Countdown to WPIALs: Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan hopes for grand debut

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Sunday, February 25, 2018 | 6:09 PM


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Tribune-Review sports reporter Michael Love and the TribLive High School Sports Network will be profiling 10 swimmers to watch leading up to the 2018 WPIAL championship meet, set for March 1-2 at the Pitt's Trees Pool.

TRIBHSSN is the exclusive audio and video home for the WPIAL Class AAA and AA championship meets, which will be broadcasted and video streamed live at TribHSSN.triblive.com.

Here is the eighth installment of a 10-part series featuring some of the area's top swimmers.

Ian Shahan

School: Belle Vernon

Class: Freshman

Events: 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.

2017 WPIAL AA results: N/A

Ian Shahan will swim at his first WPIAL championships Thursday and Friday, and he heads to Pitt's Trees Pool with high expectations.

The Belle Vernon freshman is seeded first in both the boys Class AA 100 butterfly (52.09) and 100 backstroke (53.12).

“He has swum in big meets in Pennsylvania and up and down the east coast, and he's also competed at Pitt, but there's nothing like high school swimming, especially the WPIAL meet,” Belle Vernon coach Robert Reda said. “His teammates and parents will be cheering him on. It's an electric atmosphere, and I am sure he will feed off that.”

Shahan made his mark against top area competition, including a number of Class AAA swimmers, at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championships late last month.

He set a meet record in the 100 back (53.12), and he also won the 100 free (48.03).

“That meet gave him a lot of confidence,” Reda said. “It really gave him a boost and got him excited for what could happen at WPIALs.”

Shahan is a part of a strong Belle Vernon boys contingent that includes junior Robert Spekis, the top seed in the 200 IM (2:02.82) and the 100 breaststroke (59.76). Spekis won the 100 breast at the WCCA meet.

Shahan and Spekis also will be a part of the 200 medley relay (seeded third) and the top-seeded 400 free relay.

The 400 free relay, which also includes senior Tucker West and junior Alex Miller, set a school record of 3:21.32 at an invitational at South Park High School on Feb. 16.

“The first time they swam it, they got a 3:35, and we were really excited,” Reda said. “They had hoped to break 3:30 before WPIALs, so their best time is amazing. It's exciting to see them rise to the occasion each time.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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