5 girls swimmers to watch at the WPIAL Class AAA championships

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | 1:56 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 girls swimmers to watch:

Tatum Detwiler, senior, Connellsville, 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke

Detwiler, a WPIAL and PIAA medalist in the 100 breaststroke as a sophomore, hopes to make her mark Thursday and Friday in her final WPIAL appearance. The Pitt recruit is seeded second in the 50 freestyle (24.07), behind two-time defending WPIAL champion Olivia Livingston from Gateway. On Day 2, Detwiler will swim in the final heat of the 100 breaststroke as the No. 3 seed (1:04.38) and face the likes of top seed Laura Goettler, a junior from Butler; No. 2 seed Leah Baker, a senior from Moon; and No. 4 seed Zoe Skirboll, a freshman from Fox Chapel.

Victoria Buerger, junior, North Allegheny, 200 individual medley, 100 backstroke

A member of the powerful eight-time defending WPIAL team champion North Allegheny girls swim team, Buerger is out for more gold. The junior will begin her quest for individual titles Thursday as the top seed in the 200 individual medley (2:01.59). On Friday, she goes after her third straight WPIAL title in the 100 backstroke, where she again is the top seed (54.91). Last year, Buerger placed third in the 100 backstroke at the PIAA championships at Bucknell University. Buerger finished second in the 200 IM to Butler’s Laura Goettler at WPIALs last year and went on to take 10th at states.

Sophia Schlichting, sophomore, Upper St. Clair, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle

After making her WPIAL debut last March, Schlichting hopes to climb the ladder in both the 200 and 500 freestyles. She checks in as the No. 3 seed for Friday’s 500 free (5:09.09). Last year, Schlichting earned a WPIAL medal in the 500 with a sixth-place finish (5:11.84) and competed in the event at states. She begins her WPIAL individual pursuits Thursday in the 200 free and will swim in the final heat as the No. 7 seed (1:57.09). She is in a group of 12 swimmers separated by just two seconds.

Leah Baker, senior, Moon, 200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke

The WPIAL veteran has her sights set on a Class AAA individual title Friday in the 100 breaststroke. She will swim the final heat as the No. 2 seed (1:03.72) behind Butler’s Laura Goettler, the defending champion. Goettler and Baker went 1-2 at WPIALs last year, and Baker went on to place fourth at states (1:02.90). Baker also is the No. 6 seed in the 200 IM (2:09.34). She captured both the 200 IM and the 100 breast titles at the Midwestern Athletic Conference Championships on Feb. 9.

Devan Taylor, senior, Plum, 50 free, 100 breaststroke

The James Madison recruit knows what it’s like to produce a top finish at WPIALs in the 100 breaststroke and also earn a medal in the event at states. She finished eighth in the 100 breaststroke at last year’s PIAA championships. Taylor is positioned in the final heat in the 100 breast (1:07.42) Friday afternoon and hopes to go faster than last year’s 1:04.16 that placed her fourth overall. After competing three times at WPIALs in the 200 individual medley, Taylor switched over to the 50 freestyle and is seeded fifth (24.44) in the final heat Thursday.

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

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