Western Pa. individual swimmers, relays discover fates for PIAA championships

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 | 1:26 PM

Swimmers from Alle-Kiski Valley and Westmoreland County schools brought home eight WPIAL Class AAA and Class AA titles from this past weekend’s swimming championships at Upper St. Clair High School.

With those titles came automatic bids to the PIAA championships, set for March 19-20, at Cumberland Valley High School.

Claiming gold Saturday in Class AA were Belle Vernon senior Ian Shahan in the boys 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly, Southmoreland sophomore Henry Miller in the boys 100 breaststroke, Freeport junior Alexis Schrecongost in the girls 100 breaststroke, and the Mt. Pleasant girls 200 free relay.

Sunday’s Class AAA champions were the Fox Chapel girls 200 medley relay and Foxes sophomores Sophie Shao (girls 100 fly) and Talia Bugel (girls 100 backstroke).

Others didn’t have to wait too long to find out if their times were good enough to earn at-large bids to states. The PIAA released the preliminary psyche sheets Monday, and several found out they would be competing on the state’s grandest stage.

Class AAA had eight at-large bids for each event, while Class AA had six available. Between automatic and at-large qualifications, the area will have 31 swims at states.

Shahan and Neshannock senior Connor McBeth share the top seed in the Class AA boys 50 free after finishing tied for the WPIAL title with times of 20.36 seconds.

Shahan also is the top seed for the 100 fly, as is Miller in the 100 breast and the Fox Chapel girls 200 medley relay.

Other high seeds include Shao in the 100 fly (second) and 200 IM (fourth), and Fox Chapel freshman Zachary Ferguson in the 500 free (third) and the Franklin Regional boys 200 free relay (fourth) for Class AAA.

Schrecongost in the 100 breast, the Mt. Pleasant girls 200 free relay and Bugel in the 100 back, as well as the Belle Vernon boys 200 free relay in Class AA, each are fifth seeds.

Two alternates were designated for each event as the PIAA again anticipates some swimmers with two individual-event qualifications might scratch out of one to concentrate on the other.

PIAA swimming championships

Preliminary qualifiers and alternates

Class AAA


Sophie Shao, sophomore, Fox Chapel — 200 individual medley, 4th seed; 100 butterfly, 2nd

Talia Bugel, sophomore, Fox Chapel — 100 backstroke, 5th

Anna Little, sophomore, Norwin — 100 breaststroke, 1st alternate

Fox Chapel 200 medley relay, 1st

Fox Chapel 400 free relay, 8th


Zachary Ferguson, freshman, Fox Chapel — 50 free, 9th; 500 free, 3rd

Austin Prokopec, senior, Penn-Trafford — 200 free, 12th

Owen Holm, junior, Franklin Regional — 100 free, 11th

Patton Graziano, freshman, Penn-Trafford — 100 back, 2nd alternate

Hempfield 200 medley relay, 9th

Franklin Regional 200 medley relay, 11th

Franklin Regional 200 free relay, 4th

Hempfield 200 free relay, 8th

Penn-Trafford 200 free relay, 10th

Penn-Trafford 400 free relay, 10th

Fox Chapel 400 free relay, 2nd alternate

Class AA


Alexis Schrecongost, junior, Freeport — 100 breast, 5th; 100 free, 9th

SaraJo Gardner, sophomore, Mt. Pleasant — 100 back, 9th; 50 free, 2nd alternate

Reegan Brown, sophomore, Mt. Pleasant — 100 back, 11th; 100 fly, 1st alternate

Mt. Pleasant 200 medley relay, 6th

Mt. Pleasant 200 free relay, 5th


Sam West, senior, Belle Vernon — 200 free, 11th; 100 free, 9th

Ian Shahan, senior, Belle Vernon — 50 free, 1st; 100 fly, 1st

Sam Wygonik, junior, St. Joseph — 500 free, 11th; 200 free, 2nd alternate

Logan Minick, senior, Plum — 500 free, 13th

Henry Miller, sophomore, Southmoreland — 100 breast, 1st

Sam Schohn, junior, Plum — 100 breast, 11th

Belle Vernon 200 free relay, 5th

Belle Vernon 400 free relay, 7th

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at mlove@triblive.com.

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