Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Seneca Valley Swimmers Dive into Wpial Meet

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Seneca Valley Swimmers Dive into Wpial Meet

Article excerpt

Stacie Safritt is prepared to shoulder the burden of high expectations.

Drew Snyder feels the same weight, but will deal with it in a slightly different manner.

Safritt and Snyder are teammates with the Seneca Valley swim team and will lead a contingent of swimmers into this week's WPIAL Class AAA championships. Both are outstanding in their individual events - - Safritt the No. 1 seed in the 100 freestyle and No. 2 in the 50 free and Snyder returning from a WPIAL fourth-place finish in the 50 free last season.

"We've got a number of really good swimmers this year," said Raiders coach Tom Donati. "We have some kids who I think can do really well."

Safritt is one of those, now more than a year removed from surgery to repair a torn labrum in her right shoulder. She had the surgery in October 2003 and did not swim with the team last season until January. Still, she managed to finish second in the WPIAL in the 50 free and to swim as part of Seneca's teams in all three relay events. The injury prevented her from competing in the 100 free.

"I'd like to win the 100 free this year," said Safritt, a senior. "I feel a lot better. My shoulder is fine. I still get a pinch or a twinge in it now and then, but if I put a bag of ice on it, it's usually OK. It's not going to hurt me."

Safritt also will swim with the 200 medley and 400 free relay teams. She is one of several members of the Seneca Valley girls' team who will compete in the WPIAL meet. She will be joined by senior Kylie Gamelier (200 medley relay, 400 free relay, 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke), senior Mandy Huffman (200 medley relay, 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke), sophomore Kelly Connolley (all three relays and 100 free) and sophomore Elyse Dobrick (100 butterfly, 100 free).

Freshman Rose Snyder (50 free, 100 free), freshman Emily Wolfarth (200 free, 500 free), sophomore Marissa Behning (100 backstroke) and junior Lauren Bezier (200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke) also will compete, as well as divers Caitlin Cipio, a senior and Diana Rocco, a freshman.

"We have a strong group from the girls' team," Donati said. …

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