Gateway’s Livingston among WPIAL swimmers advancing to finals of PIAA swimming Day 1

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 | 1:21 PM


Olivia Livingston is set to compete for her fourth PIAA championship in the Class AAA girls 50-yard freestyle.

The Gateway senior is the third seed for Wednesday evening’s championship heat at Bucknell after a swim of 23.48 seconds in the preliminaries.

She will test her mettle against the challenge of No. 1 seed Caroline Dunigan, a senior from North Penn (District 1) and last year’s runner-up; and Emma Steckiel, a senior from Governor Mifflin (District 3) who placed fourth in 2019.

Livingston became only the second swimmer to win eight individual titles at the WPIAL championships when she captured the 50 and 100 freestyle titles Feb. 27 and 28 at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

The top 16 from the preliminaries in the 200 medley relay, 200 free, 200 individual medley, 50 free, 100 butterfly and 200 free relay advance to the consolation or championship finals. The top eight will compete for the state title.

The consolation and championship finals for the boys begin at 4:05 p.m. with the girls to follow at 6:40.

Both the boys and girls finals will be broadcast live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

Fox Chapel freshman Sophie Shao, the WPIAL champion in the girls Class AAA 100 fly, finished first in the event after the preliminaries (54.94). North Allegheny sophomore Ella Ogden is the No. 5 seed for the finals (55.47).

The North Allegheny girls 200 medley relay is seeded second (1:43.60) for the finals, while Seneca Valley is seeded eighth.

NA junior Molly Smyers heads to the final of the girls 200 free as the No. 5 seed (1:51.48).

Three WPIAL swimmers are in the finals of the girls 200 IM — North Allegheny senior Torie Buerger (No. 2 seed, 2:01.75), Butler senior Laura Goettler (No. 4, 2:03.62) and Seneca Valley junior Kendell Craig (No. 5, 2:04.15).

North Allegheny is seeded eighth for the girls 200 free relay (1:36.99).

On the boys side, North Allegheny senior Rick Mihm and North Penn (District 1) senior Sean Faikish lead the way for the finals of the 200 IM.

Mihm, last year’s runner-up in the event, is the top seed after a prelim time of 1:47.61.

Faikish, the 2019 state champion in the 200 IM, is the No. 2 seed (1:49.02).

Also in the 200 IM finals is Seneca Valley sophomore Daniel Simoes (fifth seed).

North Allegheny is the No. 3 seed for the finals of the 200 medley relay. Seneca Valley and Upper St. Clair are seeded fourth and fifth, respectively.

Norwin senior Ethan Tukenko, back at states after not competing in high school swimming last year, qualified for the finals of the 200 free, and he is seeded seventh (1:40.57).

Tulenko also is in the finals of the 50 free. He checks in as the No. 4 seed.

Seneca Valley senior Owen Blazer (48.59) is the No. 2 seed for the finals of the 100 butterfly. North Allegheny senior Branko Kosanovich (49.03) is seeded third, and Butler junior David Bocci is seeded seventh (50.06).

North Allegheny swam to the No. 2 seed (1:23.32) in the 200 free relay preliminaries, and Franklin Regional nabbed the No. 8 seed for the finals with a prelim time of 1:36.32.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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