Franklin Regional girls win title at WCCA swimming championships

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Friday, February 1, 2019 | 7:51 PM


With the WPIAL swimming championship meet just weeks away, the Franklin Regional girls team is jelling.

The Panthers came together to edge Penn-Trafford for the Class AAA title at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championship Jan. 26 at Derry. There were 14 Class AAA and Class AA teams, which competed together.

“Coach (Vic) Santoro had a team meeting before warm-up about what we had to do as individuals and as a team to win,” senior Laura DiNunzio said. “The team was cheering for each other behind lanes and helping each other get excited for relays.

“This was a great last counties for all the seniors.”

Senior Abbie Ramey in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 8.82 seconds) and freshman Annika Albright, 100 butterfly (59.39), earned gold medals. The 200 medley relay team of Ramey, junior Evelyn Siler, Albright and freshman Marissa Mansour (1:52.28) also came in first.

Albright earned silver in the 100 backstroke (1:02.26).

Earning bronze were DiNunzio in the 200 freestyle (2:00.92) and 500 freestyle (5:26.16), Ramey in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.46) and the 400 freestyle relay team of Albright, DiNunzio, senior Baylee Horvath and Ramey (3:41.07).

The 200 freestyle relay team of Mansour, DiNunzio, freshman Rosalynd Lingg and Horvath took fourth (1:43.64). Siler placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.34).

Horvath collected a fifth-place medal in the 100 freestyle (55.78) and a sixth-place medal in the 50 freestyle (25.33). Freshman Grace Morani was fifth in the 500 freestyle (5:36.71).

In 1-meter diving, seniors Elissa Novelli (336.35) and Julia Perry (323.70) made placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

“The girls team is doing really well together,” Santoro said.

On the boys side, the Panthers came in second to Penn-Trafford. They were among 13 Class AAA and Class AA teams.

Senior Patrick Cavanaugh won Franklin Regional’s only gold medal (200 individual medley, 1:59.28).

Earning silver were freshman Owen Holm in the 100 freestyle (48.95); the 200 medley relay team of Cavanaugh, junior Marshall Mao, junior Elias Holm and senior Axel Schon (1:40.85); and the 400 freestyle relay team of Elias Holm, junior Andrew Harris, Owen Holm and Cavanaugh (3:19.63). Senior Mason Fishell placed second in 1-meter diving (496.20).

Claiming bronze were Elias Holm in the 100 butterfly (54.00); sophomore Anthony Piraino, 500 freestyle (5:02.32); the 200 freestyle relay team of sophomore Max Wang, Owen Holm, Fishell and Schon (1:30.25); and Cavanaugh, 100 breaststroke (1:00.51).

Other medalists were Harris, fifth place, 200 freestyle (1:50.81); Fishell, fourth, 50 freestyle (22.63); Schon, fifth, 50 freestyle (22.96); junior Jacob Bailey, fifth, 100 butterfly (55.54); Wang, fourth, 100 freestyle (50.84); senior Aidan Spinola, fourth, 500 freestyle (5:06.66); and Owen Holm, sixth, 100 backstroke (57.88). Freshman Carson Yohe reached the podium with sixth place in 1-meter diving (333.75).

Santoro said he would like to see both teams win section titles and qualify as many swimmers as possible for the WPIAL championships Feb. 28-March 1 at Pitt. The two squads were 4-0 in Section 3-AAA.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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