By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
Three Union swimmers placed first, earning gold medals in February at the Class 6A swim meet.
On the boys’ side, junior Danny Sibley and sophomore Trenton vonHartitzsch won the 500-yard freestyle and 100-breaststroke, respectively, with times of 4:40.27 (a school record) and 57.25. Junior Courtney Posey was the only champion in the girls’ meet as she won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:54.48.
A host of other Union swimmers also excelled under first year coach Lynne Gorman, who took over the program after David Lynn retired last year.
The girls placed third as a team with 214 points after finishing fifth in 2019. Jenks, who swept both titles, (382) and Edmond North (224) finished ahead of Union.
The boys, with 187 points, took fourth, where they also finished a year ago. Placing ahead of Union were Jenks (394), Bartlesville (249) and Norman North (221).
Winning gold was special for the trio of state champions.
“I’ve been practicing all season,” Posey said. “For something to come out of it, like winning a state championship really meant a lot to me.”
Posey also tasted gold last year with three other swimmers – junior Kendra vonHartitzsch, older sister of Trenton, along with sophomores Kelly Vu and Abigail McMahon – when they won the 200 relay. The quartet bettered last year’s mark (143.30) in that event with a time of 1:42.97. But they weren’t able to repeat since four teams – Shawnee (1:41.12), Bartlesville (1:41.40), Edmond North (1:41.92) and Jenks (1:42.01) finished ahead in the race, giving them fifth-place finish.
“The competition gets a lot better every year and I had some fast people swimming with me,” Posey said. “You just have to train harder and harder every year, because there is always someone else who is faster and it gets pretty difficult as it goes on.”
Posey and Vu also took third, respectively, in the 500 freestyle and the 200 individual medley relay.
Both vonHartitzsch and Sibley beat swimmers from Jenks by .10 of a second in their races.
“I finished and I looked over at the Jenks side and they were so shocked,” vonHartitzsch said. “It felt so good because they are always up at the top, winning, and when you beat them, it is a good feeling.
“I’ve always wanted to be one of those guys at the top in the state. My coach said, ‘You just got to believe. If you believe, then you can probably do it,’” vonHartitzsch said.
“It’s pretty big in a sense,” Sibley said. “It was really stressful going into the meet, because I thought maybe I’d get overtaken, but I came out on top.”
Sibley and vonHartitzsch were involved in some third-place finishes, respectively, in the 200-freestyle and the 200 individual medley. The pair, along with seniors Jaden Anderson and Eric Uerling also placed third in the 200 medley relay. Sibley, vonHartitzsch and Eurling, along with sophomore Jacob Wise also landed in the same spot in the 400 freestyle relay.
One thing the team really cherishes more than anything is the fun that comes with unity.
“I love this team,” Posey said. “They’re my best friends. I have the best coach and they’re just my motivators.”
“It’s pretty fun,” vonHartitzsch said. “We’re all pretty close, very full of energy.”
Union Quick Hits
Both Union basketball teams made it to the Class 6A state tournament early last month.
Unfortunately, they weren’t able to put their skills on display since it was postponed and eventually canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Union girls, ranked sixth at the time, made it after a 52-43 win against Booker T. Washington in the girls area championship game March 5 in Owasso. The boys earned a trip with a 66-64 win against Jenks in the area title game the next day.
The state tourney was postponed on March 12 and was canceled two weeks later.
Spring sports activities were also canceled for the rest of the school year.