Belle Vernon state champ Ian Shahan to swim at Army

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020 | 1:29 PM


Wanting to be part of something bigger, Belle Vernon rising senior Ian Shahan committed to join the Army men’s swimming team for the 2021-22 season.

“I’ve always been interested in the service academies,” said Shahan, who turned 18 in June. “I had a great visit at West Point and really connected with the coaching staff and the team.”

Shahan is two-time defending WPIAL Class AA champion in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 freestyle. He holds meet records of 49.02 seconds in the 100 fly and 44.68 in the 100 free.

He won both events at the 2019 PIAA championships. After this year’s meet was canceled because of the coronavirus, he earned medals as a top seed. He hopes to break PIAA records next season.

A two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Team selection, he is considering studying political science and economics.

He chose the Black Knights over Navy, Penn State, North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Alabama.

The Black Knights have been Patriot League championship runner-up to Navy the past eight seasons. They placed eighth in this season’s Eastern College Athletic Conference meet.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for him to excel in a great program academically and athletically,” Belle Vernon coach Rob Reda said. “Having the rigor and structure is a great (combination) for any freshman athlete.

“He has the discipline to fit in and do what is (required) in and out of the classroom and pool. With anything new, the unknown may play a factor, but he is a quick learner.”

Shahan, a member of Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics, said he has been swimming a few days a week with his club and going to his trainer the other days. He said Belle Vernon also started training recently.

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