Pine-Richland swimmers ready for WPIAL meet

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Friday, February 7, 2020 | 6:53 PM


With only a couple of meets left to before the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships, Pine-Richland is solidifying its list of athletes who have earned qualifying times for their respective events. And this season, coach Pete Barry is optimistic about the prospect of his swimmers bringing home medals.

“It’s going to be exciting for both our boys and our girls swimmers,” he said. “We’re hoping that both groups are represented up on that medal stand.

“For the boys, we’re looking for some of those guys to make a leap up from where they finished last year at WPIALs. Some of them are really in a position to improve and get themselves up on that podium in one of those top-8 positions.”

Trent Vacula is one of the swimmers who will look to improve his finish at WPIALs. The sophomore plans to compete in the 500-yard freestyle and the 200 IM this year after finishing 23rd and 24th, respectively, in those same events as last year.

Another sophomore, Will Laubacher, will return to WPIALs and is planning to participate in the 200 free and 100 free.

Freshmen Matt Carper and Justin Bogacz also have qualified in their individual events. The pair also will team up with Laubacher and Vacula to make up the relay teams.

“I can’t wait to see those four boys compete in the 200 free and 400 free relays,” Barry said. “We’re hoping to take down our team records in those events and, hopefully, get into the top-10 at WPIALs.

“We’re definitely in a spot where we can potentially take down those team records. That’s what their goal has been since the start, way back in September.”

Meanwhile, on the girls side, Alyssa Schonbachler headlines the list of qualifiers. The senior has qualified in multiple events, namely the 100 back, the 100 IM and the 100 fly. Last year, she notched top-15 finishes in the 200 IM and the 100 back.

“I’m hoping Alyssa gets up on that podium in the 100 back,” Barry said. “The way it’s looking right now, she’s going to have a really good chance at it. She might actually go for the 100 fly and the 100 back. She could really sneak into that top eight for the 100 fly. She’s still coming around on it, but I feel confident in her abilities.”

Mila Cribbs (100 fly, 100 back) and Delaney Allen (50 free) also will compete at WPIALs.

Girls divers Madison Alexander, Emily Smallwood and Lilly Settembrino have hit the qualifying mark. For the boys divers, Dylan McCabe qualified for WPIALs.

The Class AAA WPIAL diving championships are Feb. 20 at North Allegheny. The WPIAL swimming championships are Feb. 27-28 at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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