TUNKHANNOCK – Alex Bushre and Dylan Mislevy each won two individual events, but it was the relay sweep they contributed to that ultimately lifted Tunkhannock to the Wyoming Valley Conference boys swimming championship with a 92-91 victory over visiting Dallas Wednesday afternoon.
Davis Tidball, Ben Tidball and Dyllan Henning joined Bushre and Mislevy in each contributing to two of the three relay wins.
The Tidballs, Bushre and Mislevy formed the combination that helped the Tigers produce the victory when both teams arrived at the final event of the final meet of the season knowing that first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay would decide the conference title.
Davis Tidball rallied Tunkhannock from behind in the third leg, leaving it up to Bushre to clinch in the anchor leg.
As he landed in the pool from the starting blocks, Davis Tidball said to himself, “I know I can get a lead and I know Bushre can take it home.”
Bushre did just that.
“We were all really nervous because we knew we had to come in first for that relay in order to win the entire conference,” Bushre said. “It was really nerve-wracking.”
The meet, delayed a week from its original scheduled date to end the regular season, brought out the best in each team. Both came in 8-0 in the conference and Tunkhannock came away with its first perfect season since 1996-97.
“We’re looking at the bigger picture, which is districts, and they swam very well tonight,” Dallas coach Romayne Mosier said of her swimmers. “I couldn’t be happier as a coach that they performed very well.
“We had a lot of nice personal-best times tonight that I’ll be able to submit for districts.”
With the District 2 championships coming up next weekend, Mosier said she did not alter the “taper” part of her training plans and the times posted were still impressive.
Tunkhannock won eight of 12 events and picked up 13 points on Dallas in diving where the Mountaineers did not have an entry.
Dallas outscored Tunkhannock, 39-17, on second- through fourth-place points in the swimming events and took the lead for just the second time all day going into the final event.
The Mountaineers moved in front when Ryan Spears won the 100 breaststroke and Evan Sebecky and Issa Dahdal came in third and fourth for an 11-5 advantage in the event.
“Watching them all season, I thought they might be too deep for us to pull out a win,” Tunkhannock coach Tim Mislevy said.
The Tigers had to beat Wyoming Seminary the day before and got their own advance preparation for districts by competing under pressure on consecutive days. The district meet will be Friday and Saturday, March 2-3 at the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center in Wilkes-Barre.
“I feel real good about how the kids swam,” coach Mislevy said.
Dylan Mislevy won the 200 freestyle in 1:57.67 and 100 butterfly in 57.22 seconds.
Bushre won the 50 freestyle in 21.87 and 100 freestyle in 49.86. He went even faster with the team title on the line, following up Davis Tidball’s personal-best leg of 50.48 with an anchor time of 48.60.
Sawyer Aitken won the diving.
Mike Astegher and A.J. Hodge contributed legs on the winning 200 freestyle relay team.
Mikail Krochta won the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke for Dallas. Kevin Allen won the 500 freestyle.
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