North Allegheny swimmers make NCAA Division I commitments

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Friday, November 22, 2019 | 12:28 PM


North Allegheny senior Rick Mihm has signed a letter of intent to compete for the nationally ranked Stanford men’s swimming team next season.

Mihm, 18, of Marshall, is a three-time PIAA and four-time WPIAL Class AAA champion in the boys 200-yard individual medley and 500 freestyle. He holds the WPIAL record in the 200 individual medley (1 minute, 48.15 seconds).

In relays, he has earned five gold medals each at the WPIAL and PIAA championships. He helped the Tigers to WPIAL and PIAA team titles the past three seasons.

“We are thrilled to have Rick joining our Cardinal family,” Stanford coach Dan Schemmel said. “He’s an outstanding person, incredibly talented and is going to play a pivotal role in our quest to win a national championship.”

The Cardinal ranked 11th in the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America Division I men’s poll in November.

Mihm, who likely will study economics, said Stanford was the perfect fit for him athletically and academically.

“It’ll provide me with great opportunities to succeed in the future,” he said.

He considered Michigan.

Mihm will be reunited with Mason Gonzalez, a Cardinal sophomore. The two were on the Tiger 400 freestyle relay team that set a National Federation of State High School Associations record in 2018 (2:53.81).

“I’m excited to continue to swim with him and have kept in touch with him since he’s been at college,” Mihm said.

Mihm is one of three Tigers who will extend their swimming careers.

Torie Buerger, a three-time WPIAL champion in the girls 100 backstroke and two-time WPIAL gold medalist in the 400 freestyle relay who has led the Tigers to three WPIAL titles, said an interest in animal sciences persuaded her to join Kentucky.

“I enjoy riding and working with horses,” said Buerger, 17, of McCandless. “There is no better place in the world to get exposure to the world of horses.”

Wildcat coach Lars Jorgensen likes Buerger’s versatility.

“She will be a high-level performer in the SEC with the potential to be an all-American,” Jorgensen said.

Branko Kosanovich, who earned four gold medals in boys relays at the 2019 WPIAL and PIAA championships after moving with his family from Illinois, expects to feel right at home at Penn State.

“I have a deep Penn State legacy in my family and have watched (Penn State) football games with my father since I was a little kid,” said Kosanovich, 17, of Marshall, who is leaning toward studying business.

Nittany Lion coach Tim Murphy expects Kosanovich to make an impact in the sprint butterfly and freestyle.

“Branko has the qualities we look for in the person, student and athlete,” Murphy said.

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