North Hills swimmers prepare for WPIAL meet

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Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 5:28 PM


North Hills will be sending 13 swimmers to compete at the WPIAL Class AAA championships Feb. 27-28 at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

To add to that, the program has qualified to compete in all three relay events on both the girls and the boys side at the district meet.

Strictly based on the number of athletes the Indians will be sending to WPIALs, coach Lucas Marsak said he has plenty of reasons to be proud of his group. Even more importantly, though, he said he expects to see his swimmers contribute meaningfully to the team’s overall success, signifying the top-to-bottom improvement the program has seen over the last few years.

“I feel we’re going to have a good showing. I’ve been pleased with the effort that the team has brought all season long. We have a strong group of swimmers going on to represent us at WPIALs,” Marsak said.

“We’re positioned well as a team to get after it at WPIALs. We have a lot of depth on the girls side and our goal will be to be as competitive as possible in our three relay events. We also have a number of girls that could get on the podium at WPIALs and really contribute points for us in the team standings.”

One of the Indians who appears to be poised to lead the way is sophomore Maddie Mahoney, who has qualified in the 50-yard freestyle, the 100 free, the 200 free, the 500 free, the 200 IM, the 100 backstroke and the 100 breaststroke. At last season’s WPIAL championships, Mahoney finished fifth in the 100 free.

Other qualifiers for the girls include Sarah Grace Kuchma, Elizabeth Shaffer, Hope Davis, Anna Conover, Jewel Thomas, Maddy Cordial and Chloe Salopek.

Meanwhile, on the boys side, Josh Bogniard has qualified in seven different events. The junior has posted highly competitive times in both the 100 back and the 50 free. Last season, Bogniard took sixth in the 100 back and 13th in the 50 free.

Tyler Eisses, Brady Lawrence, Jacob Weiland and Owen Pastorius also have qualified for the championship event.

“We’re confident that the boys will do well at WPIALs, too,” Marsak said.

“Overall, I think it’s going to be the full body of work that we judge ourselves on. Seeing the individual events and relay teams come together to contribute to a strong team score, that’s what we want to see as coaches. The rewarding thing is getting to see us perform as a team and watch all of our swimmers’ collective efforts contribute to our success as a group.”

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