Shady Side Academy swimmers seek another strong season

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Sunday, December 10, 2017 | 11:00 PM


Last year, the Shady Side Academy swim team put together strong performances during the season and playoffs. The girls finished at 10-2-1 and were Section 3-AA champions. They won the WPIAL team championships and finished fourth at the PIAA championships. The boys finished at 8-5 and took fifth at the WPIAL championships.

SSA coach John Landreth lost some key performers from those teams to graduation.

“We lost individual and relay WPIAL champion Ashley Azzarello on the girls side along with three state qualifiers on the boys in Zac Coughlin, Gannon Leech and William Lu,” Landreth said. “As usual, we will have big shoes to fill, but I am confident that our team will find its own identity as the year progresses and (we) work together towards success on a daily basis. We return many strong letterwinners, anchored by a fabulous senior class.”

Returning seniors for the boys will be Sevryn Napora (breaststroke, sprint freestyle) and Christian Taylor (backstroke/sprint free). On the girls side, seniors Sasha Arefyev (butterfly and free), Meredith Cummings (fly and sprint free), Heather Grune (breast, individual medley and free), Lindsey Grune (IM and free), Jeanne Lauer (back, IM and free), Sophia Del Sole (breast and fly), Emma Thai (free) and Heather Raphael (free and breast) return.

Junior girls returning are Nicole Jani (sprint free) and Sophia McMahon (sprint free). Boys juniors are Adrian Beckford (sprint free), Will Engel (fly and free), Trent Fuller (fly and sprint free), Jonathan Hung (free), Nick Lauer (free) and Elisio Salazar (back and free). Sophomores Maya Groff (breast) and Phee Marquette (fly and free) return for the girls, and Sean Kelley (free) will be back on the boys side. Promising newcomers include junior Thomas Spiker and freshmen Ashley Chu, Rory Engel and Adam Lauer.

Marty Stewart is a freelance writer.

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