Penn Hills senior swimmer getting up to speed after knee injury

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Saturday, January 30, 2021 | 9:01 AM


Senior Michael Lintelman was getting excited for his prospects of continuing to drop time in the pool and finishing strong at WPIALs in his final season at Penn Hills.

However, a freak accident in August where Lintelman suffered a dislocated knee provided a setback to any progress Lintelman hoped to make in the pool.

After being out of action for a couple of weeks, Lintelman started his journey back in the pool. However, Lintelman isn’t fully back yet as he hasn’t been able to fully utilize his kicks when trying to swim the 200-yard individual medley or 100 breast.

“I wasn’t doing anything when it happened. I was standing still and pivoted my foot to turn around and it just popped out,” Lintelman said. “My kicking is pretty weak now. With breaststroke being one of my main events and the IM being my best event, it has been rough because I’m just starting to get to the point where I can swim breaststroke now.”

Last season, Lintelman finished in ninth place in the 200 IM at the WPIAL Class AAA meet with a time of 1:59.19.

Also, Lintelman finished 13th in the 500 free at WPIALs with a time of 4:50.78.

During his sophomore season, Lintelman finished 18th in the 100 breast with a time of 1:02.06.

Lintelman was part of the 200 free relay team that finished second with a time of 1:25.88 behind North Allegheny’s 1:22.92. The relay team also included Kimani Gregory, Glenn Hanna and Tommy Natalia.

This year, Lintelman hopes to meet the 4:49.00 qualifying time in 500 free in order to punch a ticket to the WPIAL meet in the first week of March.

“I’ve gotten some decent times, but I haven’t gotten any WPIAL times yet,” Lintelman said. “I hope to suit up and taper for one of the meets and get a time.”

Since Lintelman hasn’t been able to practice with his normal club, Team Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics (PEAQ), Lintelman has been practicing a couple of hours a day with Greater Pittsburgh Aquatic Club (GPAC).

Even though Lintelman has been limited since August, Lintelman signed his letter of intent in January to swim at Clarion next year.

Before committing to Clarion, Lintelman was mulling offers from Edinboro and Gannon. Lintelman cited Dave Schraven, his coach at PEAQ, and Becca Rice, his coach at GPAC, as crucial influences during the recruitment process.

“I really liked the school and the coach,” Lintelman said. “They were adding a couple other fast recruits in my class. I think we have a really good recruiting class, so I’m super excited about that.”

Lintelman, who will major in computer science, learned to swim at 4 years old and joined a club team at 9.

“I’ve always wanted to swim in college since I was 12 or 13-years old,” Lintelman said. “It feels great to finally be committed, and it has taken off a lot of pressure as well. I get to focus on trying to do my best in the meets. I don’t have to worry about performing to get recruiting times.

“I know a lot of people are having a hard time with covid too. Especially with my injury, it has been a tough time. I’m hoping to get over those obstacles and make the best of my final season at Penn Hills.”

Freshman Luke Hoolahan will look to also qualify for Penn Hills in the diving competition.

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