Plum grad Justin Decheck makes impact for Gannon swim team
Friday, February 14, 2020 | 7:44 PM
Plum graduate Justin Decheck is doing better than expected as a freshman on the Gannon men’s swimming team.
Decheck, 18, qualified for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship meet this week in York in seven events individually.
He ranks seventh in the Division II conference in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 51.92 seconds.
“From the coaching staff to the time drops, to the friendships I’ve made, Gannon has exceeded my expectations,” said Decheck, the Pennsylvania YMCA State champion in the boys 15-and-over 100 backstroke last season and a WPIAL Class AAA medalist and PIAA qualifier in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
“(It) is turning me into a more serious student and athlete.”
Decheck, who plans to study economics, said his goals are to make the podium at the conference championship and break the school record in the 200 individual medley.
Decheck (1:55.57) ranks 10th in the conference in the event.
He also is listed among the conference’s top times in the 50 freestyle (21.92), 100 freestyle (47.53), 200 freestyle (1:46.12), 200 backstroke (1:57.35), and 100 butterfly (51 seconds).
In addition, he ranks second in the 50 butterfly (23.33) and sixth in the 50 backstroke (23.84), neither of which has a conference qualifying standard.
In relays, he is on a 800 freestyle team (6:52.87) that is second, as well as three other ranked teams.
First-year Golden Knights coach Jacqueline Michalski said Decheck is a hard worker.
“He shows a passion for the sport and is always looking for feedback from his coaches and (the upperclassmen),” she said. “I did not have the pleasure to recruit Justin, but within minutes of our first encounter, I knew great things were ahead.”