Standard stays the same for Penn-Trafford swim teams

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Sunday, December 13, 2020 | 8:40 PM


Dave Babik has been coaching the Penn-Trafford swimming teams for 30 years, and the team’s expectations haven’t changed.

“We’re used to competing at a high level,” Babik said, “and I think we’re capable of that this season.”

Babik must replace a large senior class but has some key pieces that should keep the team competing at an expected high level.

Back for the boys are two PIAA qualifiers — seniors Austin Prokopec and Ben Yant. Prokopec competes in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races and Yant in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races.

Also back are three sophomores who reached the WPIAL championships. They are Aiden Kelly, Andrew Sansonetti and Evan DelSignore.

All three were on the relay teams, but Babik said they’ll expand their events, Kelly in the distance freestyle races, Sansonetti the backstroke and DelSignore the butterfly.

Two freshmen expected to contribute are Patton Graziano in the backstroke and Connor Alexander in the freestyle races.

“They’re all pretty strong,” Babik said. “If we keep working at it, we’ll be OK. We’re been fortunate to get a lot of work in the water. I knew some schools haven’t had that luxury.”

Babik said he expects better seasons from two returning divers who reached the WPIAL championship. They are senior Xander Lentz and junior Caleb Carone.

The girls return no PIAA qualifiers, but seniors Alyssa Fligger and Rebecca Good return as WPIAL qualifiers.

Fligger competed in the 200 freestyle and Good in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle.

Also back are two divers — senior Marissa Fabac and junior Delaney Lentz.

“We have girls, just not the numbers I’d like,” Babik said. “We lack some experience, and we’ll be moving girls around.”

Babik said at least five freshmen will play key roles, especially Olivia Johnson and Emma Bishop.

“They’re good and will use them a different spots in the lineup,” Babik said. “Later in the season, we’ll let them focus on their best events. They’re working hard and will play a significant role.”

The boys and girls compete in Class AAA, Section 1 with Armstrong, Connellsville, Hempfield, Kiski Area, Latrobe and Norwin.

Like all coaches, Babik hopes his swimmers will be able to compete this winter. He said all student-athletes need to be able to compete.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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