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Gateway swimmers happy with their performance at state championships

The last Gateway swim in the final event of the last day of the PIAA swimming championships at Bucknell University led to a podium finish and a state medal.

The last swim by Gateway at the end of the PIAA swimming championships at Bucknell University resulted in a top 3 finish and a state medal.

The Gator girls 400-yard freestyle relay team swam in the Class 2A championship heat on March 16. Their time of 3 minutes, 41.33 seconds was slightly slower than their prelim swim, but they secured eighth place in the state.

Gateway coach Glenn Raymer said the team fought hard and performed well in the prelims (3:29.67) to qualify for the finals.

The team achieved their goal of finishing in the top eight and taking home a medal, despite being slightly slower in the finals. Coach Raymer was pleased with their performance at the meet and throughout the year.

The relay marked the end of four days of swimming for Gateway, with the boys competing on March 13 and 14 and the girls taking over on March 15.

Gateway junior Hunter Raymer won PIAA medals in the 200 individual medley and 500 free, and Rassiane came close to winning a medal in the 100 butterfly.

Raymer broke his school record in the prelims of the 500 free (4:34.34) and placed fifth in the finals with a time of 4:34.99.

He also broke the school record in the prelims of the 200 IM (1:53.42) before placing eighth in the finals (1:54.10).

Coach Raymer said Hunter had a different experience this year than in the past, with more confidence and achieving lifetime bests in both of his swims, putting him in contention for a medal.

He was very happy with his times and is now aiming for even bigger goals.

Coach Raymer noted that Rassiane performed well in her PIAA debut.

He said that going to a big meet like this, especially as an underclassman, can be overwhelming.

Rassiane started her state-meet performances with a time of 24.82 in the preliminaries of the 50 free, tying for 17th place.

A swim-off was held to determine the first alternate for the consolation finals, but Rassiane chose not to participate.

Coach Raymer said they respected her decision and allowed her to focus on her next event, the 100 fly.

Rassiane finished 13th in the 100 fly prelims with a time of 59.54, and improved to 11th in the consolation finals with a time of 59.18.

Coach Raymer highlighted how close the competition was in the 50 prelims, with the difference between 17th and 6th place being only tenths of a second.

He also expressed satisfaction with Rassiane's season and her performance in the 400 relay.

The Brown sisters and Mark DiPalma completed their time on the varsity team at the state competition, while Rassiane, Hunter Raymer, Laurenti, Gunner Raymer and Owen Echegaray, who are a sophomore and a junior, plan to come back and hope to do better next season.

“Mark was very happy to have the opportunity to participate in that competition, and he achieved one of his best times ever in the (400 free) relay,” coach Raymer said. “He also achieved personal bests in both of his races at WPIALs.

“The twins’ aim was to return to the awards podium at the state competition in some way, and that relay helped them achieve that. They both achieved personal-best times in the relay. Those were positive moments for them.

“It’s great when you bring a large group to the state competition. It makes it even more enjoyable. They were able to celebrate their seasons and spend some quality time with each other.”

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