Penn Hills swimming pair turns in impressive WPIAL championship showing

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Thursday, March 5, 2020 | 5:27 PM


The last few seasons, the Gregory brothers — Norman, Isaiah and Kimani — mainly have represented Penn Hills at the WPIAL Class AAA swimming and diving championships. However, a few other Indians swimmers wanted to let the WPIAL know the program offers more than the Gregory brothers.

The two Penn Hills swimmers who qualified for the WPIAL meet finished in the top 10 last month at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

Junior Michael Lintelman, who had a seed time of 2 minutes, 0.48 seconds heading into WPIALs, finished ninth in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:59.19.

Lintelman just beat out North Allegheny’s Richard Jensen (1:59.23), Hampton’s Richie Donato (1:59.31), Beth Park’s Dom Cortopassi (1:59.69) and Franklin Regional’s Aiden Bunker (1:59.83).

“I had hoped to place top eight, but obviously fell a little short of that goal and also fell short of making states,” Lintelman said.

“But all in all, I got my first sectional cut, and I hope to come back next year and earn a place on the podium and hopefully states.”

In the 500 free, Lintelman finished 13th with a time of 4:50.78.

Last season, Lintelman was 18th in the 100 breast with a time of 1:02.06.

Senior Colleen Hoolahan took 10th in the 100 breast with a time of 1:07.97, just behind Mt. Lebanon’s Meredith Reese and North Allegheny’s Isabella Dietz (1:07.68).

Hoolahan finished 27th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:20.57.

“I think their last swims were really, really good. They were really focused and really locked in on what they had to do on each day,” coach Nick Page said.

Last season at WPIALs, Hoolahan finished 25th in the 100 breast with a time of 1:10.11 and 26th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:18.09.

Heading into the WPIAL meet, Lintelman had a seed time of 5:03.38 in the 500 free, and Page is excited to see how he will improve for his senior season.

“This is a really good jumping-off point. With the seniors that finished above him going out and him inevitably getting better with his work ethic, he’s going to drop more time over the year. He’s going to hopefully to make the podium next year,” Page said.

Even though Hoolahan might not have had the type of swims she wanted at WPIALs, she left her mark at Penn Hills.

On senior night Feb. 4, Hoolahan swam a 1:07.46 in the 100 breast against Plum to break Melanie Buddemeyer’s school record of 1:09.23 set in 1984.

Buddemeyer is known for winning the bronze medal in the 100-meter butterfly at the 1982 World Aquatics Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

When it came to Hoolahan’s approach to the WPIAL meet, Page wanted to remove pressure to see if it would guide her to a good swim.

“I told her to swim free and have a good time with it. We both knew she had really good swims in her. I wanted to enjoy the experience since it was her last one,” Page said.

After finishing his first season as the coach, Page is excited for the future of Penn Hills swimming as Hoolahan will be their only senior loss and Lintelman is returning for his senior season. Page is looking forward to the development of sophomore Kristen Sipple and junior Irene Bowser.

“I think the outlook is really, really high. We have a lot of freshmen who showed a lot of improvement, and we had a really light senior class,” Page said. “Outside of losing Colleen, we’re only going to get better here.”

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