Franklin Regional swimming, diving get mixed bag at WCCAs

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Friday, January 31, 2020 | 5:14 PM


The Franklin Regional swimming and diving teams had mixed outcomes at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championships Jan. 24-25 at Derry.

The boys won their first Class AAA title since 2008, and the girls saw their four-year reign end.

The boys dominated with 393.50 points in a 15-team field.

Senior Marshall Mao came in first in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 1.04 seconds, less than a second ahead of freshman teammate Aiden Bunker (1:01.46), who tied for second.

Also earning gold medals were the 200 freestyle relay team of junior Max Wang, seniors Payne Rizzer and Andrew Harris and sophomore Owen Holm (1:28.98) and the 400 freestyle relay team of senior Ryan McFaden, senior Eli Holm, Harris and Owen Holm (3:16.58).

The Panthers placed second in eight events, including the 500 freestyle, in which McFaden (4:49.67) was one of three competitors who bettered the meet record from 2014 by close to 2 seconds.

Bunker and McFaden won two silver medals each individually.

“We all swam our hardest,” said Eli Holm, a Mount Union recruit. “Our focus now is on winning our remaining (dual) meets, in addition to taking as many people to (the WPIAL championship in late February) as possible.”

The Panthers were 9-0 in dual meets.

On the girls side, the second-place Panthers (330 points) were dethroned by Hempfield (355). Thirteen teams competed.

Junior Madalyn Myers (500 freestyle, 5:13.61) was the lone Panthers gold medalist.

Panthers coach Victor Santoro said the girls were without one of their best swimmers because of injury.

He said both teams hope to win Section 3-AAA titles and remain undefeated in dual meets.

The girls also were 9-0.

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