Franklin Regional boys swimmers check box with Westmoreland County title

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Saturday, February 4, 2023 | 11:01 AM


During the preseason, Franklin Regional swimming coach Vic Santoro said one of the goals for his team was to win the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association title.

That goal was achieved as the Panthers boys claimed the title with 298 points Jan. 28, edging Class 2A Kiski Area (285).

The girls, however, came up a little short, finishing third overall with 299 points behind Class 2A Mt. Pleasant (362) and Class 3A Latrobe (304).

“I would have been happier if the girls would have won,” Santoro said. “After the diving session, we came into the swimming session down 20 points. We made up 15 of the points.

“The girls get a chance for another shot at Latrobe on Feb. 9. The girls didn’t have a lot of firsts, but we did have multiple swimmers on the podium.”

Santoro said he feels his teams have a shot at WPIAL titles too.

The boys ended up breaking some meet records during the WCCA meet at Derry.

The 200 medley relay team of Holden Thomas, Aiden Bunker, Ben Holm and Jason Toth set a new mark of 1 minute, 35.97 seconds.

Bunker swam a record 1:54.48 in the 200 IM, and Thomas set a record of 49.81 in the 100 backstroke.

“I’m proud of the effort,” Santoro said. “We swam some good races and swam some good times. We didn’t taper for this event.”

The other placewinners for the boys were Hohm (third in the 200 free, fourth in the butterfly), Toth (sixth in the 50 free), Gino Piraino (second in diving), Mackinley Miller (third in diving), Thomas (fourth in the 100 free), Eric Lingg (fourth in the 500 free) and Bunker (second in the 100 breaststroke).

The 400 freestyle relay team of Lingg, Peter Ducret, Joseph Kvocak and Joseph Thomas finished fifth.

On the girls side, the 200 medley relay team of Allyson Hilty, Paityn Blakely, Natalie Eiben and Amanda McFaden placed second.

Eiben placed third in the 100 butterfly and sixth in the 50 freestyle.

McFaden was third in the 200 and 500 freestyle, Magdalena Hull was third in the 200 IM and fourth in the 100 free, and Blakley was fourth in the 200 IM.

The 200 free relay of McFaden, Anna Sechrist, Hull and Amelia Oates finished third.

Hilty was third in the 100 backstroke and Blakley third in the 100 breaststroke.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Hull, Eiben, Oates and Blakley finished sixth.

Franklin Regional hopes to be well-represented at the WPIAL championships later this month and in early March. The diving championships are set for Feb. 25, at North Allegheny. The swimming championships will be March 2-3, at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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