Five boys swimmers to watch at the WPIAL Class AAA championships

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019 | 5:04 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 AAA boys swimmers to watch:

Joshua Galecki, junior, North Allegheny, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle

Galecki is one of several swimmers who will challenge defending WPIAL 200-yard freestyle champion and Tigers teammate Jack Wright. The junior is seeded second in the 200 free (1:44.37), and he also is positioned as the fourth seed in the final heat of the 500 free. Last year at WPIALs, Galecki took sixth in the 200 free at WPIALs and went on to place 19th at the PIAA meet at Bucknell University. He added a seventh in the 100 free at WPIALs and was 27th in the event at states.

Kimani Gregory, senior, Penn Hills, 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle

The WPIAL veteran hopes for a couple of final big moments in his last WPIAL appearance. Gregory leads the field in the 100 butterfly with a seed time of 50.60 seconds. He hopes to surpass his record (48.45) set in winning the event at WPIALs last year. One of more anticipated races at WPIALs will occur Friday when Gregory, seeded second in the 100 free, provides a challenge, along with others, to top seed Jack Wright. Gregory created fireworks in the 100 free at WPIALs last year as he set a WPIAL record (44.09) and edged then-senior Mason Gonzalez from North Allegheny to claim the 100 free crown.

Nolan Jacob, senior, Central Catholic, 100 breaststroke

After just missing a top-eight medal in the 100 breaststroke last year, the Vikings senior hopes to climb the ladder in the event Friday afternoon. Jacob is seeded third (58.83) in the 100 breaststroke behind Upper St. Clair sophomore Josh Matheny and North Allegheny senior Jerry Chen. Jacob again showed his versatility as he competed in the WPIAL diving championships at North Allegheny on Saturday and placed sixth, one spot away from a trip to states. In addition to his ninth-place finish in the 100 breast last year, he helped the Central Catholic 200 free relay take second and advance to states.

Ryan Rose, sophomore, Peters Township, 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke

This Ryan is a Rose between five seniors. The Peters Township sophomore is the lone underclassmen seeded in the top six of the boys 50 freestyle. He checks in as the No. 3 seed (21.82) in the event behind Hempfield’s Gavin Mayo and North Allegheny’s Joel Songer. He is one of six with a seed time under 22 seconds. Rose also hopes to make his move in the 100 backstroke where he’s seeded 12th (54.83). In his first WPIAL meet last year, Rose took 15th in the 50 free and 23rd in the 100 backstroke.

Josh Matheny, freshman, Upper St. Clair, 200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke

The defending WPIAL champion in the 100 breaststroke is almost four seconds clear of the nearest challenger in the seeding for Friday’s event at Pitt’s Trees Pool. Matheny comes in with a seed time of 53.95 seconds, a full second better than his gold-medal winning performance of 54.94 last March. Matheny is seeded second in the 200 IM (1:51.04), four seconds behind North Allegheny’s Rick Mihm, in a field dominated at the top by North Allegheny and Upper St. Clair competitors. He took third in the 200 IM last year behind Mihm and Panthers teammate Jack Fitzpatrick.

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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