Five boys swimmers to watch at the WPIAL Class AA championships
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 | 5:28 PM
The WPIAL Class AAA and AA swimming championships will be held Thursday and Friday at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
The Class AAA boys and girls meet will be from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The Class AA meet will be held from 3-5:30 p.m. each day.
The TribLive High School Sports Network will live video stream the championships at TribHSSN.triblive.com.
Here’s a look at five Class AA boys swimmers to watch:
Zachary Wilson, sophomore, Knoch, 200 individual medley, 100 backstroke
In his debut appearance at WPIALs last year, Wilson represented the Knights to an 11th-place finish in the 200 individual medley and a 10th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke. He returns in the 200 IM Thursday, but he has switched up his Friday swim to the 100 backstroke, and he is seeded second overall (54.75). Only Geibel Catholic senior Cole Dorobish is seeded better at 54.47. Wilson’s postseason potential also includes his desire to reach the PIAA meet at Bucknell University. He is seeded 10th in the 200 IM (2:05.63) and hopes to be in top-eight medal contention.
Robert Spekis, senior, Belle Vernon, 200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke
Spekis and Greensburg Salem senior William Crites are no strangers to each other this season. Crites edged Spekis for the 100 breaststroke title by two-tenths of a second at the Westmoreland County meet in late January. But Spekis went sub-59 (58.42) after the WCCA championships to take the top seed for Friday’s race. Crites is the No. 2 seed at 59.20. Spekis also is the top seed in the 200 IM (2:00.29). He won the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke at WPIALs last season and went on to place third in the 100 breast at states.
Kyle Thome, sophomore, Indiana, 100 butterfly, 500 freestyle
The brothers Thome will be next to each other in the final heat of the 500 freestyle Friday at Pitt’s Trees Pool. Kyle Thome, younger brother to Cole by one year, is the top seed with a season-best 4:56.47. Cole is the No. 3 seed (4:59.51). Trying to put a wrench in the Cole train is second-seeded Andrew Pierre, a senior from Mars and the defending WPIAL champion in the event. Kyle Thome earned a medal with an eighth-place finish in the 500 at WPIALs last year. In addition to his top seed in the 500, he is seeded third in the 100 butterfly (55.08).
Cole Dorobish, senior, Geibel Catholic, 200 individual medley, 100 backstroke
A pair of individual WPIAL Class AA medals came Dorobish’s way last year as he captured bronze in the 100 backstroke (54.65) and finished fourth in the 200 individual medley (2:01.14). He enters this year’s WPIAL meet looking for gold and a return trip to states. Dorobish owns the top seed in the 100 back by three-tenths of a second over Knoch’s Zachary Wilson (54.47 to 54.75). He also is seeded fourth in the 200 IM (2:02.48) behind a trio that includes top seed and defending champion Robert Spekis from Belle Vernon.
Jacob Johnson, senior, Laurel Highlands, 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke
The WPIAL veteran hopes to pick up where he left off in the 50 free last year or fare even better when he swims the event Thursday afternoon. He is seeded third with a top time this season of 22.21. Last year, Johnson picked up a bronze medal in the 50 free (21.78) at WPIALs and went on to place 10th at states (21.66). Johnson is switching up his Friday swim and going with the 100 backstroke after placing sixth last year in the 100 free. He is seeded sixth in the 100 back with a time of 56.31, less than two seconds off the pace in the event.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .