Penn-Trafford swim programs small but well stocked
Friday, November 23, 2018 | 6:21 PM
The Penn-Trafford boys and girls swimming teams are smaller than usual, but the Warriors have big hopes.
“I expect us to be competitive,” coach Dave Babik said. “The kids are excited in accepting the challenge of competing with (fewer) members.
“We have been joined by a few freshmen (who) are working hard to get ready to compete. There are four new divers (who) are showing promise.”
The Warriors feature two of the top returning divers in the WPIAL.
Senior Paige Kalik is the reigning Class AAA girls 1-meter champion, and senior Logan Sherwin placed sixth in boys 1-meter last season.
Kalik, an Akron recruit, went on to take sixth at the PIAA championship meet.
“I would like it if Logan makes it to states, so I have a friend to dive with,” Kalik said.
Sherwin, who has committed to Chicago, said he would like to end his high school career by placing in the top five in the WPIAL and diving in the state meet. He also plans to swim.
The Warriors return both swimmers who qualified individually for the PIAA championships.
Senior Hannah Muro finished fifth in the WPIAL in the girls 100-yard backstroke and sixth in the 50 freestyle. Senior Luke Babik, Dave’s son, came in eighth in the boys 50 freestyle.
Babik and junior Nick Graziano are the lone returnees in two relays that placed in the top five in the WPIAL and made it to states. The 200 freestyle relay team of Babik, Graziano, John Sandala and Jacob Yant earned bronze medals.
“We lost some good swimmers and know it will be difficult, but we think we still have the guys to get it done,” Luke Babik said.
Junior Michael Vareha, senior Jordan Prokopec and sophomores Austin Prokopec and Ben Yant return after competing at WPIALs.
Back for the girls are juniors Corina Paszek, Alyssa Tomb and Amanda Graves and sophomore Rebecca Good.
“I think we have a good chance at doing really well (with) the girls we have,” Muro said.
Paszek said working hard will be key.
“I feel like we can really prevail and come through with some fast relay times,” she said.
The boys and girls placed fifth and eighth, respectively, at the WPIAL championships. They kick off the season Dec. 10 in nonsection action against Plum.
Their Section 1-AAA openers are Jan. 3 against Hempfield.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.