Trib HSSN boys swimmer of the week: Moon’s Nicholas Settembrine

Thursday, January 16, 2020 | 4:51 PM

Nicholas Settembrine collected four medals — two individual and two in relays — at last year’s WPIAL Class AAA championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

The Moon senior has returned as a favorite in his events, including the 100-yard backstroke, and Tigers head coach Jeff Berghoff said Settembrine is on a mission to soar even higher in 2020.

“Nicholas is an incredibly hard worker. He does everything he’s asked to do,” said Berghoff, who also coaches Settembrine through the Moon Aqua Club. “He’s a great leader as a team captain for the second year in a row. He’s also crushing his academics, so he’s in a good place.”

Settembrine posted a fourth-place finish in the 100 back (51.34 seconds) at WPIALs last year, and he added a fifth in the 200 free (1:43.92).

He placed 15th in the 100 back and 19th in the 200 free at states.

Berghoff said he sees in Settembrine a competitor who is not satisfied with last year’s places or times at WPIALs and states.

Settembrine is third in the 100 back (51.60) on the current WPIAL qualifying list posted at

“He had a great summer of racing and swam some fast times in the fall,” Berghoff said. “He set himself up for a good season this year. He has some big goals he wants to achieve with his time drops. We’re focusing on a number of different things in practice to help him get there. He’s been really responsive to all of that.”

The 100 breast, Berghoff said, is a definite for Settembrine in his return to WPIALs in late February. The first-day event is still to be decided.

Settembrine swam the 200 individual medley as a sophomore and placed 11th.

“We still have a lot of meets left,” Berghoff said. “We will do what we did last year and take a look at what he’s done and select the event he’s most comfortable with. With your top kids, you hope that they are able to do every event well. It makes them more versatile as they hope to swim in college at whatever level. It’s awesome to see him do well in every event.”

Settembrine, Berghoff said, is eyeing a couple of colleges, including Pitt and Dennison (Ohio), and hopes to make a decision near the end of the season, if not sooner.

“His biggest competitor, which drives him, is himself,” Berghoff said. “When he is pushing himself to improve and be faster, all that other stuff takes care of itself. He’s not one who charts out what everyone else is doing. He just tries to control whatever he can control. That’s helped him get to the level he’s at.”

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at


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