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Houtz finishes PiAAs with fourth in the 100 backstroke

By Kenny Varner

LEWISBURG – Juniata Swimming phenom Sydney Houtz has been quite familiar with success at Bucknell University, the Junior has been competing since her senior year on the big stage of the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships held on the Bison campus, medaling five times since her first freshman visit.

Thursday, the lone Indian swimmer was looking capture medal number five in her best event the 100-yard backstroke.

In the finals, Houtz started in lane six and started out with a strong initial push off.

She was slightly behind the top four swimmers to start but as the first lap was completed she took a very strong turn off the wall, putting her right in with the pack and continued to swim strong into the third and final lap, finishing in fourth place with a time of 57.63.

”When I first got out of the pool at first I thought oh just a fourth. But when I looked at the times I saw two people finish with 54s and that in its self is insane. So was okay with my placement,” Sydney Houtz said. “I got to race against some awesome people so I’m really happy.”

Sydney advanced Thursday morning through the morning preliminaries, posting a time of 57.87 in the 100 backstroke. Her time was 4th fastest. That locked her in to Thursday’s  A Final.

Wednesday, Houtz finished 6th in the 100 butterfly PIAA State final, with a time of 57.81.

“The second day is always the day that she seems to excel in. She always seems a little bit stronger and a little bit more improved,” Juniata Coach Amy Houtz said. “She swam pretty consistent. I thought she did really well. She’s improved a lot. 

Houtz advanced through the Wednesday morning preliminaries at the PIAA State Swimming Championship at Bucknell in flying colors.

She swam the 100 butterfly in 57.78, moving up from the 13th seed to finish 4th. That locked her in to the A final.

With another season left in her high school career it is safe to say that another trip to the Bucknell campus might be a strong possibility and with that a chance to add to her state medal collection even more.

With her high school swimming season over, Houtz will now move onto the track as a member of the Juniata track and field team and she will begin her spring and summer club swimming shortly after the state finals.

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