PSAC swimming championships: Raiders take second place

The Raiders men’s swim team posted its best finish at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships in 12 years on Thursday, completing the 2021 conference meet with the second-place trophy and a score of 560 points in competition at the Graham Aquatic Center (York YMCA).

Shippensburg had two men win individual championships onThursday, with redshirt-freshman JC Greenwood (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg Area (Penn State)) claiming the 1,650-yard freestyle title and junior Matt Bochanski (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) defending his league title with gold in the 200-yard breaststroke.

The Raiders finished the second and final day with seven individual All-PSAC (Top 3) finishes and one All-PSAC relay. Overall, Shippensburg totaled 12 All-PSAC individual finishes and four All-PSAC relays at the conference championships.

READ: WEDNESDAY: Banner day for Raiders: Five individual all-conference finishes

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“It’s been over ten years since we’ve been in this position, to be one of the Top 2 teams in the conference,” head coach Tim Verge said. “It was such an exciting experience for our men. One of the nice things I thought this year was that we had so many different individuals that contributed. Even if it was one point here, two points there. And if they didn’t score, their energy and support of each other was as important as the performances in the pool. It is a fun, close-knit group of men that was genuinely excited to see each other be successful.”

On Thursday, junior Andrew Hale (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) and freshman Michael Salvatori (Springfield, Va./St. John Paul the Great) each posted an improvement to an all-time event Top 10 list for the second straight day. The two men combined for seven Top 5 finishes at the meet. 

“When I look back through all four sessions and see how consistently successful Andrew and Michael were in their events, I feel so happy for them and what they accomplished,” Verge said. “When you break down the number of Top 10 additions, a school record by Andrew, and multiple All-PSAC finishes, it was just a remarkable meet for both of those young men.”

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Unforgettable season

After navigating through an unprecedented set of circumstances over the last 12 months, SU was able to make it through and complete its season with a conference championship experience that it will never forget.

“Everybody knows that 2020 was a year like no other. And for us in Athletics it was certainly the same,” Verge said. “Different schools and teams had different approaches to handling the seasons and how things would work. Fortunately, we made a decision at Shippensburg to opt in for swimming, and I couldn’t be more excited that we did. There was a lot of work by a lot of people on our campus to make this year happen for our student-athletes. Seeing the men finish where we did, and their excitement as this meet progressed, was really a validation of all the efforts it took to get us here.”

Session 3 (500 Free, 100 Back, 100 Breast, 200 Fly, 800 Free Relay):

Greenwood and Salvatori set the tone for the day by finishing second and fourth respectively in the 500-yard freestyle. Greenwood posted his second All-PSAC finish of the meet with a time of 4:40.19, using a 26.85-second split on his final 50 yards to gain separation from third-place finisher Stephen McCallum. Salvatori raced an excellent final 150 yards, including a 26.59-second split on his final 50 yards, to climb a couple of spots in the standings.

Junior Trevor Woolwine (Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin) paced four Raiders in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing 12th with a time of 53.46 seconds. Woolwine finished 13th at last year’s conference meet, making him a two-time placewinner in the event.

Sophomores Michael Hannig (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown) and David Bussard (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin) scored in the event for the first time, with Hannig placing 14th in 53.88 seconds and Bussard placing 15th in 54.01 seconds. Sophomore Alec Burger (Elizabethtown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) narrowly missed a scoring performance with a time of 54.71 seconds.

Hale and Bochanski notched Top 8 finishes in the 100-yard breaststroke, with Hale finishing third in 56.90 seconds and Bochanski finishing eighth in 57.92 seconds. Hale, who won the second of the three heats, moved into third on SU’s all-time list for the event and was just two-tenths of a second from another school record.

