Central Catholic relay teams set sights on school-record times

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 | 4:30 PM


The Central Catholic swimming team hopes to make history again at the WPIAL Class AAA championships that begin later this month.

The Vikings are eyeing school records in all three relays, including two they set last season.

Sophomore John Guilinger and seniors Gennarino Conzemius, Adam Whisner and Michael Bushnell returned from the 200 medley relay (1 minute, 35.53 seconds) and 400 freestyle relay (3:10.28) teams.

Whisner also holds the school record in the 100 backstroke (50.76).

In the 200 freestyle relay, the Vikings aim to smash a mark set in 2009 (1:26.57).

They rank fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:29.16) and 400 freestyle (3:19.11) relays and fifth in the 200 medley relay (1:39.87) in the WPIAL so far this season.

“We want to compete for the WPIAL championship,” said Bushnell, a captain. “I definitely think a top-three finish is possible if we continue to work hard.”

The Vikings placed sixth a year ago.

Bushnell also expects the Vikings to do better at the PIAA championship, where they were 22nd last season. The top finishers at WPIALs advance to states.

Besides the four relay swimmers, qualifying for the WPIAL championship so far are freshman Gavin Newcamp, senior Aidan Demkee and junior Nolan Jacob.

Jacob made cuts in swimming and diving.

Demkee and Jacob were part of the 200 medley relay team that competed at WPIALs last season.

The Vikings, who are undefeated so far, had two more Section 3-AAA meets.

“We are still mixing up the relay lineups to produce our best options,” Central Catholic coach Mercedes “Merci” McCarthy said. “(We) still have some good opportunities in some fast pools to pull out better seed times.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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