Greensburg Salem girls swimmers have depth to stay afloat

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Monday, January 20, 2020 | 6:01 PM


The Greensburg Salem girls swimming team has faced the difficult task of replacing its top performer from last season, but depth has kept the Golden Lions afloat.

Erica Steele placed fourth in the WPIAL in the 50 freestyle and was on the 200 medley relay team that took eighth. She went to the PIAA meet in both.

She is a freshman on the Saint Vincent women’s team.

Juniors Marisa Sharp and Madison Cassidy and sophomore Abigail Sharp returned from the 200 medley relay team. Cassidy also came in eighth individually in the 100 breaststroke, earning a medal.

Junior Colleen King and sophomore Brianna Guinther are back from other relays.

“The girls team has stepped up,” senior captain Kelly Gillis said. “It was hard losing some good senior swimmers, but the team has pushed to become better.

“All the girls have personal bests. Some have already qualified for WPIALs and a lot are on track.”

Senior captain Gianna Ponterio said the Golden Lions (2-2) are young and talented.

“I think we’re going to finish out strong,” she said.

Numbers are down for Greensburg Salem boys swimming.

Second-year coach Bill Salathe said the team has only six members.

“We can’t fill a lineup,” he said.

On top of that, the Golden Lions lost their best performer. William Crites was the WPIAL Class AA runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke last season and a PIAA finalist in both. He is competing for Villanova Club swimming, according to its website.

Also departing was Jeremy Kappel, a WPIAL individual qualifier in two events.

Seniors Mason Palmiere and Chase Clemens returned from relays.

“With the loss of Billy Crites and Jeremy Kappel, we’re not where we were last year, but this group (works) hard,” Palmiere said. “I wanna see the 200 medley relay make it to WPIALs.”

The Golden Lions were off to a 1-3 start.

The girls and boys placed 13th and 14th, respectively, in the WPIAL championships last season. This year’s meet is scheduled for late February at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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