Breaking down changes to the 2022-23 WPIAL swimming alignment

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Monday, July 18, 2022 | 12:29 PM


The WPIAL released new section alignments for the next two-year cycle in all sports, and changes will be implemented starting this fall.

This summer, the Tribune-Review will break down changes for each of the WPIAL sports.

Here’s a look at the upcoming WPIAL swimming season:

2021-22 WPIAL championships

Class 3A boys: Seneca Valley, 333.5 points

Class 2A boys: Hampton, 233 points

Class 3A girls: North Allegheny, 344 points

Class 2A girls: Mt. Pleasant, 296 points

Notable changes

• Five teams dropped down from Class 3A to 2A for the next two-year cycle — West Allegheny, Hampton, Kiski Area, Connellsville and Woodland Hills. Hampton’s girls team swam in 3A last year, and the boys won the 2A title, though both swam in a Class 3A section.

• There will be four sections featuring 27 teams in Class 3A this season, down from five sections and 35 teams last year.

• Class 2A will have six sections and 44 teams (45 girls), up from five sections and 42 teams a year ago.

• Boys teams from Latrobe, Mars and Trinity will swim in Class 3A sections but compete in Class 2A at the WPIAL meet.

• Among the notable moves in Class 3A, Franklin Regional left Section 3 and moved to Section 1 with fellow Westmoreland County teams Hempfield, Latrobe, Norwin and Penn-Trafford, as well as Armstrong.

Baldwin and Central Catholic/Oakland Catholic moved into Section 3. South Fayette and Trinity moved from the defunct Section 5 into Section 4.

• Class 2A’s major changes include an all new Section 6 that will feature McKeesport, Steel Valley and Thomas Jefferson (all from Section 5), as well as Section 1 transfers Brentwood and West Mifflin and East Allegheny from Section 3, plus Woodland Hills, which dropped down.

Cornell and Montour moved into Section 1 from 2. Freeport joins A-K Valley rivals Deer Lakes, Highlands, Knoch and Shady Side Academy, plus Hampton, North Catholic and Northgate in Section 3.

And Laurel Highlands moved into Section 5 from 4.

Heading out

• The four City League programs that competed in WPIAL sections since 2012 — Allderdice, Brashear, Carrick and Obama Academy — will not compete in the WPIAL for the next two-year cycle.

Serra Catholic and Springdale will not field WPIAL swim teams this season.

Past champions

North Allegheny has won 16 WPIAL titles in boys swimming and 26 in girls swimming, both tops in the district.

• Other boys teams to win five or more WPIAL titles include Clairton (12), Shady Side Academy (10), Mt. Lebanon (9), Connellsville (7), Indiana (5) and defending champion Hampton (5).

Bethel Park (8), North Allegheny (6), Hampton (4), Shaler (3), Shady Side Academy (2), Mars (1), Moon (1), Quaker Valley (1) and Seneca Valley (1) have won PIAA titles in boys swimming.

• In addition to North Allegheny, the leaders in overall girls WPIAL swimming titles are Bethel Park (20), Oakland Catholic (11), Shady Side Academy (4), Mt. Lebanon (3), West Allegheny (3) and Northgate (2). Oakland Catholic (9), North Allegheny (7), Bethel Park (4), Gateway (3), Moon (2), Mt. Lebanon (1) and Norwin (1) have won PIAA girls swimming titles.

Key dates

Nov. 18: First practice date

Nov. 25: First scrimmage date

Dec. 2: First play date

Jan. 5: First section date

Feb. 24-25: WPIAL diving championships

March 2-3: WPIAL swimming championships

March 15-18: PIAA championships

2022-23, 2023-24 alignment

Class 3A

Section 1: Armstrong*, Franklin Regional, Hempfield, Latrobe**, Norwin, Penn-Trafford

Section 2: Butler, Mars**, Moon, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley

Section 3: Baldwin, Central Catholic/Oakland Catholic, Fox Chapel, Gateway, Penn Hills, Plum, Shaler

Section 4: Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township, South Fayette, Trinity**, Upper St. Clair

Class 2A

Section 1: Carlynton*, Chartiers Valley, Cornell*, Keystone Oaks, Montour, Seton LaSalle, Ellis School (girls only)

Section 2: Beaver, Beaver Falls*, Blackhawk*, Central Valley, Hopewell, Quaker Valley*, Riverside*, West Allegheny

Section 3: Deer Lakes, Freeport, Hampton, Highlands, Knoch, North Catholic, Northgate*, Shady Side Academy

Section 4: Burrell, Derry, Greensburg Salem, Indiana, Kiski Area, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant*, Valley

Section 5: Belle Vernon, Connellsville, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, South Park, Uniontown

Section 6: Brentwood, East Allegheny, McKeesport, Steel Valley, Thomas Jefferson, West Mifflin, Woodland Hills

*Cooperative sponsorship

**Class 2A boys team competing in 3A section to align with girls team

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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