Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gateway's Seniors Pave Way to Wins Streiner, Simpson Setting Strong Examples

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gateway's Seniors Pave Way to Wins Streiner, Simpson Setting Strong Examples

Article excerpt

When Herman DeMao, head coach of both the boys' and girls' swimming teams at Gateway, looks for leadership, he does not have to look far.

Right at the top of his rosters are two individuals who not only are among the best in the WPIAL in their events, they are team leaders who put the goals of the group before their personal goals.

Senior Katrina Streiner, the two-time defending WPIAL champion in the 50 freestyle and the defending champ in the 100-freestyle, is captain of the girls' team. Senior Conor Simpson, who last year broke a 32-year-old school record in the 100 butterfly, captains the boys' team.

"I know it's a boys' team and a girls' team, but we try to focus on it as one team," DeMao said. "Katrina this year has qualified for the WPIALs in every single event. Conor did that last year and is very close to doing it this year. I suspect he will do it soon. I don't know if any other program can say they have two swimmers like that."

What Gateway has is two swimmers who are dedicated to their sports and to their teams. Streiner, for example, had a chance earlier this year to set a pool record in the 50-freestyle at North Allegheny. Her top times this season already had beaten the pool record.

"She had been preparing for that meet in other events," DeMao said. "I asked her if she wanted to go for it and she said no. She almost certainly would have gotten it if she had tried, but she didn't want to take away from the team by doing something she did not prepare for."

"I wasn't qualified [for the WPIAL championships] in all my events, and I wasn't really feeling good that day," she said. "That was part of it. But the other thing was that I didn't want to mess up the team. We had our lineup set and I didn't want to mess it up," she said.

It is that kind of leadership, DeMao said, that makes Streiner and Simpson special to their teams. …

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