Silver lining, record finish for Hampton swimmer Donato

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Saturday, March 27, 2021 | 10:01 AM


The Hampton 100-yard breaststroke record stood for 25 years until senior Richie Donato broke it March 6.

It lasted about two weeks.

Donato topped his own record in the event on the way to a second-place finish at the PIAA Class AA swimming championships March 19 at Cumberland Valley High School.

Donato hit the wall in 58.03 seconds, erasing his mark of 58.22 set at the WPIAL Class AA championships.

“Even though I had a great time at WPIALs, I knew I could go a little faster,” said Donato, who will attend Pitt and hopes to walk-on the swim team. “I was very happy that I did. It was a great way to end my senior year.”

Hampton junior Will Retsch placed third in the 200 IM, and the Talbots’ 200 medley relay team of Ben Sheets, Ethan Apaliski, Retsch and Donato took third in 1 minute, 36.02 seconds, edging the previous school record of 1:36.11 set during their WPIAL championship meet-record winning race two weeks ago.

The Talbots’ 400 freestyle relay team of Sheets, Davis Gindelsperger, Donato and Retsch placed sixth, and Apaliski (seventh, 100 breast) and Donato (eighth, 200 IM) added top-10 finishes.

The Talbots, coming off their first WPIAL Class AA team title in 22 years, finished third in the 51-school standings with 122 points. Bishop McDevitt was first with 142.5 points and WPIAL rival Riverside was second with 137.

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