Gateway swimmer Livingston adds to budding legacy

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Monday, March 19, 2018 | 12:03 AM


Olivia Livingston's portfolio her first two years as a swimmer at the high school level ranks among some of the top competitors in WPIAL and PIAA history.

The Gateway sophomore sprint freestyler owns four WPIAL championships — two each in the 50 free and 100 free — the WPIAL record in both events, two PIAA championships, the state record in the 50 free and a pair of runner-up finishes in the 100 free.

She also owns the Gateway record in her two freestyles as well as the 100 backstroke.

Not surprisingly, Livingston said she still has things to prove in terms of time drops and also picking up that elusive 100 free gold medal at states.

“There's a lot in my future to be excited about,” Livingston said. “I know I have to work even harder.”

Livingston last week defended her PIAA championship in the 50 free at Bucknell.

She held off the field and tied her state record with a time of 22.73 seconds.

“I wanted to go faster than (states) last year and also beat my time at WPIALs (22.71),” Livingston said. “But it was still a great time, and lots of people would love to have that time.”

She was the only swimmer to go under 22 seconds in the preliminaries and finals.

Emma Steckiel, a sophomore from Governor Mifflin in District 3, finished as runner-up in 23.02.

Livingston's quest in the 100 free continues after she finished runner-up to Pennridge senior Morgan Scott (49.22) for the second year in a row. She recorded a 49.63 in the finals after an uncharacteristic 50.04 in the prelims.

The 49.63 was up from her 49.57 at WPIALs this year and her personal best of 49.53 recorded at both WPIAL and states in 2017.

“It wasn't so much the second-place finish as it was my time I was really worried about,” Livingston said. “I obviously wanted to go faster than I did last year.”

Livingston said Scott is a perfect example of the kind of swimmers she enjoys going up against. Whereas Scott graduates, Livingston said she knows very well it's not as easy as simply ticking up to the top spot and taking Scott's place. Others, such as this year's PIAA third-place finisher in the 100 free, Upper Dublin junior Abbie Amdor, again will have sights set on being state champ.

Of the top 16 finishers from the 100 free championship and consolation finals, only three are seniors.

“It's great to be able to be in the pool against such talented people who push me and want to be pushed by me,” Livingston said. “We raise each other's compete levels.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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