Shaler focuses on fine-tuning in pursuit of WPIAL qualifying

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Thursday, January 2, 2020 | 5:42 PM


Shaler Area sophomore Jake Bacasa wants everything to come together so he can qualify for the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships.

Right now, Bacasa is within several seconds of qualifying in the 100 breast and 500 free.

“I want to better my technique,” Bacasa said. “A lot of the techniques I have are there, but I haven’t gotten them to the point they need to be at. The skills to get those cuts are there, but I haven’t fine-turned them and gotten them to their full potential.”

Continuing to shave time and build on a solid foundation will be something Bacasa’s teammates will be working on, as well. Shaler has matching 2-1 dual-meet records for its boys and girls and has hit only one WPIAL qualifying mark thus far.

The Titans have a qualifying team in the 200 medley relay consisting of Lorenzo Basa, Justin Admetz, Peter Lesnett and Bacasa.

“With the guys we have, we knew we’d get the time,” Bacasa said. “We didn’t expect to get it so early on. It was a nice surprise when we did.”

Shaler coach Keith Simmons feels his young team has started to turn the corner.

With low numbers, Simmons believed the Titans may take time to find their stride.

“We should see some cuts within the next couple of weeks as we had a couple of decent practices over Christmas break,” Simmons said. “Once we get out of the break, we might be able to get WPIAL cuts. A couple of practices we challenged them to get those times.”

Isabella Cercone also has showed progress in the 100 breast, and junior Ryan Rupert has made progress in the butterfly.

“I’m seeing a lot of kids putting in a good effort at practice,” Simmons said. “I’m excited for what we can accomplish in the month of January. The coaching staff feels these kids are developing. They should be able to achieve some of their goals.”

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