Shaler notebook: Senior beats clock to earn spot in WPIAL swim meet

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Sunday, February 28, 2021 | 9:01 AM


Lydia Nebiolo knew every meet would matter.

Qualifying for the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships would require having one of the 16 fastest times because of the covid restrictions in place.

During the Shaler senior’s final home meet Feb. 22 against Pine-Richland, Nebiolo swam her best time in the 200 free, and it time took her from 28th to 16th.

When the WPIAL championships commence March 7 at Upper St. Clair, Nebiolo will be the 13th seed after three swimmers dropped out. Nebiolo, who also squeaked in for the 100 free, will be the Titans’ lone WPIAL qualifier this season.

Eight swimmers ahead of Nebiolo dropped out in the 100 free, allowing her to grab the 16th and final entry.

“It’s an adrenaline rush for her,” Shaler coach Abi May said. “She’s exceptionally excited. She deserves to go. She’s a talented swimmer across all events. I would have been heartbroken for her if she didn’t make it.”

May was happy the Titans were able to hold that final meet. Shaler had been shut down for two weeks, and 50% of her swimmers hadn’t practiced in two weeks.

Ryan Rupert, Justin Adametz and Peter Lesnett recorded season-best times in various events.

“To see them come out and give their all meant a lot,” May said. “I told them I know we haven’t been practicing, and I didn’t want to see all the hard work this season go to waste. Several kids had great swims.”

Matchup set for Shaler basketball

The Titans boys basketball team was given the No. 14 seed and was scheduled host Ringgold in its opening playoff game Feb. 27 in the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs. Shaler (7-6, 6-3) placed third in Section 4-5A behind Highlands and Mars. Ringgold (5-8, 2-5) finished fourth in Section 1-5A.

On the girls’ side, the Titans were given the 12th seed and were set to travel to Bethel Park on March 3 to meet the Black Hawks (13-3, 4-2) in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. The Titans (4-9, 4-6) finished fifth in Section 1-6A.

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