Perkiomen Valley’s Dix a double medalist on opening day of PIAA-AAA Championships

LEWISBURG — Kyle Dix brought home two medals to open up the PIAA Class AAA Swimming Championships at Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium on Friday.

The senior placed fourth in the 50 free (20.76) and anchored the seventh-place 200 free relay (1:27.05) which also included seniors Bryce Groshardt, Logan Thorneloe and Michael Melissen.

“I was happy to get fourth,’ said Dix, who placed eighth in the same event last season. “It wasn’t my best time, but it was my highest finish at the state level. I’ll definitely take that.’

Despite his fourth-place finish, he admits that placing seventh alongside his teammates made opening day so much more special.

“We’ve been working together all season,’ said Dix. “We’re behind each other every step of the way, and now we have a medal to show for it.’

For Thorneloe, states has been one last chance to end the season on a high note.

“This meet will be our last few times racing together, so we know we have to put it all out there,’ said Thorneloe. “It feels great to win a medal. Hopefully we’ll be able to come out and do it again (Saturday).’

Perkiomen Valley head coach Brian Zeigler said that the relay team has met all expectations and even exceeded them.

“They’re such a hard-working group of guys,’ he said. “They made the most of every opportunity, and put it all together at the right time. They went above and beyond.’

And for Melissen, who saved his first trip to states for his senior year, the experience has been unforgettable already.

“It’s been amazing just taking all of this in,’ he said. “I’m thankful to have these three beside me and my coaches who have always pushed me to get better.’

“It’s awesome to finally win one of these,’ said Groshardt, holding his medal up. “We worked so hard this year just to get here, and now that we are here it feels great to win.’

Dix will look to earn another medal in the 100 free on Saturday as the seventh seed and help the Vikings make the final in the 400 relay where they are seeded 11th.

In his first go-around at states, Boyertown’s Patrick Lance admits that although the stage was a challenge he may not have been fully prepared to face, it is something that will help him sharpen his strategy over the next two seasons.

“You can practice all you want, but the pressure that comes with competing at states is like no other,’ the sophomore said. “There’s a lot that I can take away from today. It was good to come out and see the competition, and see how good I’ll need to get in the next two years.’

Methacton’s Matthew Schulz saw his first day bid come to an end in the preliminaries, as he was 30th in the 200 IM (2:00.00).

“Going in, I knew this was my last high school race, so I put it all out there’ he said. “I swam well in the beginning, but the last 50 (yards) I had nothing left. I knew I had to put it all out there, it just didn’t go the way I hoped.’

Owen J. Roberts’ Colin Bauer swam a 22.01 in the 50 free, which put him in 29th place. The junior was the third leg on the Wildcats’ 200 medley relay, which also failed to survive preliminaries by finishing 19th at 1:38.76.

PV’s Thorneloe also placed 21st in the 200 free (1:44.29), despite cutting 0.11 off his qualifying time.

“I swam a good time; unfortunately they just swam way better,’ he said. “I can’t be upset about it though, I cut time and did exactly what I aimed to do coming in.’

NOTES — North Penn was disqualified from the 200-yard free relay preliminary, which gave Perkiomen Valley the eighth seed in the final.

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