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

Saturday, July 6, 2019 | 9:35 PM

One of the closest races at the PIAA Class AAA championships at Bucknell University in March saw Butler junior Laura Goettler edge Fox Chapel freshman Zoe Skirboll by 10 one-hundredths of a second for the title in the finals of the girls 100-yard breaststroke.

Skirboll, however, would capture state gold on Day 1 as she went under two minutes in the finals of the 200 individual medley (1 minute, 58.75 seconds). She was the first WPIAL swimmer to win a Class AAA girls state title in the 200 IM since Mt. Lebanon graduate Kaitlyn Orstein won back-to-back PIAA crowns in 2003 and ‘04.

Those wins were among several highlights for WPIAL girls swimmers at states as they capped the 2018-19 season.

Northgate-Avonworth’s Karen Siddoway, a James Madison commit, claimed two state titles at Bucknell. She won the Class AA 200 freestyle on Day 1, and returned on Day 2 to win the 100 free with a personal best 50.36.

Gateway’s Olivia Livingston, a Louisville verbal commit, became a three-time state champion in the Class AAA 50 free as she won the event with a time of 23.00.

Also winning state championships were the Mt. Lebanon 200 medley relay of Elizabeth McDyer, Hannah Morelli, Maddie Dorish and Trinity Ward (1:43.04), Ringgold senior Anna Vogt (Class AA diving) and Ward (Class AAA 100 butterfly, 54.19).

Before the PIAA took center stage at Bucknell, the WPIAL crowned its champions at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

Siddoway won four WPIAL titles, earning individual victories in the 100 and 200 freestyle and recording triumphs as a member of the 200 and 400 free relays. Those victories helped the Northgate-Avonworth girls claim the WPIAL team title for the first time.

Others winning WPIAL titles in Class AA were Vogt (diving), Quaker Valley’s Isabel Huang (200 IM, 100 backstroke), Mt. Pleasant’s Heather Gardner (50 free, 100 breast), Indiana’s Payton Rayko (100 fly), Elizabeth Forward’s Kaelyn McClain (500 free) and the Indiana 200 medley relay.

Goettler and Skirboll also battled in the WPIAL Class AAA 200 IM. Both surpassed the previous WPIAL record in the event with Goettler winning the title (1:58.68) and Skirboll taking second (2:00.25).

Skirboll returned in the 100 breast and produced a WPIAL-record time of 1:00.96.

North Allegheny’s Molly Smyers (200 free, 500 free) and Livingston (50 free, 100 free) were double WPIAL Class AAA individual winners, while Mt. Lebanon captured both the 200 medley and 200 free relays.

Ward (100 fly) and Penn-Trafford’s Paige Kalik (diving) finished on top in their WPIAL individual events, and North Allegheny’s Tori Buerger (100 back) and the Tigers 400 free relay also won to aid North Allegheny to its 11th straight team title and 23rd overall.

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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