Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Tiger Sweep North Allegheny Claims Girls, Boys Championships at Wpial Meet

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Tiger Sweep North Allegheny Claims Girls, Boys Championships at Wpial Meet

Article excerpt

Corky Semler didn't want to single out any of his individual swimmers, and rightfully so.

North Allegheny's head coach, Semler stresses "team" -- and there has been no combined boys and girls squad in the WPIAL that has been more team-oriented than the Tigers in recent years.

But Semler did allow himself to point out how well his relay teams did. In winning the boys and girls WPIAL Class AAA team championships, both for the third time in the past four years, North Allegheny won five of the six relay races.

The Tigers' girls not only won all three relays at Pitt's Trees Pool last Thursday and Friday, they broke records in all three.

"To me that just solidifies what we're about -- a team," Semler said. "You won't find too many teams putting up that kind of performance in any sport. I mean, when you sweep the relays, you're showing some dominance. And our boys took two out of three relays. To me, that shows some pretty good ability there."

Even though senior Matthew Buerger was the only North Allegheny swimmer to win an individual event -- he won the 200-yard individual medley Thursday and the 100 backstroke Friday -- the Tigers swept to relatively easy team victories for boys and girls in large part due to their depth.

Jacquelyn Du, Gabriella Borza, Erin Bishop and Allie Pennetti started off the meet with a record time of 1 minute, 44.99 seconds in the 200 medley relay. Pennetti joined Morgan Soulia, Arielle Krigger and Kally Vanderbilt in setting a 200 freestyle relay record (1:35.01) later Thursday. Bishop, Vanderbilt, Katerina Borisov and Jade Song won the final girls Class AAA race of the meet Friday by swimming the 400 freestyle relay in 3:28.83.

"Allie Pennetti wasn't even in that relay," Semler said of the girl who took second in both the 100 and 50 freestyle races. "So we won that relay without our fastest girl.

"That's the kind of thing that sort of makes you go, 'Whoa.'"

All of the Tigers' relays qualified for the PIAA championships next week at Bucknell University.

Murslack takes 2 golds

Pine-Richland's Kristen Murslack was rewarded for setting out to break a 12-year-old record.

A junior, Murslack swam the Class AAA 100 breaststroke in 1:02.68, three-tenths of a second faster than Emily Carter did in 2000 when she broke the event meet record that stood until last Friday.

"My coach told me what I had to split," Murslack said. "I just kind of set my mind to it and gave it my all."

Murslack also won the 200 individual medley (2:03.75).

SSA boys sweep freestyle relays

When it comes to boys freestyle relay events in Class AA, Shady Side Academy couldn't be beaten.

Senior Chris Leech and junior Ryan Koul were part of the 400 and 200 freestyle relay teams that won gold medals. Shady Side Academy swam the 200 in 1:29.03 and the 400 in 3:17. …

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