Plum’s Decheck earns shot to compete with best in state

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Friday, March 6, 2020 | 5:15 PM


Joey Decheck swims this week at the PIAA Class AAA championships at Bucknell.

The Plum senior caps his career among the state’s best in the 50-yard freestyle.

“Joey has always gone about it the right way,” Plum coach Shawn Haupt said. “He trains year-round, works hard, and there’s not a day he takes off. He gives you 100 (percent) every day, and it was nice to see him have such a great WPIAL meet.”

The Gannon commit made the most of his final trip to the WPIAL championships Feb. 27 and 28 at Pitt’s Trees Pool. In addition to earning a state-qualifying time — he swam a personal-best 21.70 seconds in the 50 free — he reached the medals podium (seventh overall) in an individual event for the first time.

“I felt good,” Decheck said. “I was 0.14 off the (school) record, so that was a little tough. But it felt good to finally make podium.”

The boys Class AAA 50 free was fast again as Norwin senior Ethan Tulenko led the way with a time of 20.78. Decheck was just 13 one-hundredths of a second away from fourth.

“I think he surprised himself with that finish,” Haupt said. “I think he really surprised himself with his state-qualifying time. It was even a little better than what we expected, but I knew he could get (to states) if he put all the little things together.”

Decheck came back on Day 2 of WPIALs and missed a medal in the 100 free by 48 one-hundredths of a second. His time of 47.76 landed him in ninth overall.

He also missed a trip to states in the event by the slimmest of margins. His 47.76 equaled that of District 3’s Thomas McGillan, a junior from Ephrata. The final at-large time spot went to McGillan based on a comparison of seed times for the respective district meets — a 47.56 for McGillan to a 49.44 for Decheck.

Despite not getting to the medals podium or to states in the 100 free, Decheck’s time did meet the qualifying standards for YMCA nationals.

A Day 1 swim for sophomore Elizabeth Glasspool in the 100 butterfly resulted in a 10th-place finish. She lowered her own school-record time to 59.00.

“I’m not going to lie; at first I was a little disappointed it wasn’t a 58,” Glasspool said concerning the goal of swimming a time under 59 seconds. “It was so close. But at the same time, it was pretty exciting.”

Glasspool added a 14th in the 200 individual medley (2:15.49).

Plum competitors completed 24 WPIAL swims over the two days at Pitt, and most of the individuals and relays recorded season or personal bests, while others were within a second or two of their seed times.

“As a whole, the kids were excited and engaged and they really supported each other,” Haupt said. “Even the few that didn’t have their best day, they shook it off and came back and swam well in a relay or just kept the vibe positive on the deck. That speaks volumes to understanding the sport and being a great teammate. I couldn’t have been any prouder of the entire group. They represented Plum well.”

The girls 200 medley relay of Glasspool, seniors Delanee White and Molly Giles and junior Charlotte Jones cut more than three seconds off their seed time and placed 13th overall (1:52.44).

Junior Logan Minnick cut nearly seven seconds off his seed time in the 500 free (4:58.82), and the boys 400 free relay of Decheck, Minnick and juniors Aaron Frederick and Jordan Rogers sliced more than four seconds from the seed time, finishing in 3:20.95.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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