When she was growing up, Niki Price wanted to be just like her big sister, Courtney.

Courtney, who's seven years older than Niki, began swimming with the Bobcat Aquatic Club in Manchester.

When Niki was old enough, she followed her sister's lead.

"I've been at swimming meets practically since I was born," Price said. "I really enjoy racing, and that's why I've focused on swimming as my sport."

Price is in her third year of high school at Northeastern, but her first year as part of the school's swimming and diving team. She competed exclusively for the York YMCA swimming team in her freshman and sophomore years of high school.

"I had goals elsewhere with my club team, but this year, I decided it's time to get with the high school team," Price said. "I've been swimming with these kids since I was little (back in her Bobcat Aquatic Club days), so it wasn't a big change coming over to the high school team."

Price made an immediate impact with the Bobcats. She recorded the best times this season among York-Adams female swimmers in four of the eight individual events: 1 minute, 52.17 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle; 2:05.45 in the 200 individual medley; :55.62 in the 100 butterfly; and 1:06.10 in the 100 breaststroke. Her :58.51 performance in the 100 backstroke is second to the :57.24 turned in by Dallastown's Alyssa Bixler.

Price didn't compete in the York-Adams Meet because she was swimming at a national meet in Orlando, Fla. The Northeastern star, though, won a gold medal in the 100 butterfly at the District 3 Meet and finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke at the same meet.

She's seeded third in the butterfly for the PIAA State Class AAA Championships, which are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Bucknell University.

Christina Leander of West Chester East holds the fastest time in the butterfly at :54.67, and Mackenzie Hornbrook of Unionville is second with a time of :54.90. Price is next at :55.62.

"In the 100 fly, I would like to go sub 55, and in the 100 breast, I'll see what I can do," Price said. "I raced there (Bucknell's Kinney Natatorium) one time, and I liked it. It's a good pool."

Price said that having competed in national meets, including YMCA Nationals, should help her deal with having to go up against the top high school swimmers in the state.

"I usually perform well under pressure, but I still get nervous," she said. "There are going to be a lot of fast kids there."

Other locals: Dallastown junior Trevor Hine will enter the boys' Class AAA state meet with the second-fastest time in two events.

Gabriel Larson of Penn Hills is seeded first in the 200 IM with a time of 1:51.41. Hine checks in at 1:53.25.

Hershey's Zach Luttrell and Hine are seeded one-two in the 500 freestyle with times of 4:34.84 and 4:34.87, respectively. The two could renew their outstanding District 3 duel at states, although last year's state bronze medalist, Zachary Buerger of North Allegheny, is back this year. Buerger is in the eighth-seeded spot with a time of 4:37.01.

Bixler, meanwhile, will return to the state girls' meet after earning a medal last year with a seventh-place finish in the 100 freestyle. The Wildcats' junior is seeded ninth in the 100 free (:51.88) and 12th in the 100 backstroke (:57.47).

Bixler, Julia Casolo, Justina Thornley and Erica Wise are seeded ninth in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:37.62.

-- Reach Dick Vanolin da at dvanolinda@york