PIAA State Swimming Tournament Delayed and Condensed

LEWISBURG -- While outside, the landscape calls for jackets and scarves, inside at the pool at Bucknell University, high school students suited -- well, swimsuited -- up to practice their strokes in preparation for the PIAA swimming championships.

Thanks to the colossal storm that packed a wallop to our region earlier in the week, the tournament was pushed back and condensed. PIAA officials say that due to scheduling constraints, the tournament needed ot happen this weekend -- so everyone did what they had to do.

"We still have to operate off of Bucknell University's spring break schedule. It's too difficult for us to have student athletes here when they are in session," explained Melissa Mertz, a PIAA official.

Instead of beginning Wednesday, officials made the decision to miss a day of the tournament. This pushes the diving portion of the competition to a new time.

"When we were making all of these determinations, we were touching base with some of the coaches and we were bouncing ideas off of them," Mertz added.

Students all over northeastern and central Pennsylvania were affected. In Scranton, officials at Scranton Prep pulled transportation for their athletes.

"Instead of having a van bring all the kids down that each parents would be responsible, which was fine with us because we were coming anyway to support her so it really didn't matter," said Mark Prushinski of Dickson City.

"They said with the liability issues, they asked if the parents would be able to take the student athletes down," added Gene McNulty of Suscon.  "We were all coming down anyway so it wasn't a big issue."

Parents told Newswatch 16 that they are happy that the tournament was pushed back.

"With my job I was out on the roads on Monday, Tuesday and a little bit on Wednesday and it was bad. So they did the right thing," said Prushinski.