Titusville boys down Franklin in important early meet
FRANKLIN – In their first highly anticipated meet of the young season, the Titusville Rockets swim team took on the Franklin Knights in their first Region 1 contest of the year, and for the boys of the Brown and Gold, it was a successful night.
Both the boys and girls events were close, but the Titusville boys came away with a win, while the girls were handed a slim defeat.
The lady Rockets were edged by the lady Knights, 89-81, while the Rockets out swam the Knights, 92-78.
Titusville had the meet circled on their calendar, as their match-ups with Franklin are usually highly competitive.
That was the case on Monday, as the sides traded events back and forth, with the meet coming down to the wire.
Titusville’s first event win came on the boys’ side, with the 200-yard medley relay team claiming the to spot.
The team, made up of Jay Bleday, Mac Coat, Devon Pettit and Seth Mehlenbacher, beat Franklin’s squad by 2 seconds, with a 1:54.21.
The lady Rockets got their first victory of the night thanks to Ava Young’s performance in the 200-yard individual medley.
Young won easily, with a 2:31.84, which was good enough to qualify her for districts.
In the 100-yard butterfly, Austin Deeter claimed a win for Titusville, with a season-best 1:04.89 swim.
Titusville picked up another win on the girls’ side in the 100-yard butterfly, when Cara Hutchinson completed the event with the victorious time of 1:13.60.
The boys’ 50-yard freestyle was a race that came down to the wire, with Franklin just barely pulling out the win.
The Knights’ Phil Emerson, the defending Class AA sate champion, out-touched the Rockets’ Bleday by just .6 seconds.
Emerson came in at 22.16 seconds, while Bleday finished in 22.72 seconds.
Bleday’s time was good enough, though, to qualify him for districts.
Titusville’s girls picked up another crucial win in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and they did it in district-qualifying time.
Young, Natalie Klingler, Megan Bowser and Hannah Leach beat Franklin’s squad by 4 seconds, with a time of 1:49.62.
In the long distance event of the 500-yard freestyle, Pettit picked up a first-place finish for the Rockets, with a time of 5:46.67.
Other best times for the Titusville boys included Deeter, in the 100-yard butterfly; Matthew Leach, in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly; Zach Edwards, in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke; Steve Hollabaugh, in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle; Coat, in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke; Ryan Burton, in the 100-yard backstroke; and Pettit, in the 200-yard individual medley.
“It was an exciting night in Franklin [Monday evening],” said Titusville boys head coach Kevin Dawson. “Both the boys and the girls had quite a challenge on their hands. Unfortunately, we weren’t both able to come out with a win, but the boys were very excited with their victory. This is the first time Titusville boys have beaten Franklin in several years.”
For the girls, Cori Sampson posted a personal best in the 200-yard individual medley.
Hutchinson had personal bests in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke.
Despite the loss, Titusville girls head coach Judy Lesko was pleased with her team’s effort.
“Franklin girls have added some depth with the addition of some freshmen,” said Lesko. “The combination of their new young swimmers with their very talented veteran swimmers were too much for our girls to handle. Our girls gave it their all but it was just not enough.”
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