Fox Chapel swimming returns talent, experience

Sunday, December 10, 2017 | 11:00 PM

The Fox Chapel swim team hopes to build on last year's success, when the girls went 11-0 with a 7-0 section mark and claimed the WPIAL Section 3 crown and the boys finished 9-2 overall and 5-2 in the section.

The program also did well in the postseason with 14 girls and seven boys qualifying for the WPIAL individual championships. Joslyn Filo, now a senior, qualified for states in the 50 and 100-yard free. Coach Dan Taylor will have to replace three of the top six point producers on the girls side.

Returning along with Filo for the girls will be Jaclyn Filo (sophomore, 200 individual medley, 100 fly, 100 breast), Maria Luciana (junior, 50 free, 100 free, 200 free), Grace Gackenbach (sophomore, 500 free, 100 back) and Molly Wiese (senior, 50 free, 100 back).

Boys returnees are Colin Hackwelder (junior, 200 free, 500 free), Nathaniel Roe (junior, 100 free, 100 fly), Tristan McClelland (junior, 50 free, 100 free), Brandon Brewster (senior, 100 free, 200 free), Daniel Logue (junior, 200 free, 500 free, 100 back) Will Wang (sophomore, 200 IM, 100 breast), Jake Sperry (sophomore, 200 free, 500 free) and Ian Chang (junior, 200 IM, 100 breast).

Promising newcomers include Vivian Shao (freshman, 50 free, 100 free, 100 back) and Ben Siri (freshman, 100 breast, 100 back).

Taylor is optimistic about the season.

“We are returning seven of our top 10 point scorers from a year ago on the girls side. We have experience in a wide range of events,” he said. “Several of our boys have improved tremendously since last season. But we will be a young team. More than half of both teams consist of freshmen and sophomores.

“It will be a very difficult task to repeat as Section 3 champs on the girls side. We are not as deep as we were a year ago. On the boys side, our top point scorer graduated. This is going to force several of our younger swimmers to have to step up in order for us to have a chance to match last year's section record.”

Taylor expects Franklin Regional, Gateway and Oakland Catholic to be among the top teams on the girls end and Franklin Regional, Gateway and Central Catholic for the boys.

Marty Stewart is a freelance writer.


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