In the 200-yard butterfly, junior Vin Salvatore (Howell, N.J./Howell) dropped a 30.88-second split for his final 50 yards to climb from sixth place into a fifth-place finish that was just .15 seconds shy of fourth. Salvatore’s time of 1:56.46 marks his highest place to date in the event and complements a 10th-place finish as a freshman and a 12th-place finish as a sophomore. Senior Eric Zimmerman (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) scored in the event for the first time at the conference meet with a ninth-place finish of 2:00.43.

The third session concluded with Hale, Salvatori, Woolwine and Greenwood placing fifth in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 6:58.23.

Session 4 (1650 Free, 100 Free, 200 Back, 200 Breast, 400 Free Relay):

The fourth and final session of the meet began with Greenwood leading wire-to-wire for the conference championship in the 1,650-yard freestyle, becoming the first Raider in 11 years to win the event (Shane Wolter in 2010). His victorious time of 16:23.34 marked a victory by seven seconds. He was extremely consistent with his splits, as none exceeded 30.5 seconds and 12-of-33 were faster than 30 seconds.

“We have a really competitive conference. Regardless of specifically which teams are at the meet, anytime that you come out as the top finisher in an event in our conference, it’s quite the achievement,” Verge said. “We knew it was going to be a tight battle with Gannon tonight, and when JC started us off with a victory in the 1650, it set a great tone for the evening.”

SU went 1-3-6 in this year’s 1,650-yard freestyle, which ironically is very comparable to the 1-3-7 finish the team had in 2010 when Wolter won the last “mile” title (Drew Hagerich was third, Joe Lahovski was seventh).

Making it two All-PSAC finishers in the event for the Raiders was Salvatore, who just missed out on a runner-up finish and placed third in 16:31.58. For Salvatore, the swim marks a stupendous PR of more than 18 seconds and his second scoring performance in the event after a 12th-place finish as a freshman.

“I thought Vin capped off a very strong meet with an absolutely outstanding 1,650 freestyle tonight,” Verge said. “That was a huge PR, and he raced so hard and did things so smart in that race. It was really exciting to see him have the result that he did.”

Winners, winners

Zimmerman finished as a four-time placewinner in the mile, achieving his best career place with a sixth-place time of 17:07.85. He previously placed eighth as a freshman, 10th as a sophomore and 15th last year.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Woolwine and senior Hunter Keck (Denver, Pa./Cocalico) each scored points. Woolwine was just .07 seconds off his PR, finishing 11th in 47.09 seconds, while Keck placed 14th in 47.34 seconds. For Keck, it is his third career scoring performance in the event; he also finished 14th as a freshman and sophomore. Also in the 100 free, sophomore Elijah Zinn (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg Area) swam a PR of 48.13 seconds and Burger swam a PR of 49.63 seconds.

The 200-yard backstroke featured Salvatori posting a pair of sub-29 second splits over the final 100 yards to chase down his closest competitor and emerge as the conference runner-up. Salvatori’s time of 1:52.77 ranks him fourth in school history for the event and is the fastest by a Raider in 14 years.

Bussard finished 10th in the event for the second straight year, recording a big season best of 1:56.68. Hannig scored in the event for the first time with a 14th-place time of 2:02.55.

The final individual event, the 200-yard breaststroke, was arguably the most exciting race of the entire meet – the Top 4 finishers were separated by just .63 seconds. Bloomsburg’s Blake Nesbitt led for the first 150 yards, but Bochanski closed with a 32.90-second split over the final 50 yards to defend his conference title with a victorious time of 2:04.10. It is Bochanski’s third All-PSAC finish in three years, with his back-to-back titles coming after a runner-up finish as a freshman.

“I think there were some swims that Matt wished he could do again, so for him to come back in his last race of the meet and defend his conference title the way that he did, it was absolutely phenomenal,” Verge said. “It was one of the best tactical races I’ve seen in a long time.”

And more winners

Hale achieved his fourth and final individual All-PSAC finish with a third-place time of 2:04.72 – edging Bloomsburg’s Nick Madey by a centisecond (.01 seconds). He was just .28 seconds behind Nesbitt. It is the third straight year that Hale has finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke at the conference meet. Hale also moved from third into second (behind only Bochanski) on SU’s all-time list in the event.

