings.

“I was fairly happy, mainly in the 200 IM,” Daniel said. “The 500 didn’t feel that great, but I still won, so I can’t really complain, I guess.”

Had it not been for a strong performance by Hempfield senior Tre Fissella in the 200 IM, Daniel might have walked away with two golds. Daniel actually led following the fly, 25.05 to 25.38, and was right on Fissella’s heels after the backstroke, 55.26 to 55.35. But the Black Knight swimmer gained some cushion in the breaststroke and then held on, touching the wall first in 1:55.98.

“I think we were pretty even after both fly and back,” Daniel recalled. “He’s a breaststroker, so he really pulled away there and I knew that coming in. Breaststroke is not my strongest. I think I came back a little in free, but I really didn’t have the split or energy to come back and win.”

In the 500 free, Daniel, Jacome and Warwick’s Keir Uhlin were separated by just 30-hundredths of a second through three laps, with Jacome leading in 1:22.53.

“I was definitely concerned,” Daniel said. “I wasn’t really sure how fast we were going. I had a feeling it was slower than I’d want it to be. After the third lap, my counter, Tim Griest, had shaken it to make me go faster and I’d never had that happen that early in a race. So I knew I had some energy left, but I wasn’t sure how much (Jacome) had left.”

Turns out that Daniel had a little bit more down the stretch.

“At the last 100, I was fairly certain I could get it. But it’s hard to tell how much energy the other person has,” Daniel acknowledged. “It would have been a much more relaxing race if I wasn’t (pushed). But it was a good race … I would say it is good to be pushed in most races. I would not have had the last 100 I did if he were not pushing me.”

The competition figures to be intense once again when Daniel returns to the pool for the District Three Championships on March 4-5 at Cumberland Valley.

“I feel pretty good,” he said. “I’m ahead of where I was at this time last year, so I feel pretty good. Tapering is sometimes hit or miss, but I’m very optimistic about the rest of the season.”

Turning to the LL Girls Championships which were held on Friday, Paetyn Zeamer placed in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly to lead the Lady Barons, who finished 11th as a team with five points.

Entering the 200 IM with a seed time of 2:22.78, the MC senior took two seconds off her time while touching the wall in 2:20:74 in sixth place, claiming the event’s final medal by more than a second in front of Manheim Township’s Carolyn Mann (2:21.89).

Later, in the 100 fly, Zeamer took seventh place in 1:03.01 and barely missed her second L-L medal, finishing just 55-hundredths of a second behind Mann (1:02.46) for the sixth and final medal. Still, Zeamer dropped her seed time of 1:03.84 by nearly one second.

About

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *