Franklin Regional relay teams to battle for gold at WPIAL championships meet

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Friday, February 21, 2020 | 6:02 PM


Relays will be a strength for the Franklin Regional boys swimming and diving team at the WPIAL Class AAA championship meet Thursday and Friday at Pitt.

The 200-yard freestyle team of junior Max Wang, seniors Payne Rizzer and Andrew Harris and sophomore Owen Holm is seeded third in 1 minute, 28.98 seconds.

So is the 400 freestyle team of senior Ryan McFaden, senior Eli Holm, Harris and Owen Holm (3:16.58).

The 200 medley team, which has consisted of McFaden, senior Marshall Mao, Eli Holm and Rizzer, ranks eighth (1:40.19).

Among individuals, Eli Holm (eighth, 100 butterfly, 53.30), Owen Holm (seventh, 100 freestyle, 48.47), Mao (sixth, 100 breaststroke, 1:01.04) and sophomore Carson Yohe (sixth, diving) will be in medal contention.

“Our goals are to bring as many people up to states as possible and for everyone to get their best times,” said Eli Holm, a Mount Union recruit.

The PIAA championship will be March 11-12 at Bucknell.

The Panthers, who went undefeated in the regular season, won the Westmoreland County Coaches Association title for the first time since 2008.

Mao, an individual gold medalist, said he gained confidence after the January event.

“It’s one of our bigger meets,” he said. “(It) makes you feel like you can compete at WPIALs.”

For the girls, junior Madalyn Myers (fifth, 500 freestyle, 5:13.61) and senior Evelyn Siler (eighth, 100 breaststroke, 1:08.50) are top seeds.

Panther coach Victor Santoro said 22 boys and girls are going.

“It was a fantastic year,” he said.

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