YATESVILLE — The John H. McHale Aquatic Center couldn’t have been louder. The meet was already in Pittston Area’s hands. However, a battle for fifth and sixth place in the 200 freestyle relay got everyone on their feet.
It was a rivalry matchup between Pittston Area and Wyoming Area Thursday afternoon in Yatesville. The capacity crowd, including both teams, stood for most of the meet. The Lady Patriots came out on the winning end of a 115-68 score.
Pittston Area is without a boys team this season, so the boys meet was not scored.
“Wyoming Area is such a rival and it’s been since I’ve been here,” said Pittston Area coach Amy Hazlet. “It seems like when this meet comes, they always perform. I saw a lot of great things today from my kids.”
It was the Erin Senese show as the Patriot senior turned in four first-place finishes. Senese was first in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. She was also on the winning 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay.
“She’s working really hard,” Hazlet said. “She’s never swam the (individual medley) before, but she did extremely well and she keeps dropping times.”
Hazlet, coaching at Pittston Area for almost a decade now, and Wyoming Area coach Natalie Carr are familiar with the rivalry. Carr was a standout swimmer at Wyoming Area before taking over the team two years ago.
“This is so much fun when these teams meet,” Carr said. “Every time I just want to suit up with them.”
Pittston Area’s Tara Johnson was a double winner in the 50 free and the 100 free and was also on the winning 200 freestyle relay for the Patriots.
Olivia Bugelholl was the lone individual winner for Wyoming Area in the 200 freestyle. However, the Warriors were able to keep pace with Pittston Area because of some strong second- and third-place finishes. Wyoming Area’s 400 freestyle relay team of Hannah Hinkle, Cassie Lockhart, Vicki Remley and Bugelholl took first place to end the meet.
“We started off really well and I knew we would,” Carr said. “We have a lot of new swimmers. A lot of it is just trying to improve our times.”
On the boys side, Wyoming Area continued to get solid production from swimming twins Ryan and Michael Murphy. The seniors combined for a handful of wins in the non-scoring exhibition. Carr said the duo means a lot to the program and is expected to do great things when districts roll around.
Combined, the Murphy boys earned six first-place finishes for the Warriors in Thursday.
“They mean so much to this program,” Carr said. “It’s their senior year and they want to go out with a bang. They have the biggest hearts and passion for the sport.”
Nick Petrucci has been a shining star on the Pittston Area team. On Thursday, Petrucci won the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.16 and the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.57.
“Nick is doing extremely well,” Hazlet said. “He’s been sick lately, but he’s just coming into his own. He knows he can do well at districts. It’s finally hit him.”
Warrior girls rock Meyers
Wyoming Area traveled to Meyers Tuesday and came away with a girls win. No score was kept in the boys meet because Meyers is without a full boys team.
The Warriors were led by Remley, Lockhart and Bugelholl, who all picked up first-place finishes in four different events. Wyoming Area took care of Meyers, 112-51.
Lockhart took first in the 200 freestyle and the 100 fly, while Bugelholl was first in the IM and the 100 breastroke. Remley took first place in the 100 freestyle and the 50 freestyle.
In the exhibition boys meet, Ryan Murphy won the 200 freestyle, the 100 fly and was a member of two Wyoming Area relay wins. Michael Murphy won the 200 IM and was also on the winning relay teams.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick