Jacob achieves unprecedented feat at Central Catholic

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Friday, February 9, 2018 | 11:00 PM


McCandless resident Nolan Jacob is doing it all again as a member of the Central Catholic swimming and diving team.

Jacob, a junior, qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA championships that begin later this month in both swimming and diving for the third consecutive year.

Central Catholic swimming coach Mercedes “Merci” McCarthy said he is the first Viking to do so.

Jacob (250.88 points) so far this season ranks 14th in the WPIAL in the boys 1-meter event for six dives.

Central Catholic diving coach Vernon Yenick expects him to be among top finishers at the WPIAL championship.

In swimming, Jacob has made cuts in the 50-yard freestyle (50.69 seconds) and 200 individual medley (two minutes, 6.07 seconds).

McCarthy said what makes Jacob's versatility stand out is his ability to do all four swimming strokes. He likely will be on one of the Viking relay teams. All three rank in the top five in the WPIAL and are close to school records. “I would really like to get on the podium this year,” said Jacob, who has yet to earn a medal of any kind at WPIALs.

McCarthy marvels at Jacob's ability to switch gears and not be uptight.

“He's so well-liked by the whole team,” she said.

Yenick said Jacob is an overachiever who believes in himself.

“He's very coachable,” Yenick said.

Jacob, a member of the swimming and diving clubs at Pitt, said he trains most days of the week. On days practices overlap, he stays for them.

He followed his father — a former Notre Dame swimmer — into swimming and his sister into diving. Claire Jacob competed for Oakland Catholic.

He said diving is more fun because it is newer to him.

He plans to do both next season, too.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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