North Hills swimmers break school records at WPIAL meet

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | 1:30 AM


A number of school records fell when the North Hills swim team took to the pool at Pitt’s Trees Hall for the WPIAL Class AAA championships Feb. 28 and March 1.

Three program records were broken by some of the Indians’ youngest swimmers on both the boys and the girls side as student-athletes like Maddie Mahoney and Josh Bogniard established themselves as top-tier swimmers in their WPIAL classification.

Mahoney, a freshman, was part of two record-breaking performances. Teaming up with Madison Cordial, Chloe Salopek and Sarah Grace Kuchma, Mahoney was part of the 200-yard freestyle relay team that placed fifth with a North Hills record time of 1 minute, 38.40 seconds. The quartet qualified for the PIAA meet in that event, as well as the 400 free relay, which clocked in at 3:37.44, good for ninth at WPIALs.

Additionally, Mahoney broke a school record in an individual event, racing to a time of 52.93 in the 100 freestyle to take fifth place and qualify for the state meet.

“It’s insane because I remember in the beginning of the season, when we wrote our goals down, I told them I wanted to break records by the time I was a senior. I never thought I’d be breaking records as a freshman,” Mahoney said.

“Every day, in eighth grade, I’d walk into swim practice and look at that record board and think, ‘I want to break that record by the time I’m in 11th grade,’ and I just thought I’d never break it as a freshman.”

For the girls, Jewel Thomas also qualified for the PIAA meet as an alternate in the 100 breaststroke, swimming to 10th place with her time of 1:06.58.

On the boys side, Josh Bogniard impressed with his performance in the 100 backstroke, putting the fastest time in North Hills boys’ swimming history in the books with his 51.62.

The sophomore’s strong performance earned him a sixth-place finish in the event, and booked him a trip to PIAAs, where is seeded 13th.

“I was very excited at first. I was really happy with the swim, but then I started to realize that I have a lot of room to improve. Hopefully, at states, I can shave half a second, maybe, off of my time,” Bogniard said.

“At WPIALs, my last turn and finish can be improved so I’m really looking forward to states. But it’s exciting, and I still have two more years left. So I hope to put that record out of reach so that no one else will be able to break it for a long time.”

The PIAA Class AAA championships will take place March 15-16 at Bucknell.

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