Brentwood swimmers prepare for showdown with Carlynton
By: Ray Fisher
Saturday, January 13, 2018 | 1:36 PM
Brentwood's swim teams have Feb. 15 circled their calendar.
That's when they will host reigning section champion Carlynton in what the Spartans anticipate will be a showdown for first place.
Both Brentwood teams, which won four of five meets in December, were scheduled to take their first step toward that season-sending clash in their first section meet (Jan. 11) at West Mifflin.
“We are hopeful, and feel prepared enough, that we will continue doing as well as we have,” said Grant Davis, a senior member of the boys team. “Our goals are to win a section title by going undefeated in our section, and beating our new rival, Carlynton.”
Brentwood is a member of Section 1-AA, along with Carlynton, Carrick, Keystone Oaks, Obama Academy, Serra Catholic, Seton LaSalle and West Mifflin. Carlynton is the defending section champion. The Brentwood boys team finished second last year; the girls team placed fourth.
Davis, a breaststroke specialist and fourth-year team member, is a three-sport student-athlete at Brentwood; his athletic career has included stints with the swimming, football and track teams.
Sporting a 4.178 GPA, Davis is a member of the National Honor Society, Technology Student Association, German Club, Steering Committee and Spark Saturdays (through CMU). He works part-time at Wendy's and volunteers at the local food bank.
He also served as communications manager/specialist engineer on Brentwood's Interstellar M1 racing team that qualified for the World Finals for F1 in Schools held in September in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia.
“The trip was a really great experience, because I got to meet so many other teams from different cultures,” said Davis, a lineman on the Spartans football team. “The competition taught me the life lesson of responsibility, a major lesson for college because you are held accountable for your part of the job, and if you don't deliver, you are letting your team down on a world stage.
“As communications manager, it was my duty to design team portfolios describing our project, create all visual media (videos/images), and create the interactive touch screen display for the pit display.”
Davis, whose favorite subject is physics, has been accepted into the Swanson School of Engineering at Pitt's main campus in Oakland. He plans to major in computer engineering.
This season, he is one of five seniors on the Brentwood boys team, along with co-captains Michael Casey and Hunter Consolmagno; Brendan Donnelly, a diving specialist, and Mason Woods.
“A personal goal of mine is to qualify for the WPIAL finals by improving my times,” Davis said.
Juniors Josh Gildea, Simon Accamondo and Sean Way, sophomores, Aiden Hoffman and Elliot Stypula; plus freshmen Quilik Evans, Mason Beauregard and Steven Bakowski round out the boys team.
Beauregard has qualified for the WPIAL Class AA meet in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley events, and is close to qualifying in the 100 freestyle.
Senior leadership on Brentwood's girls team this season is provided by co-captains Cyrene Kephlagianis and Calista Dodson; along with Julie Boytim, Kylie Brunsell, Rachel Milcic, Emily Vickless and Sara Walas.
“Both the boys and girls teams are doing exceptionally well,” Kephlagianis said, “with each swimmer being very dedicated the team and always putting it first. This is the closest our team has been to winning a section title, and we are all working very hard to achieve our goal.”
Kephlagianis has a 4.3 GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society and Pep Club, and her favorite subject is art. In the pool, she competes in the 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay, and is the team's top performer in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke events.
She has been swimming for seven years, starting in the sixth grade. She also ran for the girls cross country team this fall.
Kephalogianis is in her fourth year on the girls team; she was a WPIAL qualifier in the 200 freestyle relay as a freshman.
“My season is going particularly well,” said Kephlagianis, who plans to attend Pitt-Greensburg and major in business. “My strongest event is definitely the 100 breaststroke as I have mainly focused on perfecting that particular event.”
Other members of the girls squad are juniors Emily O'Shea, Shannon Milius and Julianna Winkowski; sophomores Stella Barker, Akir Deng, Ava Durrance, Adels Sedlar and Paige Umbel; plus freshmen Brielle Woods and Willow Sandusky.
Vickless and Brunsell have qualified for the WPIAL diving championships. Both also were WPIAL qualifiers in 2016-17.
Kephalogianis, Barker, O'Shea and Deng are aiming for a qualifying berth in the WPIAL finals in the 200 freestyle relay event.
Brentwood head coach Mark Wroblewski is assisted by his wife, Jan; along with Kelci Rullo, Adam Mackey and volunteer coach Jodi Bakowski.
“I'd like to thank our coaches for always pushing us in practice,” Kephlagianis said, “because they believe we are capable of winning double sections, something that has never been accomplished (at Brentwood),” Kephlagianis said. “Hopefully this is our year.”
Following their section opener, the Spartans host Seton LaSalle on Jan. 18.
Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.