Plum swimmers earn 1st trip to PIAA championship meet
Monday, March 15, 2021 | 1:02 PM
After Plum seniors Logan Minick and Sam Schohn secured top-eight medals in the 500-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke, respectively, at the WPIAL Class AA championships March 6 at Upper St. Clair, the waiting game began.
While only the WPIAL champions qualified automatically for the PIAA championships, set for Friday at Cumberland Valley High School, many other swimmers had to wait to see if their times were good enough to earn one of six at-large bids to fill out the 16 entries in each event.
When the PIAA released the at-large bids last Monday, Minick and Schohn discovered they were, in fact, good enough.
Both will swim at states for the first time.
“Honestly, it was an insane feeling,” said Minick, who found out he had qualified for states in a text message while taking a test during school.
“I couldn’t freak out or yell or scream because I had to have my camera on and keep paying attention to the test.”
Minick finished fifth in the 500, and he dropped almost nine seconds from his seed time. He touched the wall in 4 minutes, 53.63 seconds.
“It was very nerve-wracking. On Saturday, I was like, ‘If I make it, I make it. If I don’t, I don’t.’ But as Monday approached, the anticipation kept climbing higher and higher. It was a mix of nerves and excitement.”
Schohn also placed fifth, swimming to a time of 1:01.17 in the 100 breast.
“I was about to start physics class when I got the message from (Plum) coach (Shawn) Haupt. I texted my mom as soon as I got it. I was so happy and relieved,” Schohn said. “With 16 in the event, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I had tried to put it out of my mind.”
Minick is seeded 13th in the 500 free, and he is scheduled to swim at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Schohn is the 11th seed in the 100 breast and will follow Minick at 7:40.
“Having a teammate doing the same thing (swimming at states) is going to make it a lot easier. It will make it a lot more fun,” Minick said.
Both Minick and Schohn feel they have faster swims in them.
“I am going to keep working as hard as I can to hopefully drop a few more seconds,” said Minick, whose 500 time at WPIALs set a new school record. The previous record had stood since 1992.
“Every turn, every wall, every push and every stroke is important. I swam well at WPIALs, and I know I can improve at states. I am grateful I have the opportunity.”
Schohn knocked more than a second off of his seed time coming into WPIALs.
“I was happy with my WPIAL swims,” Schohn said. “That was the time (in the 100 breast) I wanted. I want to continue to work a little bit more on my turns and pullouts.”
After their swims at states, both will join their East Suburban YMCA teammates at a YMCA regional meet Saturday and Sunday.
“We’ve both been working really hard, so it is exciting that both of us get to go to states,” Schohn said.
Haupt said he didn’t know what to expect from his boys and girls swimmers heading into WPIALs. He said all gave their best effort despite all of the curve balls thrown at them, including a quarantine period right before the WPIAL meet.
“We literally didn’t practice going into WPIALs,” Haupt said.
Medal winning performances continued with Plum as Minick also placed eighth in the 200 free (1:48.93).
“For Logan to do what he did in distance events, especially after missing that week, is quite amazing,” Haupt said. “It showed how much effort he put in while he was in the water that he was able to hold on and maintain those races.
“Sam’s season goal in the 100 breast was a 1:02, and he did that in midseason. His new goal was a 1:01. I am really excited to see, without having to swim the 500, what he can do at states and if he can break into the minute mark.”
Senior Aaron Frederick took seventh in the 100 free (50.56) and eighth in the 50 free (23.00).
Minick, Schohn, Frederick and senior Jordan Rogers teamed up for Plum to place seventh in both the 200 medley relay (1:44.23) and the 400 free relay (3:25.36).
“We always swim well for relays,” Haupt said. “The kids always seem to swim well for each other.”
Senior Beth Shoop, an independent swimmer representing Riverview, kicked off her final WPIAL meet with a sixth-place finish in the 200 free (2:00.89). It was her first WPIAL medal in the event.
She followed that with her third WPIAL medal in the 500 free as she raced to a time of 5:27.45 and placed sixth.
“This has been amazing,” Shoop said. “I thought about representing my school in my years prior to high school. I am super happy with how I’ve done, being able to progress and go up the podium each year.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
More High School Sports• George Guido: New River Valley High envelops Saltsburg, Blairsville
• Softball a family affair for PIAA champion Mt. Pleasant
• Westmoreland notebook: Youngstown State offers Belle Vernon’s Whitlock
• Plum baseball team eager to tackle summer tournament schedule
• Norwin notebook: Knights baseball, softball players earn spot on Big 5/6 all-section teams