Marple Newtown’s Truax makes the cut in 100 breaststroke

Leaving La Salle University Friday afternoon, Marple Newtown junior Johnny Truax knew he’d given himself a shot.

He’d just swum a personal-best time in the 100 breaststroke at 59.93 seconds, his first time under the vaunted minute mark. He’d placed eighth in the District One Class AAA Championships, earning a medal and a spot on the cusp of state qualification in the recent past. All he could do was wait.

Sunday, Truax got the answer he was looking for, earning the 16th and final at-large bid to the PIAA Championships.

Traux was one of eight swimmers and three relays to earn at-large berths in the meet, which will be held March 11-15 at Bucknell University. Sixteen individuals and relays qualify automatically for the meet by placement in district meets, with the next 16 individuals and eight relays drawn by time statewide in each classification.

Truax was one of five Delco swimmers to earn their one and only states berth based on time. That group included Haverford senior Emily Wolfe, who earned an at-large in the 100 butterfly. Also qualifying was Strath Haven’s Camille Jablonski, who missed out on an individual medley berth by just over a second, in the 100 breast, and Springfield’s Georgia Apostolu in the 100 backstroke.

Garnet Valley’s Ivan Michalovic earned both of his states swims via at-larges, his berth in the 100 back less certain than the 200 IM in which he had finished sixth at districts, one beyond the five automatic trips to states.

Adding second races to their states dockets Sunday were Radnor Eli Avart’s (100 back), Ridley’s Gab Rudy (100 breast) and Strath Haven’s Summer Martin (100 free). Haverford’s girls 200 medley and 400 free relays earned at-large states swims, as did Haven’s 400 free relay.

The only Class AA at-large bid for Delco was bestowed on Delco Christian freshman Alex McKeaney, who finished third in the 50 at districts swimming as an independent, her time of 25.23 seconds well inside the cut.

With the qualifiers come hard-luck snubs, the most prominent of which was Radnor’s Tim Caulfield. The senior, who was an automatic qualifier for the 200 free, missed a second swim in the 100 free by .01 seconds at 47.85, which placed him 10th in District One. Garnet Valley’s Andrew Woerth, who finished third in the 100 fly to book a states swim, was .06 off the cut in the 50 free. His time of 21.84, the same as last season at districts, had earned him a states berth in 2014.

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