After sweeping section titles, Franklin Regional swimmers speed into WPIAL meet

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Saturday, February 24, 2024 | 11:01 AM


It’s been quite a season for the Franklin Regional swimming teams.

The boys finished the season 11-0 and were Section 1-3A champions while the girls were 8-3 overall and also were Section 1-3A champions. The girls’ losses were nonsection.

Both also were Class 3A Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association team champions.

The team is coach by Daniel Taylor. Rank Nelson is the diving coach.

Now it’s on to individuals and the Panthers are sending 20 swimmers to the WPIAL swimming and diving championships.

The diving was scheduled for Feb. 23-24 at North Allegheny. The swimming is being held Feb. 29 and March 1 at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

“It was a good season,” Taylor said. “The boys were solid again and the girls hadn’t won the section title since 2019. I’m very proud of both teams.”

There are 10 boys and 10 girls advancing.

Leading the way for the boys are seniors Ben Holm and Holden Thomas along with junior Eric Lingg.

Holm is competing in the 100 and 200 freestyle races along with two relays. Thomas is in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, while Lingg is in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Both are also in two relays.

“I would say Holden has the best chance of advancing,” Taylor said. “Ben does in the 100 freestyle while Eric has some work to do to reach the top eight.”

Only the WPIAL champion is guaranteed a berth at PIAAs. Swimmers can also qualify by having one of the top 36 times in the state.

Taylor said the three relays teams also have a shot at advancing.

Also qualifying for the WPIAL meet is freshman Andrew Silvis, sophomore Peter Ducruet, sophomore Christopher Wu, senior Dylan Tometsko, freshman Lucas Oates, junior Joseph Kvocak and junior Mackinley Miller.

The girls squad is mainly made up of freshman and sophomores.

“Our top three scorers were freshman and sophomores,” Taylor said. “I feel that Maggie (Hull) has a shot to advance as an individual, but this is going to be a valuable learning experience for the rest of the team.”

Hull is competing in the 100 and 200 freestyle along with two relays.

Freshman Aidah Holm is swimming in the 100 butterfly, freshman Scarlett Zolnak in the 100 backstroke and 100 free and sophomore Jamie Kociela in the 50 freestyle.

“We had no seniors on the team, so the future looks bright for the girls,” Taylor said. “We’re young and this group is pretty talented. They have a great work ethic and are tight knit. They train well together.”

The other girls competing include freshman Caroline Shirley, sophomore Anna Sechrist, freshman Phoebe Boswell, sophomore Amelia Oates and senior Kate Lowe.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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