Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Na Boy Claims 2 Golds Swimming: Piaa Finals

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Na Boy Claims 2 Golds Swimming: Piaa Finals

Article excerpt

North Allegheny junior Zachary Buerger brought home a couple of gold medals from the PIAA swimming championships at Bucknell University last week.

But no achievement was more remarkable than Buerger's time in the "Angry Mob" race. This a North Allegheny post-meet tradition in which the swimmers race to consume a cluster of annoyed-looking brownies at King's Restaurant. Each brownie has a frown painted on it with icing.

Buerger's first win at the PIAA meet was in the 200-yard individual medley. He recorded a time of 1:48.08, beating Penn Hills' Gabriel Larson, the runner-up, by almost two seconds. Last year, Buerger took second place at states in the IM -- behind his brother, Matthew.

"I knew Gabe Larson was going to give me a good run," Buerger said. "But I didn't expect [West Chester Henderson's] Tommy McCormick. He surprised me a little."

McCormick was third in the race with a time of 1:50.87.

Buerger had trained to improve upon his IM techniques prior to the race.

"This year, I did improve upon the backstroke," Buerger said.

Interestingly, he noted that he felt he was actually better at freestyle swimming last year. Buerger expressed interest in working harder on his freestyle racing.

Despite being his own toughest freestyle critic, Buerger's second state win came in the 500-yard freestyle. Buerger swam the 20 laps in 4:28.12 (Bethlehem Freedom's Sam Magnan was second at 4:29.60).

Like the 200-yard IM, the 500-yard freestyle was a solid win for Buerger. But he had gone into the 500 without much knowledge of the competition. …

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