Hampton swimmers, divers gear up for WPIAL meet

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Sunday, January 28, 2018 | 11:55 PM


Hampton girls swimming is right where it was last year, and that's a good thing.

Losing top talent like state qualifier Clare Flanagan opened opportunities, and that door was kicked in by underclassmen. The Talbots are 4-3, coming off a strong win against Butler last week.

“Sometimes the meets are closer because I am spreading them around,” coach Morgan Zweygardt said of needing to flex some of her swimmers out of their better events. “They've just stepped up to the plate.”

Tops among those is freshman Catie Kress, who qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA championships almost immediately in the 500 freestyle. Kress knocked nine seconds off her best time coming in to this year.

Kress will go into WPIALs looking to become the first freshman swimmer at Hampton to qualify for states since 2014 when Flanagan did it in the 100 backstroke.

“I think she could possibly,” Zweygardt said. “She's right up there. If she swims the way I know she can at the end of the year, I don't think states are a slam dunk, but I think it's a possibility.”

Freshmen Julia Adamczyk and Laurel Lynn are solid contributors and will look to help the team at WPIALs in various relays, which Zweygardt highlights as a strong group this year.

Diver Adrienne White, a PIAA qualifier, is gearing up for one more go at WPIALs and states. She finished second at WPIALs the past two years.

White, a Duquesne recruit, hopes to find a clear path to WPIAL gold. She also added an element of a leadership role to her self-focused approach.

“Adrienne's just doing her thing,” Zweygardt said. “She loves diving and has such a calm attitude. She's just a real positive spirit to be around the new divers.”

Diver Emily Felitsky could be one to watch in the future.

Junior swimmer Lia Appel has been one to watch since her freshman year, and she has qualified in WPIALs in four events, including 100 breaststroke and 200 IM.

“It's just so much fun watching her,” Zweygardt said. “She is a natural and swims beautifully.”

Sophomores Lydia Quaglia and Rosy Oh and senior Claire Williams are looking to make the WPIAL cut in individual events.

“They are swimming fantastic,” Zweygardt said.

“Faster than they were last year, but the cuts are faster this year. We just have to push them a little harder to that next level to qualify.”

Devon Moore is a freelance writer.

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