Shaler swimmers to revamp training for unique season

Sunday, November 22, 2020 | 12:01 AM

Planning improvements for the Shaler Area swimming program will need to be a dynamic plan for first-year coach Abi May.

WPIAL officials still have many decisions to make on where the championships will be held, how many athletes will qualify and what the qualifying times need to be. All of those factors will dictate training and tapering for the Titans.

“It will change what we do throughout the season,” May said. “We’re going to revamp our training throughout the season to help accommodate our swimmers and divers whose times are close to the qualifying standard.”

The WPIAL met last week to discuss many of the issues pertaining to all winter sports. Indoor gatherings will be limited to a percentage of capacity under statewide covid-19 restrictions.

To meet those requirements, WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman told the Trib High School Sports Network the WPIAL will make qualifying times “more difficult to obtain.”

The new qualifying standards will be ready some time in January, after the swimming steering committee sets them. The standards will be based on last year’s times and early-season marks this year.

“If everybody’s times are slower because they are not able to practice as much, they may not need to tighten them up as much,” Scheuneman said.

May said Shaler was waiting to see if it would have a dual meet season until after the WPIAL met last week and the school held its winter sports meeting. The Titans tentatively plan to swim dual meets.

Shaler will have 24 swimmers and two divers on the roster. Lydia Nebiolo, Justin Adametz and Justin Bacasa are all returning WPIAL qualifiers.

May said she expects newcomer Noah Long will make a difference in the distance events.

“I expect us to keep building on what we’ve been doing in the preseason,” May said. “I’m hoping we’ll be able to have the other swimmers return to WPIALs and try to qualify for states.”

Staff writer Chris Harlan contributed to this report.


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