Greensburg Salem swimmers find their stroke with freshmen

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Sunday, December 17, 2017 | 8:45 PM


A strong incoming class is giving a boost to the Greensburg Salem girls swimming team.

Golden Lions coach Curt Smith expects freshmen Madison Cassidy and Marisa Sharp to contribute.

“This team really wants to compete,” Smith said.

Smith, in his second season at the helm, looks for the boys squad also to improve.

Junior William Crites, the boys captain, believes his team has a shot at the Section 4-AA title.

Both teams finished near the bottom of the WPIAL championships last season.

Top returning swimmers are Crites, junior Erica Steele and senior Brooke Smith, Curt Smith's daughter. All qualified individually for WPIALs a year ago.

Steele (12th in the girls 200-yard individual medley) posted Greensburg Salem's best finish at the WPIAL meet.

Among other swimmers, juniors Jeremy Kappel, Ian Merendino and Kylee Stone could have breakout seasons, and sophomore Jordan Dale heads her class, coach Smith said.

The Golden Lions have a deaf competitor, junior Heather Ahearn, who inspires them.

“(Ahearn) has come a long way and worked herself up as one of our top swimmers,” Curt Smith said.

The Golden Lions opened the campaign with nonsection losses to Latrobe.

Brooke Smith, the girls captain, said she was excited the meet was closer than in previous seasons.

The two Greensburg Salem squads kick off section action Jan. 3 at Burrell.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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