North Hills swimmers hitting qualifying marks in early going

By: HSSN Staff
Thursday, January 3, 2019 | 10:09 PM


From a wins-and-losses standpoint, the returns on the North Hills swimming team’s young season have been mixed. Both the boys and the girls may sport a 1-2 record, however that does not mean there hasn’t been some early-season successes for both groups.

Through the first three meets of the year, North Hills has qualified eight swimmers in various individual events and all six relays for the WPIAL championship meet.

While he said there is still plenty of work for him and his swimmers to do, coach Lucas Marsak said he is encouraged with the way the early portion of the season is developing.

“We have some good leadership and that’s shown up. With that said, we have a young team that is still developing and working hard,” Marsak said.

“We’ve had numerous WPIAL qualifiers in our first meets, and I think we’re showing a lot of potential for a strong season. Our girls have shown up with a lot of depth in the lineup. Our guys are younger, but they keep getting better, too.”

For the boys, senior Matt McHugh is already making waves, qualifying for the WPIAL championships in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100 free. McHugh also serves as a captain for North Hills, along with Tyler Eisses.

Sophomore Josh Bogniard has qualified in three events — the 50 free, the 100 free and the 100 backstroke.

On the girls side, captained by Leah Trocchio and Grace Cloonan, six swimmers have qualified for WPIALs.

Maddie Mahoney is the first to three events, qualifying in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 breast. Sophomore Sarah Kuchma turned in qualifying times in the 200 free and 100 free. Jewel Thomas will be swimming for WPIAL gold in the 200 IM and 100 breast.

Maddy Cordial also has qualified in two events, the 50 free and 100 free. Meanwhile, Mia Cutenese hit her mark in the 500 free, as did Chloe Salopek in the 50 free.

“The collective goal is to qualify as many people as we can for WPIALs, and have a strong team presence at the WPIAL championship,” Marsak said.

“We want to do that, and maybe try to break some school records and pool records this year. Those are some of our goals. We’re working hard and looking toward competing at WPIALs. That’s when we want to peak.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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