Gateway’s Livingston ready to chase state record in 100 freestyle

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Friday, March 8, 2019 | 7:33 PM


Time is of the essence for Gateway junior Olivia Livingston.

In this case, it’s the goal of a best time in the 100-yard freestyle Saturday at the PIAA Class AAA championships at Bucknell.

Livingston is the No. 1 seed after she captured her third WPIAL title (49.97) in the event March 1 at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

Her best time in the 100 free is a 49.53 recorded at both WPIALs and states in 2017. She feels the state record of 49.01, set by Hershey’s Meaghan Raab in 2012, is attainable.

“I’ve been working on a lot of things in practice that show I can get close to that time,” Livingston said. “My goal time is faster than that. I’ve wanted it to be in the 48s for a while. I just want to drop time, honestly, from my current best time. I would definitely be happy with any drop.”

Last year’s PIAA champion in the 100 free, Pennridge’s Morgan Scott, now swims in college at Indiana and recently earned three medals at the Big Ten championships.

While the door is open for Livingston to grab that elusive state title — she was the runner-up in the 100 free the past two years — she knows there are several returning contenders also shooting for PIAA gold.

Upper Dublin senior Abbie Amdor, Governor Mifflin junior Emma Steckiel, Wissahickon senior Carly Zlotnikoff and Penncrest senior Claire Walsh are back in the 100 free after swimming with Livingston in last year’s championship heat.

“It’s always good to have competition like that,” Livingston said. “It pushes me and gives me more adrenaline knowing that it will be a fast race. Hopefully, they will help me get to my goal time.”

The goal of lowering her time in the 50 free at states, she said, is right up there with going after a third straight title in the event.

Livingston won her third WPIAL 50 free title with a time of 22.78, slightly slower her WPIAL record (22.71). She hopes to eclipse her state record of 22.73 set in capturing the PIAA crown as a freshman.

“If I go my goal time that should take care of the winning,” she said. “If I go an outrageous time that I’ve wanted for years and someone beats me, I can live with that.”

Livingston said she is as excited for states now as she was when she first went there two years ago.

“I feel I will be even more comfortable this year,” she said. “I’ve been there at Bucknell twice before. The nerves will be a lot less, but the adrenaline will be as high as always.”

The first day of the Class AAA state meet features the 50 free, as well as the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly and 200 free relay. Saturday begins with 100 free and continues with the 500 free, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 400 free relay.

The consolation and championship finals of each event will be shown live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

Gateway freshman Andrew Holmes came close to capturing a WPIAL medal in the Class AAA boys 200 free as he dropped more than three seconds from his seed time and finished 10th with a time of 1:45.32. He was 0.30 seconds from the top eight that ascended to the medals podium and a second off the final at-large time for states.

On Day 2 at WPIALs, Gators freshman Summer Raymer placed ninth in the girls 500 free with a time of 5:12.09. She dropped almost six seconds from her seed time, was less than a second off a top-eight medal and less than two seconds from a spot at states.

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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