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Conestoga’s Brendan Burns wins back-to-back state titles in 100 back

One day after winning back-to-back PIAA Class 3A state titles in the 100 fly, Conestoga senior Brendan Burns successfully defended his state title in the 100 back Saturday, finishing first with a time of 46.95 at the PIAA Class 3A boys’ state swimming championships at Bucknell University.
“He just took it out aggressively in the final,” said Conestoga boys swimming coach Mark Tirone.
Friday, Burns clocked 46.79 in the 100 fly to break his own state record of 47.04 set last year when he finished first.
In addition to winning the state title in the 100 back Saturday, Burns was the leadoff swimmer in the Pioneers’ medal-winning 400 free relay. Burns teamed with senior Aidan McKenrick, freshman Stephen Graver and freshman Raymond Welgosh to finish seventh in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:07.39.
“All four of them swam very well,” noted Tirone.
Another Conestoga freshman, Gary Wang, finished 15th in the 100 breast. Friday, Wang was part of the Pioneers’ 200 free relay team that finished first in the B final with a season-best and school-record time of 1:25.58.
“It’s great that we had three freshmen do so well at States,” said Tirone. “For us, this has been a great, successful weekend.”
Oxford senior Michael Fazio finished fifth in the boys’ 100 free Saturday, clocking a time of 44.73.
Downingtown East sophomore DJ Fechtman finished 13th in the 100 back (fifth in the B final) with a time of 51.14.
West Chester East junior JP Perucki finished 13th (fifth in the B final) in the 100 breast, clocking a time of 57.88.
West Chester Rustin junior Alec Pirone finished 13th in diving, with 376.40 points.
Conestoga finished eighth in the 3A boys’ team standings, with 84 points (the winner, North Allegheny, compiled 279 points). Oxford placed 21st with 30 points, Downingtown East was 31st, West Chester East and West Chester Rustin tied for 48th.
In the PIAA 3A girls’ state swimming championships Saturday, three Chester County swimmers won medals in the girls’ 100 back. Conestoga junior Caroline Famous finished third in the 100 back with a clocking of 54.41, while her teammate, senior Sophia Poeta, placed fifth with a time of 55.62. Avon Grove junior Sydney Paglia finished eighth (56.43).
Also in the girls’ 100 back, Downingtown West sophomore Tori Howard placed 11th (third in the B final), while West Chester Henderson freshman Krista Marlin finished 13th.
Two Chester County swimmers won medals in the girls’ 100 breast. Downingtown East senior Heather MacCausland finished fourth in the 100 breast with a clocking of 1:02.48, while Avon Grove senior Rabea Pfaff placed sixth (1:03.02).
Also in the girls’ 100 breast, Conestoga senior Alex Marlow finished 12th (fourth in B final) and Kennett sophomore Sydney McCracken was 16th.
Avon Grove junior Izzy Paoletti placed third in the girls’ 500 free with a time of 4:53.51.
Downingtown West junior Sarah Manthorp finished eighth in the girls’ 100 free with a time of 51.86. Downingtown East senior Caroline Maki finished 10th (second in the B final) and Unionville senior Olivia Miller was 12th.
Unionville finished seventh in the girls’ 400 free relay, with a quartet of sophomore Emma McGovern, sophomore Molly Carson, senior Olivia Miller and sophomore Emma Shields, clocking 3:31.60.
Also in the girls’ 400 free relay, West Chester Henderson finished 10th (second in B final) with a quartet of freshman Katie Simpson, senior Courtney Marlin, junior Maya Byrne and freshman Krista Marlin. Conestoga placed 13th with a quartet of senior Julie McFadden, freshman Maisy Montgomery, junior Louise Hay and sophomore Ava Collin.
In the 3A girls’ team competition, Avon Grove was fourth, with 127 points, behind North Penn (243), Upper Dublin (166) and Governor Mifflin (135). Downingtown East was sixth (110.5) and Conestoga placed 10th (86). Unionville was 13th (65), West Chester Henderson 23rd (33) and Downingtown West 24th (32). Great Valley finished 35th, Coatesville was tied for 53rd and Kennett was tied for 56th.

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