BUTLER TWP — The events were different, but the results were very familiar for Laura Goettler.
Butler’s junior swimmer tried her hand at the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly in Friday’s home meet against Mars and earned two victories in the Golden Tornado’s 103-81 victory.
Goettler has won a combined three WPIAL titles between the individual medley and breaststroke, but found out prior to Friday’s competition that she would be switching events.
“I’ve been dealing with a back injury and the events I swam tonight aren’t as intense,” said Goettler. “I was just taking a bit of a break from the IM and breaststroke tonight.”
Most of Butler’s swimmers recently returned from a training trip to Florida. It was while there that Goettler tweaked her back.
Mars sophomore Megan Smith is hoping to improve on a solid freshman campaign. Last year, she qualified for WPIALs in four events and competed in the IM and backstroke.
She won the former event against Butler with a time of 2:12.94.
“I barely missed making states last year in the IM,” said Smith. “It’s driving me a lot this season. I’ve gotten better at the breaststroke and have already made the WPIAL cut for that. I will probably be swimming that event at districts.”
Butler improved to 2-0 while Mars fell to 3-2.
Boys Butler 90, Mars 65
Mars coach Todd Slobodnyak witnessed Andrew Pierre win district titles in both the 200 and 500 freestyles last season. So far this season, he sees no reason why his top swimmer can’t repeat that effort.
Pierre won the 200 Friday with a time of 1:47.96.
“His in-season times this year are better than they were last year,” Slobodnyak said. “And once he’s tapered, he’s going to drop a lot of time.”
Butler moved its record to 2-0 and Mars dropped to 2-3.
Mars is off until visiting Seneca Valley Jan. 17.