Quaker Valley swim team has title aspirations

Sunday, December 15, 2019 | 11:48 AM

Bolstered by some new athletes, the Quaker Valley girls swimming team expects to be a serious contender for its first WPIAL title.

Second-year coach Alexis Glenn said 12 girls have been added to the roster, many of whom will be standouts.

“We definitely will put up a fight for section, as well as the WPIAL title,” said Glenn, a former Quaker swimmer.

Glenn said sophomore Isabel Huang and junior Halle Wagner are still swimmers to watch.

Huang, a Sewickley Academy student who competes for the Quakers as part of a cooperative sponsorship, earned gold medals in both her individual events at the WPIAL Class AA championship last season.

She went on to place fifth in the 200-yard individual medley and 11th in the 100 backstroke in the PIAA meet.

Huang expects to have more confidence.

“I’m more familiar with swimmers on other teams and the routines,” she said. “If I make it again, I want to place higher at states.

“I’m working towards faster times and better swims.”

Wagner competed in two individual events and was on the 400 freestyle relay team that placed seventh at the WPIAL championships.

Huang, the anchor, and sophomores Amanda Kerrish and Rebecca Glass are back from that relay.

“We have a strong team,” Wagner said. “I hope to go to the state championships with a relay and maybe even in an individual event.”

Senior Sophie Besterman returned to swimming after playing basketball last season. Besterman earned gold and silver medals on the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams at the 2017 WPIAL championship.

In 2018, she placed seventh in the 200 freestyle relay, picking up a medal, and competed in two individual events.

Besterman said the Quakers are strong, and she is excited to see what happens.

“I hope the team has a super fun time,” she said.

Ella Fuener and Emma Smith are promising freshmen.

“They look to have some WPIAL events in their future,” Glenn said.

The Quakers kicked off Section 2-AA action Dec. 12 against Beaver Falls. Their next meet is Dec. 19 at Beaver.

They placed eighth in the WPIAL last season.

The Quaker Valley boys, the WPIAL Class AA champions from 2015-17, are rebuilding.

“We still have a small boys team,” Glenn said. “We only have 10 swimmers.

“I am looking for this to be a growing season.”

The Quakers lost WPIAL individual medalists Andres Hubsch (third in the 100 backstroke and sixth in the 100 butterfly) and Kieran Ragoowansi (seventh in the 100 freestyle).

Junior Simon Iwanonkiw (seventh in 1-meter diving) returns.


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