Riverview pair gearing up for WPIAL swim meet

Monday, February 3, 2020 | 7:10 PM

As a freshman, Beth Shoop declared her independence as the only high school varsity swimmer from Riverview.

She earned her WPIAL individual time cuts at designated dual meets and competed in her first WPIAL championship meet at Pitt’s Trees Pool. It was the first time a swimmer represented Riverview in 17 years.

“It was really exciting to have the opportunity to represent my school at WPIALs,” Shoop said. “It always was a goal of mine to do that. Swimming some of my best times at WPIALs was a great feeling. I was happy with the way the year went, and it really motivated me going forward. Each year, I am getting more comfortable.”

Last winter, Shoop was no longer alone in Raiders black and gold as Caitlyn Moore came on board as a freshman. As both earned their marks at Fox Chapel home meets and other meets where lanes were available for them to swim, their bond as teammates continued to grow.

Now, Shoop and Moore, set as qualifiers for the WPIAL championships just three weeks away, are gearing up to hopefully again make an impact on the district’s biggest stage.

“Competing with Beth is great, having somebody there to always talk to and communicate about what is going on as independent swimmers,” Moore said. “We always talk about the feeling of competing without a team. We’re there to always support each other.”

As independent swimmers, Shoop and Moore are required to meet qualifying standards at dual meets that are verified by a PIAA official.

Both met their WPIAL cuts at Fox Chapel home meets on Dec. 10 and Jan. 16. As members of the Fox Chapel Killer Whales club team, many of their club teammates were there to root them on as they raced against the clock.

Shoop again will swim at WPIALs in the 500-yard freestyle and the 200 free, while Moore will return to WPIALs in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.

Shoop stood on the medals podium at WPIALs last year in the 500, placing seventh with a time of 5 minutes, 31.55 seconds, a drop of nearly 10 seconds from her seed time and an improvement of four places from 11th as a freshman. She was just a couple of seconds from earning a trip to states.

“I was happy with where I had placed. My biggest goal was getting on the podium,” Shoop said. “Getting to states would’ve been great, but I was happy with where I ended up. I always want to be faster.”

Shoop added a 13th at WPIALs in the 200 free (2:04.73).

She returned with motivation for this season, and now, with WPIALs fast approaching, Shoop said she’s right on track for big things.

“I don’t really focus too much on seed times (5:41.02 in the 500 and 2:06.98 in the 200) or where I am on those (WPIAL performance) lists,” Shoop said. “We’re not tapered for any of those high school meets where we get those cuts. I know most of the kids on that list aren’t either. I’ve always been able to drop a significant amount of time at WPIALs. For me, where I am placed going in isn’t as big of a deal as it might be for some other people. It comes down to what I can do that day.”

Moore said her first swims at the WPIAL championships last year were great learning experiences. She placed 19th in the 100 back (1:05.38) and 23rd in the 100 fly (1:07.73).

“I was nervous at first, but having Beth there really helped me,” she said. “I got to see, first hand, what all goes into a big high school meet like that. It was something that really added to my first high school season.”

A torn foot tendon suffered shortly after WPIALs slowed Moore’s progress, and she spent several months working back to where she was positioned at the start of this season.

Her non-rested WPIAL qualifying times, both set recently in Fox Chapel’s meet against Penn Hills, are 1:05.95 in the 100 back and 1:05.55 in the 100 fly.

“I am happy with my 100 fly time right now, but I want to trim some time from my 100 back,” Moore said. “I see myself going faster in both events. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do over the next couple of weeks heading into WPIALs. I really liked that meet last year, and I am excited to go back.”

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at mlove@triblive.com.


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