Gateway’s Livingston caps decorated career with pair of PIAA medals

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Friday, March 13, 2020 | 9:29 PM


It is often said all good things must come to an end.

Olivia Livingston hoped that wasn’t the case with the 50-yard freestyle at last week’s PIAA Class AAA swimming championships at Bucknell.

The Gateway senior attempted to win her fourth state title in the event, but a trio of swimmers from the eastern side of the state had other ideas.

Governor Mifflin senior Emma Steckiel, North Penn senior Caroline Dunigan and Downingtown East freshman Alexa Fulton collectively denied Livingston the grand slam in the 50.

Livingston finished fourth with a time of 23.26 seconds.

“I’m just really excited to go to college, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of them do in college. I know we’re all going to step up,” Livingston said about her future at the next level as well as the college futures of her competition at states.

“It’s great to have people like that to race and things to learn from. They are such great people that it’s hard to be mad about my finish.”

Steckiel won the title with a time of 22.88 seconds, followed by Dunigan (22.97) and Fulton (23.16).

Livingston hoped to rebound the next day in the 100 free, and she placed third overall in her morning preliminary swim with a time of 51.23, a little bit slower than her WPIAL-winning time of 50.15.

The chance to capture state gold in the 100 free was dashed, however, when the PIAA announced after the preliminaries had concluded that the Class AAA consolation and championship finals in the 100 free, 500 free, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 400 free relay were canceled amid the increasing response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The preliminary times became the final times, so Livingston will receive the 100 free bronze medal, giving her a final tally of three gold medals and eight medals overall.

On Feb. 28, she became just the second swimmer in WPIAL history to win eight individual gold medals at a WPIAL championship meet.

Livingston wasn’t the only Gateway swimmer to take to the pool at Bucknell as additional individuals and relays represented the Gators over the day and a half of competition.

Sophomore Andrew Holmes was positioned to swim in the consolation finals of the 500 freestyle as he finished 16th in the preliminaries with a time of 4:40.92, three one-hundredths of a second faster than his fourth-place time from WPIALs.

Holmes just missed the consolation finals of the boys 200 free as he placed 18th with a time of 1:43.32, 34 one-hundredths of a second away from 16th.

The boys 200 free relay of Holmes, junior Payton Brown, sophomore Gabriel Sha and freshman Primo Brodt-Jenkins placed 24th (1:29.13).

Sophomore Summer Raymer finished 15th overall in the preliminaries of the girls 500 free with at time of 5:06.13.

She added a 31st-place finish in the 200 free (1:57.43).

The girls 400 free relay capped the PIAA meet for Gateway as Raymer, Livingston, senior Jessica Stroh and freshman Morgan Holmes combined to finish 20th with a time of 3:35.60.

The quartet trimmed more than a second and a half off its seed time (3:37.21).

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

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