Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penn Hills Team Feeds off a Proud Tradition

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penn Hills Team Feeds off a Proud Tradition

Article excerpt

The Penn Hills swimming team has a new coaching staff this season, all of whom are Penn Hills swimming or diving alumni.

Now, the Indians are excelling under their direction.

On Jan. 3 when Penn Hills played host to Fox Chapel, the Indians boys team were ready to thrash to the finish. It held a slim 86-85 lead going into the meet's final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. This meant that which ever team won the relay would win the meet. As the race got under way, the spectators were on the edges of their seats.

Freshman Norman Gregory, sophomore Chris Fenoglietto and senior Jake Saltzman gave no slack to the Foxes. When Penn Hills senior Gabe Larson dived in to swim the anchor leg, it was an even race.

"We came out on top by one second," recalled Indians coach Bob Malinoski.

Penn Hills won the race in 3:25.18 versus Fox Chapel's 3:26.30.

"It was an exciting event," he said.

With the 400-relay win, Penn Hills won the Section 3-AAA meet against Fox Chapel, 96-89. The bright spot was typical of this season's unified Penn Hills team.

Malinoski explained that he swam for Penn Hills in high school, and so did assistant coach John Reish as well as 10th-year diving coach Maureen Scurro. This year is Malinoski's first as head coach after being an assistant coach for the past three. With Reish on board, the athletes now have a new look to their leadership, all with Penn Hills roots.

"I think the team listens more about what we have to say when they know about our swimming backgrounds," Malinoski said.

The listening and the hard work are paying off. Times have already dropped in significant chunks since the Penn Hills staff came together. In a Jan. 14 non-section meet against North Hills, Malinoski pitted Penn Hills junior Matt Kegges against freshman teammate Andrew Rectenwald in the 500-yard freestyle race. Malinoski suspected the two would swim their best races of the season to date.

"I put two of our distance swimmers against each other in hopes that they would race," Malinoski said. …

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