- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2016

LEWISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Something incredible happened in the water on the second day of the PIAA Class AAA swimming and diving championships when LaSalle College’s Jake Sannem touched the wall in 4:19.64 in the 500-yard freestyle. He set a state record by more than two seconds.

Spectators at the Kinney Natatorium on Thursday were floored.

“This whole season after my meet in junior nationals the coach said, ‘I think 4:19 was going to be a good mark for you,’” Sannem said.

Alongside Sannem was teammate Joseph Vizza, who earned a silver medal, which all-but wrapped up LaSalle’s fifth straight PIAA boys’ team championship.

“I gave it a little extra in the back half. I looked over at my teammates and saw they were going crazy,” said Sannem. “That couldn’t have been more perfect. We train together every single day so we are constantly going against each other. When you get to race next to your best friend, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.”

After jumping in the water to celebrate with his group, Explorers coach Steve Duncheskie credited his team’s work ethic for their success, which led to them amassing 252 points.

“There was a lot of perseverance and hard training. We saw we were in a fight with state teams. We really came through on that first night,” he said. “The second day, they knew when they placed well and finished well … they were going to wrap up another team title.”

Upper Dublin, led by Michael Jensen, boys’ swimmer of the meet, finished second in the team standings. Jensen won his second event of the competition when he went 42.69 in the 100 free.

Avon Grove sophomore Olivia Paoletti was the girls’ swimmer of the meet after she earned her second individual gold of the two-day competition, this time in the 100 breaststroke.

North Penn totaled 243 points and took home the girls’ team championship. District 1 foe Pennridge was second.

“They knew what they had to do. They came in and took care of their business every day at practice,” Maidens coach Matt Weiser said.

“The coolest thing to me is that we did this as a team,” he said. “We won the meet outright with swimming but we scored 46 points with diving and I just can’t say enough about how awesome it is that we can all work together to do that.”

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