Stokes sets school swim record at WPIAL championship


Photo by Allison Schroeder

Senior Dylan Stokes, pictured here at a practice, broke a school record in his WPIAL performance.

Grace Hampton, Multimedia Editor

Senior swimmer Dylan Stokes made school history this past weekend when he competed in the WPIAL swim championship and broke a Baldwin record.  

Stokes completed the 50 freestyle with an impressive time of 21.70, beating Baldwin’s previous 21.80 record and placing seventh. He also competed in the 100 freestyle, where he placed eleventh.

Stokes made it his goal to break a record during his sophomore year. Finally reaching it his senior year made the moment all the more exciting.

“Overall it was extremely satisfying when I looked up and saw that I broke the record.  It was a really nice way to end my high school career after all the time that I put in the last four years and even before that in club,” he said. 

Simply qualifying for the competition was an accomplishment, as the WPIAL qualifying times were faster this year to limit the number of competitors.  Despite the challenge, Stokes said the faster times pushed him to improve this season.

“I think that the new times really drove me. I had expected to qualify for a lot more events last year, but when they dropped the times I realized that I would really have to step up and train much harder,” Stokes said.

Stokes’s appearance at the competition was not his first.  Last year he competed in the 50 and 100 freestyles, as well as the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay. Stokes said he would have loved to qualify for more events, but the cut times made it more difficult.  

Fellow swimmer Jeffery Natter praised Stokes for his accomplishments and said he enjoys supporting his teammate.

“He has always had a dedication to swim that showed in his commitment to achieving as much as possible,” Natter said. “It’s quite impressive how much effort he shows in his work. Dylan was an excellent leader the whole year and was able to get the team in the right direction at all times.”

While they were not physically present at the meet, the swim team did their best to support Stokes, as well as fellow WPIAL championship competitor and diver Abbey Herrle, from a distance. To show their support, members of the swim team made a video posted on Twitter wishing Stokes and Herrle luck.

“I’d like to believe that it showed Abbey and Dylan that even though we can’t be there in person, we are there in spirit,” Natter said. “I’m glad that the two of them have gone on to do so many great things and I look forward to seeing how far they go in other sectors of their life.”