Franklin Regional swim teams top competitive field to win county titles

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Saturday, February 5, 2022 | 11:01 AM


The Franklin Regional swimming teams flexed their muscles Jan. 29 and returned to Murrysville after the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association meet with team titles and numerous winners in tow.

The boys shared the title with Hempfield, while the girls were the top Class 3A team.

“It was a little surprising that we did so well,” Franklin Regional coach Vic Santoro said. “The divers came through for us. The kids swam well.”

Heading the list was the boys 400 freestyle relay team which set a WCCA record at Derry. The winning team of Owen Holm, Ben Holm, Holden Thomas and Aiden Bunker swam a 3:13.72.

Bunker also won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:56.91.

Josh Tosh finished second in the 50 freestyle (21.74) and Holden Thomas placed second in the 100 backstroke (51.66).

The 200 medley relay team of Holden Thomas, Joseph Thomas, Ben Holm and Tosh and the 200 freestyle relay team of Tosh, Joseph Thomas, Bunker and Owen Holm placed second.

“We decided to gamble and spread the talent around on the relay teams,” Santoro said. “We were able to score more points that way. We probably could have won another relay, but the third wouldn’t have done as well. We got three solid performances.

“The county meet has become so competitive over the past few years. We treat the county meet differently than the WPIALs. We knew Hempfield, Norwin and Kiski Area would be tough.”

Amanda McFaden led the girls team by winning the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle events. McFaden’s winning time was 1:58.67 in the 200 freestyle and 5:19.47 in the 500 freestyle.

She was also on two relay teams that finished second. She teamed up with Annika Albright, Rosalynd Lingg and Kaitlyn Hilty in the 200 freestyle relay and Albright, Lingg and Natalie Eiben in the 400 freestyle relay.

The other champion was Eiben in the 100 butterfly (58.51).

Albright placed second in the 100 freestyle and Paityn Blakley finished second in the 100 breaststroke.

The 200 medley relay team of Allyson Hilty, Blakley, Eiben and Kaitlyn Hilty finished second.

“The county meet allows us to do different things,” Santoro said. “We can experiment with different events to help them prepare for the WPIALs. I was pleased with our overall performance.

“Hopefully it will propel us to better things down the road with section matches and going forward with individual championships.”

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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