Athens' Chen, Sayre's Shoemake have strong showings at states
LEWISBURG - Athens' Frank Chen continued his strong showing at the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships by reaching the 100 backstroke consolation finals.
Chen was strong in the first 25 yards of the consolation final, leading midway through the second lap. He faded over the final 50 yards, finishing sixth in his heat, 14th overall, in 54.96.
"I felt pretty good off the start," he explained. "I nailed my first turn really well, but my third turn was a little shaky. I have some things to work on."
Chen swam a 54.59 in the preliminaries to reach the consolation finals.
"In the prelims, I wish I was a little faster," Chen said. "I have to work on my turns a little bit. I just wanted to see if I could make it to finals. My time was not terrible, but I wish I could have gone a little faster."
Chen keeps improving each year.
As a freshman he qualified as a member of a relay, then last year made it in the 100 fly. This year he qualified in two events. medaling in the 100 fly Wednesday.
"It's very competitive," Chen said about states. "You can never go by the previous results. You have to prepare for the fastest. You can't worry about anyone else. You have to go in there and swim your own race."
Sayre's Sam Shoemake also had a strong day.
Shoemake improved up on his seed by taking 12th in the diving championships with an overall score of 335.85.
Shoemake, who was seeded 16th, was 17th after the preliminaries to reach the semi-finals.
After the semi-finals his score was 238.70, 16th at the time and good enough to reach the finals.
Freshman Bradley Butcher of Trinity won the state title with a score of 533.05, more than 100 points a head of second place. That score is also a new state record.