Fifth-place finishes for Daniel Boone’s Owens, Perkiomen Valley’s Amdor

Sometime over the past year Daniel Boone junior swimming standout Ryan Owens decided the 500 freestyle wasn’t really his thing. Especially after growing a few more inches and adding a few pounds, Owens exchanged the 500 for the 100 freestyle.

It proved to be a good move Thursday as Owens captured his second state medal by placing fifth in the 100-yard freestyle with a personal best 45.28 on the final day of the PIAA Class AAA Swimming and Diving Championships at Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium.

Perkiomen Valley sophomore Wyatt Amdor matched him, taking a giant step up from last season, also placing fifth in the 100 breaststroke with a personal best 56.34.

The Owen J. Roberts boys 400 free relay also medaled, placing eighth with a 3:11.52, and up from 19th last year.

In diving, Methacton’s Dan Roy placed fourth with 448.05 points, up from 19th last year.

Among are girls in AAA, Methacton’s Emily Sykes was the top finisher by placing 10th in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.13).

Perk Valley junior Kyle Dix reached the consolation finals in the 100 free and placed 13th overall with a 46.54.

The Perk Valley 400 free relay reached the consolation finals and placed 13th overall with a 3:11.12, up from 16th last year and actually swimming an even faster time than their PAC-10 foe OJR in its championship race.

The Class AA championships art set for Friday and Saturday.

Owens also captured the bronze in the 200 freestyle the previous day. It wasn’t his first state medal after placing eighth in the 200 free last year.

The 100 free, though, was a first. And Owens was thrilled with how it turned out.

“It worked out well,’ he said. “I was very happy with how I finished because I dropped my time, swam my goal time. My goal time was 45.3 and I went 45.28.’

Again, like the previous day in the 200 free, Owens set a Berks County record with his 100 free time.

“It was a really tough field; everyone in the 100 was very fast,’ he said. “And going into the prelims, I just wanted to make finals. So I went all out in the prelims. I was seeded fifth going into the finals and ended up fifth.’

He had placed 18th in the 500 free at states last year.

“I am very happy that I switched from the 500 last year to the 100 this year,’ he said. “Happy with my improvement this season. I really trusted in my training this year.’

With no full Boone team, Owens does all his training at the Boyertown YMCA and with the Boyertown swim team under veteran Boyertown coach Linda Jones.

“My favorite part about this season was training with my friends every day,’ Owens said. “A lot of the Boyertown swimmers became my best friends and that was my favorite part about this year.’

And he still has one more season to go.

“Next year I want to get bigger, faster, stronger,’ he said. “I’m going to train even harder and, hopefully, I’ll be on the podium again next year.’

Amdor has a even longer future ahead with two more years left. He came into Perk Valley an instant freshman standout last season, qualified for states in his first high school season and finished 22nd at states.

To shoot up to fifth in the 100 breast in only one year is quite amazing.

“I had put the work in this season, really pushed myself in practices when it got really hard,’ Amdor said. “I feel it definitely paid off and I’m really happy with the results.

“More important, we did really well this year as a team overall, pushed ourselves, pushed each other as a team. The team was more important than my individual event. We increased our ranking overall as a team, which is awesome.

“Most of our state team went to the U.S. swimming program at Upper Dublin over the offseason, really worked on our technical stuff, worked hard, really had fun overall. And it paid off. Hopefully, not only at this meet but at future meets as well.’

Amdor also swam on the Vikings’ 400 free relay team that included Anthony Crane, Logan Thorneloe, and Dix at leadoff.

Dix added that 13th finish in the 100 free to his state medal after placing eighth in the 200 free the previous day.

“I was really happy about that,’ Dix said. “I was hoping I could get into the A-Finals in the 100 free, too, but overall very happy.’

Especially since he didn’t even qualify for states in the 100 free last year.

And for Dix, too, the team doing great and their 400 free relay reaching the consolation finals was what mattered most.

“That was a really, really fun race with all my friends,’ he said. “We really came together in that race and we swam extremely well in the B Finals. I’m really proud and happy for my teammates as well as the time we swam.

“That’s a hard race to swim right at the end of the meet. You’re really, really tired and hurting.’

The Wildcats’ 400 relay team with Alex McCullough, Colin Bauer, Basil Mokhallalati, and Sam Feiser would definitely agree with that.

McCullough also placed 25th in the 100 free (48.01). Boyertown senior Steve Miller placed 15th in the 500 free (4:44.70). Methacton senior Dustin Jen finished 29th in the 100 breast (1:00.67), while the Methacton boys 400 free relay placed 21st (3:14.48).

Owen J. Roberts’ finish was the area boys highest team finisher at 12th with 58.5 points, followed by Perk Valley in 15th with 49 points, with Methacton 31st (15). and Boyertown tied for 43rd (5).

In the final day of competition for AAA girls, Methacton junior Kirsten Groff placed 22nd in the 100 free (53.55).

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