Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

There Are Big Lanes to Fill in Wpial

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

There Are Big Lanes to Fill in Wpial

Article excerpt

It will be a year of new names, faces and champions in WPIAL swimming this year. Many of the swimmers who have made this perhaps the fastest era of WPIAL swimming have graduated and moved on to major collegiate programs.

In Class AAA there will be new WPIAL champions in 12 of the 18 individual events. In Class AA there will be seven new champions.

It is yet to be seen if there will be new team champions.

The North Allegheny boys are in the midst of a four-year WPIAL Class AAA title reign while Class AA has seen three different boys champions in as many years including Quaker Valley last season.

It is a similar situation on the girls side where the North Allegheny girls are on a seven-year WPIAL Class AAA title run whereas Class AA has also had three different girls champions, South Fayette in 2013, West Allegheny in 2014 and Shady Side Academy in 2015. West Allegheny has since moved up to Class AAA.

It is an especially new era in WPIAL Class AAA boys swimming. The classification had never been so fast. Boys throughout the area took an eraser to the WPIAL record book over the past two years. Out of the 11 high school swimming events, seven records were set last year. Three more records are two years old. The most "ancient" record is from 2009.

The bar has been set high by the since-departed swimmers. There will be no more Dudzinskis from Upper St. Clair or Buergers from North Allegheny. North Hills' Brian Lovasik, a WPIAL record holder in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle also has graduated.

There are big shoes and lanes to fill all around the WPIAL when section meets begin Dec. 17 leading up to the WPIAL swimming and diving championships March 1-4.

Even with all the graduation from last season there is plenty of talent back and plenty of PIAA hopefuls who have a very good chance of making it to Hershey to swim in the PIAA finals starting March 16. …

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