Penn-Trafford swim program logs medalists aplenty at WCCAs
By: Karen Kadilak
Monday, February 5, 2018 | 11:00 PM
With a big win behind it, the Penn-Trafford boys swimming team is hungry for more.
The Warriors (9-0 overall, 5-0 in Section 1-AAA) have qualified 10 swimmers and divers for the WPIAL Class AAA championships that begin later this month.
The Warriors rolled to their first Westmoreland County Coaches Association title in five seasons Jan. 27.
“This gives the kids confidence for (the) rest of the dual-meet season and for the WPIAL meet,” Penn-Trafford coach Dave Babik said.
The Warriors have high hopes for the 400-yard freestyle relay team of junior Luke Babik and seniors John Sandala, Zachary Snelling and Jacob Yant. The team took first place at the county championship (3 minutes, 16.81 seconds) and ranks third in the WPIAL.
“I would love to be able to take my senior year as far as I can go by taking the 400 free relay to state (championship),” Sandala said.
The same swimmers picked up silver medals in the 200 medley relay (1:40.63), and freshman Austin Prokopec, freshman Ben Yant, sophomore Nick Graziano and Sandala came in second in the 200 freestyle relay (1:30.72). The 200 freestyle relay team ranks fifth in the WPIAL.
Ben Yant earned a gold medal in the 500 freestyle (5:00.32).
Earning silver medals were Prokopec, 200 freestyle (1:49.57); Luke Babik, 50 freestyle (22.28); junior Jordan Prokopec, 500 freestyle (5:03.27); and Sandala, 100 butterfly (54.14).
Snelling took bronze in the 200 individual medley (2:02.88) and Luke Babik bronze in the 100 freestyle (48.86).
In 1-meter diving, junior Logan Sherwin came in second (481.40 points for 11 dives) and sophomore Jackson Patula third (332.75).
“It is an amazing feeling to finally be county champions,” Luke Babik said. “It was so special to do it with so many great teammates.
“We have a great time and are like brothers. I am glad that I could help the seniors.”
The girls team (7-2, 4-1) came in third at the county championship, with junior Hannah Muro leading the way.
Muro took first place in the 100 backstroke (1:00.66) and anchored the 400 freestyle relay team of sophomore Corina Paszek, sophomore Amanda Graves and senior Rachel Sich that won (3:39.69).
That relay team ranks fourth in the WPIAL.
Those four girls were also on the 200 freestyle relay team that placed second (1:41.32) and ranks fifth in the WPIAL.
Muro placed second in the 100 backstroke (1:00.66), Paszek second in the 200 individual medley (2:11.63) and sophomore Alyssa Tomb third in the 500 freestyle (5:29.43).
Junior Paige Kalik earned a silver medal in 1-meter diving (469.80). Kalik ranks third in the WPIAL for six dives.
Sophomore Amanda Graves was among other medalists in swimming.
“I hope to see (us) finish out our last few meets with a lot of wins and everyone continuing to improve their times,” Sich said.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.