Franklin Regional swimmers focus on relays at WPIAL meet

Sunday, February 27, 2022 | 11:01 AM

It’s been quite a season for the Franklin Regional swimming teams.

The boys and girls advanced 14 swimmers to the WPIAL Class 3A championships March 3-4 at the University of Pittsburgh’s Trees Pool.

And while advancing 14 seems great, Panthers coach Vic Santoro said he was hoping for more.

“It’s a below-average year,” Santoro said. “We usually qualify more.”

Both the boys and girls had swimmers qualify in multiple events, but Santoro said many of the individuals will swim in one event because they want to focus on relays.

Junior Amanda McFadden will focus on 200 and 500 freestyle events, senior Annika Albright will compete in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, junior Natalie Eiben the 100 butterfly, senior Rosalynd Lingg the 50 freestyle, junior Allyson Hilty the 100 backstroke, junior Paityn Blakley the 100 breaststroke and senior Kaitlyn Hilty the 100 breaststroke.

Blakley is seeded fourth and Eiben is seventh.

McFadden qualified in the 50 and 100 freestyle and 200 IM, while Albright also qualified in the 50 freestyle and 200 IM.

Santoro said many of the girls will be competing in three relays.

On the boys side, only sophomore Benjamin Holm is competing in more than one individual event. He’s competing in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Junior Josh Tosh is competing in the 50 freestyle, senior Owen Holm in the 100 butterfly, sophomore Holden Thomas the 100 backstroke, Aiden Bunker the 200 IM, freshman Eric Lingg the 500 freestyle and junior Joseph Thomas the 100 breaststroke.

Thomas is seeded fourth, Tosh fifth and Owen Holm sixth.

Bunker also qualified in the 50, 100, 200 and 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. Owen Holm qualified in the 50, 100, 200 and 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 200 IM.

Holden Thomas and Benjamin Holm each qualified in six events, Thomas in the 50, 100, 200 and 500 free and 100 breaststroke, Benjamin Holm in the 50, 100 and 200 free and 100 backstroke.

“The swimmers decided to try to qualify for states in the relays,” Santoro said. “I believe and hope that all 14 can qualify for states, especially the six relays.

“I’m happy that Annika is back competing after she was slowed by an injury her sophomore season. She’s worked hard. I believe all have a chance.”

The teams finished second to Fox Chapel in the section.

Santoro said the highlight of the season was winning the team title at Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association meet in late January.

“I’m pleased,” Santoro said. “We have a good nucleus coming back, and I’m excited about next season.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .


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