The District 2 Swimming and Diving Championships can be about pursuing many different goals.
Like the track and field and wrestling championships, which combine individual competition with team scoring, the focus can be on either individual or team excellence.
District championships can also be about the culmination of a pursuit of the biggest available local championships or simply taking care of the first step to position oneself for a shot at larger accomplishments on the state level.
The Abington Heights and Scranton Prep girls' swim teams left Wilkes-Barre last weekend with different but equal reasons to be proud of their accomplishments.
The Lady Comets celebrated teamwork; the Classics individual success.
For the most part, it was the end of a championship run for Abington Heights. For four talented Scranton Prep swimmers, it may have only been a beginning.
Abington Heights' depth and the points piled up primarily by the four Scranton Prep standouts left the teams tied when they met in the regular season.
As schools with different enrollments, they took separate paths for the postseason.
Abington Heights followed up its Wyoming Valley Conference Northern Division championship by claiming a share of the District 2-4 Regional Class AAA title with Hazleton Area.
A total of 14 Abington Heights girls scored at least one of the team's 279 points.
Sydney Gualtieri stood out with the only district title and only individual state berth.
Emma Gromelski and Vanessa Lempicky joined her on two district championship relay teams and were also part of the closing second-place relay effort that lifted the Lady Comets from behind and into a tie for the team title.
Rachel Smertz and Morgan Muller were each part of a first- and second-place relay team while also scoring in two individual events.
Chloe Sweeney led a group of girls who scored points in two individual events. That group included Krista Brickel, Annie Gromelski, Eliza Burdick-Risser, and Jessica Mahler.
Divers Quinn Gibbons and Marissa Gretz joined Kasey Feather and Kristie Furiosi in providing points in one event.
The two winning relay teams and Gualtieri, a freshman, learned Thursday that they are seeded near the bottom of their events on the highly competitive Class AAA level. That makes the state championships in Bucknell University more about being a reward for the effort each of the entries put into leading a set of strong team accomplishments.
Mia Nonnenberg, Rebekah Campo, Kaitie Voitik, and Maria Telincho head to Bucknell expected to compete for state medals Friday and Saturday. They did their best to make Scranton Prep a contender before settling for third place in the division and second place in the District 2 Class AA Championships standings.
Without the team depth to provide more points, they were often battling overwhelming odds.
The efforts they produced kept their team competitive, but now is their chance to focus strictly on their own success at the state championships.
Nonnenberg, who broke the 34-year-old record that Olympian Sue Heon set while swimming at Abington Heights, used that time to earn the state's top seed in the 500-yard freestyle. Campo is seeded first in the 100 breaststroke.
Scranton Prep has its own team element for the final week of the season.
The Classics put their top four together for relay teams that are seeded second (200 medley) and third (200 freestyle) in the state.
Nonnenberg adds a second seed in the 200 IM and Campo a third in the 100 fly.
The week ahead will emphasize the strength of four standouts who likely will push Scranton Prep to near the top of the team standings in the state. Last weekend showed how a group effort could bring an Abington Heights team to a share of the top spot in the northeastern part of the state.
(at Bucknell University)
CLASS AAA GIRLS
Abington Heights 200 medley relay team, 200 freestyle relay team
Sydney Gualtieri, Abington Heights, 100 breaststroke
CLASS AA BOYS
Scranton Prep 200 medley relay
Ryan Sebastianelli, Scranton Prep, 100 butterfly
CLASS AA GIRLS
Scranton Prep 200 medley relay team, 200 freestyle relay team
Kaitie Voitik, Scranton Prep, 200 freestyle
Mia Nonnenberg, Scranton Prep, 200 individual medley, 500 freestyle
Rebekah Campo, Scranton Prep, 100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke
Megan Carey, Holy Cross, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke