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Blue Raider Guckavan’s swimming quest at states on hold, might not happen this year

By Jason Maddux

jasonmaddux@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 3/18/20

By Jason Maddux

jasonmaddux@pressandjournal.com

Middletown Area High School sophomore Gavin Guckavan will have to wait to participate in his first PIAA state swim meet.

The question is, for …

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Blue Raider Guckavan’s swimming quest at states on hold, might not happen this year

Posted

Middletown Area High School sophomore Gavin Guckavan will have to wait to participate in his first PIAA state swim meet.

The question is, for how long?

Guckavan was to take part Friday and Saturday in the Boys 2A competition at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. His events are the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke.

The PIAA decided March 12 to suspend the PIAA basketball and AA boys and girls swimming and diving championships for minimally a two-week period. That length of time seems certain to grow longer, as Gov. Tom Wolf has mandated that schools across the state are out until March 27 at the soonest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday recommended against any gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks, and President Donald Trump on Monday released guidelines that called for people to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people.

Guckavan said he had been at Kinney Natatorium at Bucknell for about 20 minutes on Thursday and was in line to register with his brother and Trinity High School’s head coach when the head official called all the coaches over and told them about the decision to postpone.

“I was pretty let down. I know it was for safety reasons, but I was excited and getting ready to warm up at that point,” he told the Press & Journal.

He said they waited for a more official announcement to come out and then they went home.

While there is a letdown, he said, he understands the health concerns and said he feels bad for his older fellow competitors.

“I always have the next two years. I just feel bad for all of the seniors that were robbed of their last high school swim,” he said.

MAHS does not have a swim team. He practices with his club swim team at the West Shore Y, and the head coach of the West Shore Y is the head coach at Cumberland Valley, so Guckavan can take part in PIAA events through Cumberland Valley although his times count only for him and not for the school. That’s how he got his qualifying times for districts, and his times at districts qualified him for states.

With all the restrictions now in place across the state and country, his training will be limited.

“I am trying to get pool time, but West Shore YMCA practices are canceled for the rest of the season so it’s pretty hard to keep in shape,” he said.