Trib HSSN Girls Swimmer of the Week: Thomas Jefferson’s Hallie Findlan

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Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 5:33 PM


Hallie Findlan is ready to challenge the best in WPIAL Class AA.

The sprint freestyler, a sophomore from Thomas Jefferson, currently sits No. 2 on the WPIAL performance lists for both the girls Class AA 50-yard freestyle and 100 freestyle.

The leaders in each event are defending champions — Heather Gardner from Mt. Pleasant (50 free) and Karen Siddoway from Northgate (100 free).

“Hallie really performed well last year, too, but I think it just comes down to her fine-tuning her work with another year of swimming under her belt,” Thomas Jefferson coach John Penn said.

“With that, she’s been able to bring her times down.”

Findlan, who trained and competed with South Hills Aquatics (SHAQ) in the high school offseason, turned in season-best times of 24.88 seconds in the 50 free and 54.32 in the 100 free against Class AAA South Fayette in a dual meet Jan. 29.

The mark in the 100 free also surpassed a school record that stood for nine years. Grace Neisling established the previous top time of 55.07 in 2010.

“She is so competitive at every meet she swims,” Penn said. “There was some really good competition from South Fayette kids who are top-notch. In the 100 freestyle, she put it into a gear I didn’t know she had to finish that race and win it. That gave her even more confidence.”

Findlan hopes to move up the ranks in the sprint freestyles at WPIALs. In her WPIAL debut at Pitt’s Trees Pool, she finished 10th in the 50 free (25.36) and was 14th in the 100 free (56.28).

“We talked a lot after WPIALs about her season and all that she accomplished,” Penn said. “Swimming at WPIALs for the first time can be pretty daunting. To go in as a freshman and swim the times that she swam, we believed that she would only go faster this year. She’s already proven that. We’re really excited to see what she can do this year.”

While Findlan most likely will stick with the 50 and 100 frees at WPIALs, she also has produced a qualifying time in the 200 free.

“She definitely could also qualify in the 200 (individual medley) and the 500 freestyle,” Penn said.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

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