Quaker Valley’s Besterman returns to swim team

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Saturday, December 7, 2019 | 10:25 AM


Thinking about her future, Quaker Valley senior Sophie Besterman returned to the girls swimming team after playing basketball last season.

Besterman earned gold and silver medals on the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams at the 2017 WPIAL Class AA championship meet. Both qualified for the PIAA championship.

The Quakers placed third in WPIAL team scoring.

In 2018, Besterman placed seventh in the 200 freestyle relay, earning a medal, and ninth in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the WPIAL meet. Besterman also was ninth in the 100 backstroke in 2017.

She said she missed swimming.

“Swimming is really special,” she said. “There are college-related opportunities.”

Besterman, whose sister, Amelia, is a junior on the Bloomsburg women’s team, is undecided where she wants to continue her career.

“I am still working through the process,” she said.

Besterman said it has been difficult going back to the sport because of the training it requires.

“We are a different kind of breed,” she said. “I have played soccer, basketball and track. They are all tough, but swimming is definitely the hardest.”

Second-year Quaker Valley coach Alexis Glenn said having Besterman back is a big plus.

“I’ve known Sophie for a while due to her sister,” said Glenn, a former Quaker swimmer. “I know her work ethic will go a long way. I plan on working with her to get her into the swing of things as quickly as possible. I have high hopes for the year.”

Besterman joins a team that placed eighth in the WPIAL last season. The Quakers kicked off the season Dec. 5 with a scrimmage at Northgate.

Their Section 2-AA opener is Dec. 12 at home against Beaver Falls. Sophomore Isabel Huang and junior Halle Wagner are their top returning swimmers.

Besterman said her goals are to get back to competitive levels and have fun with her teammates.

Jeff Berghoff, Besterman’s coach with the Moon Aqua Club, said Besterman has been working hard.

“She is a tremendous natural athlete,” he said. “While it takes time to return to her previous peak level, she is an incredibly hard worker and should not have any problem getting there.

“I am looking forward to her having a standout senior year.”

Besterman helped the Quaker girls basketball team clinch the final WPIAL playoff spot in Section 2-4A last season. After coming up with a steal, she made one of two free throws in a 45-43 win over Ambridge in overtime.

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