Belle Vernon swimmer Delaney Patterson joins teammate Ian Shahan among WPIAL’s best

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Monday, February 10, 2020 | 5:08 PM


Belle Vernon has had some outstanding male swimmers in recent seasons, but a female also deserves a piece of the spotlight.

Sophomore Delaney Patterson ranks third among WPIAL Class AA performers in the girls 100-yard breaststroke (1 minute, 8.90 seconds) and the 200 individual medley (2:13.41).

Patterson achieved both marks at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championship meet, where she earned a silver medal in the 200 IM and a bronze medal in the 100 breaststroke.

She said she hopes to finish in the top three at the WPIAL championship later this month and get back to states.

Patterson placed sixth in the 100 breaststroke and eighth in the 200 IM last season. She qualified for the PIAA meet in the 100 breaststroke.

“She has very clear goals,” Belle Vernon coach Rob Reda said. “(She) worked hard in the offseason and continues to work hard.”

Reda said Patterson is the only Leopards girl to have qualified individually for the WPIAL meet so far.

The 200 medley relay team of freshman Marlee Davis, Patterson and juniors Maya Engstrom and Danielle Ferraro made the cut and is close to making another in the 200 freestyle relay.

The girls are 0-4 in Section 5-AA.

For the boys (4-1), junior Ian Shahan leads qualifiers.

Shahan — the reigning WPIAL Class AA and PIAA champion in the 100 butterfly and the 100 freestyle — ranks first in the WPIAL in the 50 freestyle (20.95) and the 100 butterfly (50.37). He set meet records in both at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association meet, where he led the Leopards to their third consecutive Class AA title.

Juniors Sam West and Cody Danto also made cuts individually, Reda said. The Leopards qualified in all three relays.

Shahan said he and Patterson push each other.

“I train daily with Delaney in my lane,” Shahan said. “She works hard every day, and it is showing in her performances. We have known each other for a long time.”

John Highlands, Patterson’s coach with the Belle Vernon Swim Club, said Patterson, who trains year-round, is a smart swimmer.

“She has good body awareness,” he said. “She can make (any) adjustments you ask.”

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