Penn-Trafford swim teams working to refill talent pool
Friday, December 20, 2019 | 6:57 PM
The Penn-Trafford swimming and diving teams are rebuilding but remain optimistic.
“We have a core group who should perform well,” coach Dave Babik said. “We are working hard with our new swimmers and divers to build a competitive team.”
The Warriors must replace two of the best divers in the WPIAL.
Paige Kalik repeated as Class AAA girls 1-meter champion and Logan Sherwin was second among boys last season. Both placed ninth in the PIAA.
Kalik (Akron) and Sherwin (Chicago) are freshmen on college teams.
Junior Xander Lentz (12th in boys 1 meter at WPIALs) returns.
In swimming events, the boys lost Luke Babik (Dave’s son), the lead on the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relays teams that placed fourth and fifth in the WPIAL. The 200 freestyle relay made the “B” final and placed 15th in the PIAA.
The 400 freestyle relay also advanced to states.
Luke Babik came in ninth in the 100 freestyle and 10th in the 50 freestyle in the WPIAL.
Junior Ben Yant, senior Nicholas Graziano and junior Austin Prokopec returned from the two relays.
Prokopec placed seventh in the WPIAL and qualified for the PIAA meet in the 200 freestyle.
“We are a little smaller but still have some talent,” said Graziano, who plans to swim for Penn State Altoona next season. “I am excited for the county meet and WPIALs.
“We have a good group of guys (who) work hard every day and have a lot of fun together.”
Among girls, Hannah Muro left after placing sixth in the 50 freestyle and seventh in the 100 backstroke in the WPIAL and making the PIAA meet in both.
She anchored the 200 freestyle relay team that came in eighth in the WPIAL.
Seniors Corina Paszek and Amanda Graves and junior Rebecca Good are back from that relay.
Paszek placed ninth in the 200 individual medley, qualifying for states.
“We have a strong team,” said Paszek, a Clarion recruit. “We lost some good swimmers, but a lot of freshmen and sophomores are stepping up.
“Coach Babik has done a good job of working with them. We’ve all been working extremely hard.”
The boys finished sixth and the girls 10th in the WPIAL last season. Their Section 1-AAA openers are Jan. 3 at Hempfield.
Clarion coach Brehan (Heebner) Kelley said Paszek will make an immediate impact in several events next season.
“We are in the process of building depth,” Kelley said. “She will immediately play a key role.”
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