Union Swimmers Capture Gold Medals
By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
Three Union swimmers captured gold medals at the Class 6A state swim meet Feb. 27 in Edmond.
Senior and New York University signee Courtney Posey won the girls’ 200-yard freestyle event with a time of 1:56.36. Another senior, Washington University of St. Louis signee Danny Sibley and junior Trenton vonHartitzsch each won two events on the boys’ side. Sibley took first in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle events with respective times of 1:41.46 and 4:37.02. vonHartitzsch was the victor in the 200-yard intermediate and 100-yard breaststroke with respective times of 1:54.92 and 57:23.
The Union girls finished runner-up as a team with 263 points. Jenks won the team championship with 326 points.
“We were so happy,” Posey said. “We have a very small girls’ team compared to Jenks and the team that got third (Edmond North, 233). It meant a lot to us to get that close or even get second.”
On the boys’ side, Union finished fifth with 163 points. Jenks won that team title as well with 398 points.
It was the second consecutive year Posey won the 200-freestyle. Recalling her training is what she believes was the key to victory.
“We trained the best we could and I had to keep a positive attitude the whole time,” she said.“It meant a lot to me (to win again) because we’ve had a lot of rough times this year and it meant a lot to know that everything paid off.”
Sibley and vonHartitzsch each repeated (500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, respectively) in one event and won another (200 freestyle, 200 Intermediate) for the first time.
“I expected to win (the 500) after winning it last year,” Sibley said. “I don’t want to sound cocky, but the 500 is just my event in high school.
“With the 200, I won it mainly because we’ve been training with a lot of strength and power this year, so I’ve gotten a lot better with mid-distance as opposed to distance. It’s a lot more meaningful,” Sibley added.
For vonHartitzsch, it was just a matter of knowing what he needed to do.
“I just push myself super hard,” he said. “Winning it back-to-back means a lot because I wasn’t supposed to win, but whenever I got back and touched the wall first, I felt really good to come out on top,” he said.
Posey and Sibley have different views about taking their wins with them to continue their swimming careers in college.
“I think it will be really beneficial. I feel like the experience is very useful,” Posey said.
“It might boost my swimming a little bit,” Sibley said. “I think Washington cares more about the time, not the placement. It will be cool to have, but I don’t think it’s going to affect me a whole lot.”
Both are excited about the future of Union swimming.
“I think our program is growing,” Posey said. “It grows every year and we had a lot of powerful freshmen this year and we should be getting more talent coming up next year. I think they’ll do real good.”
“I think next year will be the last year where this generation of really good swimmers is still here,” Sibley said of the boys. “The girls team has a few more years of good swimmers that I know of, and they’ll probably get more as we keep growing. But the next two years, where I think the boys will really be strong. I think we have a couple of boys who are coming up through the grades to join the high school team the next year or two, but I think Union is definitely going to need a step up in the swimming aspect of sports.”
With vonHartitzsch returning next year, he plans to shoot for All-American times and also hopes to swim in college. He has yet to decide where he will attend.
He sees next season to be more challenging for the team.
“We’re losing a lot of good seniors, but whatever we’re given, we’re going to make the best and try to work together as a team, lift everyone up and make everyone do their best,” vonHartitzsch said.
Union Quick Hits
Girls’ basketball finished as state semifinalist: The third-ranked Union girls came close to a spot in the 2021 Class 6A state final, but came up one game shy. It lost 53-50 to top-ranked Norman in the semifinals on in Sapulpa. Old Dominion signee Kaylen Nelson led Union with 18 points. Junior Sydni Smith scored 11.