Trib HSSN Boys Swimmer of the Week: Hempfield’s Gavin Mayo

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Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 5:27 PM


Gavin Mayo battled through shoulder and back injuries from the summer to early November.

The treatment the Hempfield senior received began to kick in to the point he was able to train but not in the way he or his coaches would’ve liked.

“Early in the season, things weren’t clicking for him,” Hempfield coach Kevin Clougherty said.

But in the last three weeks, Clougherty said, things have started to fall into place for Mayo, last year’s WPIAL Class AAA runner-up in the boys 50-yard freestyle (20.73 seconds).

“His stroke, his turns and his footwork is cleaned up,” Clougherty said. “A couple of weeks ago, Gavin and I had some concerns on how his WPIAL and state meet were going to play out. Everything now looks pretty good. He feels he is in a place where he can be successful to finish somewhere in the top three at WPIALs and somewhere in the top six at states. He also has a chance to hit that All-American status again this year.”

After his silver medal at WPIALs in the 50 free last year, Mayo advanced to states at Bucknell University and took seventh.

He currently is ranked third in the 50 free on the WPIAL boys Class AAA performance list at WPIAL.org with a time of 21.29 recorded in a winning performance at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championships Jan. 26 at Derry High School.

Mayo went head to head with Belle Vernon sophomore Ian Shahan in the 100 backstroke, and Shahan edged Mayo for the title by a one-half second.

His time of 52.75 places him fourth on the 100 back performance list.

Clougherty said Mayo still has a decision to make as to which individual event — the 100 free or 100 back — he will pair up with the 50 free at WPIALs.

Mayo swam the 100 free at Thursday’s dual meet with Kiski Area. Last year, he placed sixth in the 100 free at WPIALs, and he took 21st at states.

“Most likely it will be the 100 backstroke, but we’ll see how things play out with the 100 freestyle, too,” Clougherty said. “Hopefully, he will make a decision in the next week on what direction he wants to go.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at [email protected] or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

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