The Downingtown East High School girls swim team came in sixth at the PIAA State Swimming Championship held March 15-16 at Bucknell University, Lewisburg. The four-member team of Stephanie Roop, Samantha Palser, Rachael Bright and Kathleen Hohwald won fourth place, All America in the 200 Free Relay and seventh place, All America in the 400 free relay.

"To make it to the state tournament is a big achievement as the school has to come in the top four at the District meet or obtain a certain state qualifying time," said DHS girls swim coach Janet Bright. The school then competed against 87 qualifying schools at the state swimming championship.

Team member, Stephanie Roop attributed their success to the team spirit that her team members shared.

"Downingtown swimming is very team oriented and I really like competing as a team. The four of us have a fantastic rapport," said Roop.

Roop won first place in 500 free, All America and fourth place in 200 free.

Samantha Palser won third place in 50 Free, All America and 100 Free. Palser will also be competing at the Junior Nationals in Orlando later this week.

Rachael Bright came in 19th in the 100 freestyle and Kathleen Hohwald came 21st in the 100 back.

Each team member practices two hours a day, every day after school. The swimmers also participate year round at various meets.

Downingtown East girls swim coach; Janet Bright has won several medals over the years. Last summer, Bright competed in the nationals in California and won gold medals for the 50, 100 and 200 breast in the 50-60 age group category.

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