Lauer having strong season for Shady Side Academy swimming

Friday, February 1, 2019 | 7:48 PM

Nick Lauer, a senior on the Shady Side Academy swim team, is optimistic as the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs approach. His coach, John Landreth, is also optimistic.

“Nick had a breakout championship season as a junior last year,” Landreth said. “He dropped significant time in all four freestyle distances at the WPIAL and PIAA meets. He had an incredible leg on our WPIAL title-winning 200 free relay team.

“I believe these performances have allowed him to be confident and creative in his work so far this season. He has been willing and able to be our utility man this year.”

Lauer has WPIAL qualifying times in all of the freestyle races as well as the 100 fly and 100 back. Landreth believes he also will qualify in the 200 IM.

“Nick is always pushing in practice, and he’s a huge reason our team has been focused and successful so far. Nick’s example of how to be thoughtful in regards to technique while swimming fast has been a great example to our teammates.”

Lauer’s interest in swimming began at an early age.

“My mom was a swimmer, so my siblings and I picked up the sport at a young age. I swam on a club team from (ages) 6-12 but stopped during middle school. I got back into it when I started at SSA as a freshman.”

Having an older sister on the SSA swim team helped influence his decision.

“My sister, Jeanne, (SSA, 2018) was on the swim team my first three years. She helped convince me to join the team. She provided great motivation and support. I also have a younger brother on the team, and we have lots of fun at practice.”

He will head to Harvard in the fall and is looking at a major in engineering or economics. He will not swim with the Harvard team but might continue at the club level.

“My main reason for choosing Harvard was the great academics, and it’s in a city that I love,” he said.

Lauer estimates he is in the pool approximately 90-100 days a year.

“The high school season is long, beginning in late November and continuing into March. That’s about 18 weeks of five and six days a week of practice. With my involvement in other sports, I don’t have time to concentrate on swimming once the season ends.”

He was on the soccer team for four years and is a captain on the track and field team.

“Soccer is my favorite,” Lauer said. “I have some really close friends on the team, and it was especially fun to win the WPIALs two years in a row.”

He and his teammates have their sights set on the playoffs.

“I think we’re looking strong,” he said. “We have some talented seniors as well as underclassmen who are contributors. Our relays are shaping up well, and I’m excited to see what we bring to the WPIALs.”

Marty Stewart is a freelance writer.


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