Aquatics teams merge with USA Swimming club at Pitt

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Sunday, September 30, 2018 | 10:00 PM


The USA Swimming club at Pitt has joined forces with a club that itself was the product of a merger two years ago.

Team Pittsburgh Elite was formed recently from Team Pittsburgh Aquatics and Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics, plus a program at Canon-McMillan High School. It has several hundred members close to six years and older.

Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics was established in 2016 after the Chartiers Valley and Upper St. Clair clubs merged. The new club uses pools at Pitt, Canon-McMillan and Chartiers Valley and Upper St. Clair high schools, with coaches at all four locations.

Upper St. Clair site board president Kristin Matheny was sold from the start.

“(We knew) having Pitt would be unbelievable,” she said.

Team Pittsburgh Aquatics owner and Pitt varsity coach John Hargis said with so many small clubs, there was a need for a larger one.

The club includes a program for national-level swimmers, which Matheny said has been good for her son.

Joshua Matheny, an Upper St. Clair sophomore, earned a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Junior National Championships over the summer. He was named recently to the 2018-19 Men’s National Junior Team.

Joshua Matheny likes that kids come from all over.

“It’s been amazing,” he said.

Upper St. Clair coach Dave Schraven looks for the club to be among the top in the nation eventually.

Franklin Regional senior Abbie Ramey, a Cleveland State recruit who trains at Pitt, said she was able to compete at the National Club Swimming Association Summer Championships for the first time because there were enough swimmers for a relay.

“Just to have that many people, (you) make that many more friends,” she said.

Traci Ramey wishes the club had been around sooner for her daughter.

“It would have been nice to have (had) this even two years ago,” she said. “It’s quite impressive.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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