Kiski Area senior swimmer chooses West Virginia

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Monday, October 17, 2022 | 5:19 PM


Parker Sterlitz made his first visit to West Virginia University about a year ago.

The senior swimming standout at Kiski Area said he immediately fell in love with the campus and the Mountaineers swimming program.

Since then, Sterlitz said, he looked at other schools and found himself comparing them to WVU.

He said none of them had the resume to unseat WVU at the top of his list. So, a couple of weeks ago, Sterlitz made up his mind and made a verbal commitment to swim for the Mountaineers.

“I am beyond excited,” Sterlitz said. “Last month, I took my official visit to WVU, and I realized fully that this is where I wanted to be. The guys on the team are great, the culture is amazing. The second a roster spot was offered to me, I took it, and I am more than excited. I can’t wait to start the journey for the next four years after high school. It’s a great opportunity, and I am super thankful.”

Sterlitz said it always has been a dream of his to swim at the Division I level.

“Ever since I was 10-12 years old, whenever swimming in college made sense to me, I was set on doing what I had to do to make it to Division I,” he said.

“My entire swimming career, that is one of the big things I’ve set my sights on. Yes, I train hard for a bunch of different reasons, but in the back of my mind, swimming at the highest level in college has always been there. It’s been a dream of mine, and I am so happy.”

Sterlitz said he received a big boost towards his decision to attend WVU from Franklin Regional graduate and current WVU senior Conrad Molinaro, who last season represented the Mountaineers in the consolation finals of the 200-yard breaststroke and the 100 breast at the Big 12 championships.

“Conrad helped get me down there for the first time and got me connected with the coaches,” Sterlitz said.

“We’re really close. Just on Thursday, I went down with him to watch the WVU-Baylor football game. It was a great game and an awesome experience. Conrad has done a lot for me, and I really appreciate him.”

Sterlitz, who also swims club with the Franklin Area Swim Team, recently earned selection to a scholastic All-American list with requirements of being a junior national meet qualifier and possessing a 3.5 or better GPA in the core classes.

“My (club) teammate, Holden Thomas, who swims for Franklin (Regional), also qualified for that list, and we’re pretty excited about that,” Sterlitz said. “That is one thing colleges really look for in recruiting. That is an important combination to have.”

Sterlitz earned his first qualifying cut (800 freestyle) for winter junior nationals, held every December, at a USA Swimming Futures event at the end of July.

Sterlitz leaves Thursday for a training trip, with other top select members of Allegheny Mountain Swimming, to USA Swimming’s Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

“It is a pretty awesome opportunity to train at such an amazing facility. I am super excited for that,” he said.

In addition to his club swimming, Sterlitz said he is looking forward to his final high school season with his Kiski Area teammates including returning WPIAL participants in senior Levi Hansen, junior Landon Seman and sophomores Justin Tucker and Riley Yute.

Sterlitz is coming off a 2022 WPIAL meet where he picked up four medals. He scored a fourth in the 500 free and seventh in the 200 free while taking eighth as part of the 200 free relay and 400 free relay.

He swam at states in all four events.

The Kiski Area boys moved down to Class 2A under the current alignment format and will compete in Section 4-2A with Burrell, Derry, Greensburg Salem, Indiana, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant and Valley.

“I, along with the other guys, are super pumped for this season,” Sterlitz said. “Last year didn’t go as well for me personally as I would’ve liked. But as a team, we had a really good year.

“We’re really confident that we’re going to win the section and counties and then see what we can do at WPIALs and the state meet. We don’t want to get overconfident, but we’re motivated and ready to go. We’re pretty sure we can do some big things this year.”

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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