Junior Christian Sawyer (Cranberry Township, Pa,/Seneca Valley) scored in the event with a 14th-place time of 2:30.74.

The 400-yard freestyle relay of Keck, Woolwine, Zinn and Hale concluded the meet with the team’s fourth All-PSAC finish in a relay with a third-place time of 3:07.85. Woolwine’s split of 46.60 seconds got the Raiders in position to battle for an all-conference finish, while Hale’s anchor split of 45.93 seconds – which he produced less than 20 minutes after his All-PSAC finish in the 200 breaststroke – put the Raiders ahead of fourth-place IUP by a second.

“There was so much that was asked of our student-athletes at Ship in all our sports — to be responsible, and do the right things,” Verge said. “I could not be prouder of how our men navigated all the challenges that came before them. Not just athletically, but in terms of academic changes, social changes, etc. It was such a challenging year in so many ways. And maybe more than a regular year, I am proud of what they accomplished — sticking together, working hard, staying focused, and getting through with the type of end result that they did.”

Day 2 Agate

500 Free
2. JC Greenwood 4:40.19
4. Michael Salvatori 4:42.80
100 Back
12. Trevor Woolwine 53.46
14. Michael Hannig 53.88
15. David Bussard 54.01
17. Alec Burger 54.71
100 Breast
3. Andrew Hale 56.90
8. Matt Bochanski 57.92
17. Hunter Keck 1:02.93
Christian Sawyer DQ
200 Fly
5. Vin Salvatore 1:56.46
9. Eric Zimmerman 2:00.43
800 Free Relay
5. Andrew HaleMichael SalvatoriTrevor WoolwineJC Greenwood 6:58.23
1650 Free
1. JC Greenwood 16:23.34
3. Vin Salvatore 16:31.58
6. Eric Zimmerman 17:07.85
100 Free
11. Trevor Woolwine 47.09
14. Hunter Keck 47.34
20. Elijah Zinn 48.13
22. Matthew Beard 48.79
25. Alec Burger 49.63
28. Tylor Yakaitis 51.34
30. Anthony Caravaggio 53.50
200 Back
2. Michael Salvatori 1:52.77
10. David Bussard 1:56.68
14. Michael Hannig 2:02.55
200 Breast
1. Matt Bochanski 2:04.10
3. Andrew Hale 2:04.72
14. Christian Sawyer 2:30.74
400 Free Relay
3. Hunter KeckTrevor WoolwineElijah ZinnAndrew Hale 3:07.85

Raiders take

2021 PSAC Championships Summary

Conference Champions:
Michael Salvatori (400 IM)
JC Greenwood (1650 Free)
Matt Bochanski (200 Breast) 

Raiders take

AllPSAC Performers

Matthew Beard (3rd in 200 free relay)
Matt Bochanski (3rd in 200 medley relay, 3rd in 400 IM, 3rd in 400 medley relay, 1st in 200 breast)
JC Greenwood (2nd in 1000 free, 3rd in 200 free relay, 2nd in 500 free, 1st in 1650 free)
Andrew Hale (3rd in 200 IM, 2nd in 400 IM, 3rd in 400 medley relay, 3rd in 100 breast, 3rd in 200 breast, 3rd in 400 free relay)
Hunter Keck (3rd in 200 medley relay, 3rd in 200 free relay, 3rd in 400 free relay)
Vin Salvatore (3rd in 400 medley relay, 3rd in 1650 free)
Michael Salvatori (3rd in 200 medley relay, 1st in 400 IM, 3rd in 400 medley relay, 2nd in 200 back)
Trevor Woolwine (3rd in 200 medley relay, 3rd in 400 free relay)
Elijah Zinn (3rd in 200 free relay, 3rd in 400 free relay)

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