Trib HSSN rewind: A look back at the 2018-19 boys swimming and diving season

Sunday, July 7, 2019 | 10:30 PM

For the second year in a row, a National Federation of High Schools record fell at the PIAA Class AAA swimming championships at Bucknell University.

Upper St. Clair’s Josh Matheny, now a rising junior, established an all-time mark of 52.52 seconds in the boys 100-yard breaststroke, surpassing the previous NFHS record of 52.65 set in 2016.

He also set a new state record with a 53.64 in the preliminaries. The previous record of 53.67 had stood since 2000.

NA reigns again

Led by WPIAL titles from the all three relays, Jack Wright (200 free/WPIAL record) and Rick Mihm (200 individual medley/WPIAL record, 500 free), as well as several other medal-winning performances, the North Allegheny boys captured the WPIAL Class AAA team championship for the 13th time in the past 14 seasons.

Then, the Tigers’ overall depth, paced at the top with state titles from the 200 and 400 free relays, Wright (200 free) and Mihm (500 free), helped them win their third straight PIAA crown. Wright and Mihm, members of last year’s 400 free relay that set a national record at 2:53.81, joined forces this year with John Ehling and Branko Kosanovich on the winning relay with a time of 2:59.80.

State champs from the WPIAL

Upper St. Clair (Matheny, Jack Fitzpatrick, Reese Samuel and Ryan Senchyshak) edged North Allegheny for the PIAA title in the 200 medley relay.

In Class AA, Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan (100 butterfly, 100 free) and Robert Spekis (100 breast) were golden, as was North Catholic’s Kyle Maziarz (diving).

WPIAL swimming and diving championships

The WPIAL celebrated its own in late February and early March as records fell and a mix of new and repeat champs were crowned.

Taking home gold in Class AAA were Fitzpatrick (100 back/WPIAL record), Matheny (100 breast/WPIAL record), Hempfield’s Gavin Mayo (50 free), Fox Chapel’s Jonah Cagley (diving) and Penn Hills’ Kimani Gregory (100 fly, 100 free).

Locking up WPIAL titles in Class AA were Shahan (100 fly/WPIAL record, 100 free/WPIAL record), Spekis (200 IM, 100 breast/WPIAL record), the Indiana 200 medley and 400 free relays, the Shady Side Academy 200 free relay, Mars’ Andrew Pierre (200 free), Neshannock’s Conner McBeth (50 free), Beaver’s Andrew Cestra (diving/WPIAL record), Deer Lakes’ Adam Morrison (500 free) and Geibel’s John Dorobish (100 backstroke).

Indiana claimed its first WPIAL Class AA team title since it won three in a row from 2011-13.

Swimming and diving broadcasts

*Check out the archived Trib HSSN broadcasts of the WPIAL swim championships for Class AAA — Day 1 and Day 2 — and Class AA — Day 1 and Day 2

*View the archived Trib HSSN broadcasts of the WPIAL diving championships for Class AAA — boys and girls — and Class AA — boys and girls.

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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