HYDE — Clearfield’s Boy’s and Girl’s Swimming and Diving team will defend their 2006 District IX title Thursday and Friday when they compete at league championships.
The divers will take the boards Thursday at the St. Marys Area High School, while the Bison swimmers compete Friday at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford.
District IX League Diving is set for a 6 p.m. start, while the swimming will begin at 5 p.m.
The Clearfield boys put together another strong season as the team finished 11-1 and a perfect, 8-0 in league competition. The boys’ only loss came against State College.
The Lady Bisons were 8-4 overall, but had a better league record at 7-1.
Both teams have four District IX Champions returning for this year’s competition.
Logan Shirey (200 medley and 200 free), Brandon Boyer (100 backstroke, 200 and 400 free) Chris Bodle (200 and 400 free relay) and Shay Flanagan (400 free) won for the Clearfield boys, while Chelsey Dufour (200 medley and 100 backstroke), Shelbie King (200 medley), Branda Smeltzer (400 free) and Carolyn Shurer (400 free) took first on the girl’s side.
Although her team has came out on top in previous years, Morrison still believes it’s anybody’s championship.
\”You can’t call us favorite to win,\” said Morrison. \”St. Marys’ boys are definitely strong. Bradford isn’t quite as strong, but has depth in their performances. Then, you add DuBois into the mix. It’s going to be very interesting. St. Marys, Bradford and DuBois all have potential to win it.\”
Interestingly, both Clearfield’s and St. Marys’ boys have defeated other league competition in Bradford, Brookville and DuBois. The Bisons have a slight edge, as they’ve handed the Dutchmen their only two losses this season.
\”As for girls, Bradford is definitely favorite after the way they swam against us,\” said Morrison. \”We’re going in as underdogs.\”
Clearfield’s girls split dual meets with Bradford this season. The Lady Bisons pulled out a 94-91 win at home, before the Lady Owls stole the second meet 94-76.
\”It’s anybody’s championship,\” said Morrison. \”We’ll really have to rise to the occasion and whoever wants it most will win it.\”
Clearly, Morrison thinks it will be a tight race, where relays will be the deciding factor.
\”I do think relays will be the deciding factor,\” said Morrison. \”So, we really need to step it up in the relays and stay focused the entire meet. We’ve been staying focused and swimming hard in the first half of meets, but not at the end. We’ve trained, conditioned and swam too hard to slack off at the end. We need to swim just as hard at the end as we do in the beginning. I think the boys have started to do that, but I’d like to see the girls pick It up and have that same attitude.\”
Morrison‘s focus remains on improvement rather than individual medals and titles. \”My main concern is that we perform well. I’m looking at performance and times. I want everyone to do their best job and demonstrate their potential\” … \”They really haven’t performed to their potential yet. I want to see improvement and an aggressive team. I want them to give 100 percent, and titles will come as a result of performance.\”
However, with tough competition ahead, Morrison is taking a team perspective in hopes of retaining the District IX league crown.
\”We always want to win it,\” said Morrison. \”Everybody wants to win it. Of course, we want to win, because there is pride on the line. Individually, I want them to perform and contribute at their highest level. I want everyone to work and swim for each other.\”
CLEARFIELD NOTES: The Bisons will have 36 swimmers and divers participating including in alphabetical order: Chris Bodle (200 free and 100 backstroke), John Bodle (200 IM and 100 fly), Brandon Boyer (100 free and backstroke), Taylor Boyle (200 IM and 100 fly)), Toni Brubaker (200 free and 100 breaststroke), Amber Centi (one meter dive), Brandie Centi (50 and 100 free), Clyde Coates (100 fly and backstroke), Justin DeCasper (50 and 100 free), Skylar DeHaven (200 and 500 free), Chelsey Dufour (50 free and 100 backstroke), Brittany Evans (100 free and fly), Shay Flanagan (200 and 500 free), Kurtis Graham (50 and 100 free), Marisa Howell (100 free and backstroke), Shelbie King (200 IM and 100 fly), Mark Krchnak (200 IM and 100 breaststroke), Jenna Liegey (100 fly and backstroke), Laura Lumadue (200 IM and 100 fly), Jason Maines (one meter dive), Jaclyn Marsh (200 IM and 100 breaststroke), Krista Massimino (500 free and 100 backstroke), Brady Mulhollem (200 and 500 free), Scott Nishida (50 free and 100 breaststroke), Jason Parks (200 and 500 free), Kraig Peterson (200 IM and 100 backstroke), Christie Pizzella (one meter dive), Ryan Renaud (100 and 500 free), Tyler Shaw (one meter dive), Logan Shirey (100 fly and breaststroke), Carolyn Shurer (200 and 500 free), Branda Smeltzer (200 and 500 free), Tessa Tkacik (100 free and breaststroke), Allison White (200 IM and 100 breaststroke), Jennifer Williams (50 free and one meter dive) and Steven Williams (50 free and one meter dive).