Trib HSSN’s girls swimmer of the week: Mt. Lebanon’s Maddie Dorish

Friday, January 3, 2020 | 10:22 PM

Maddie Dorish has picked up where she left off last March for the Mt. Lebanon girls swim team.

The senior breaststroke standout who has committed to swim in college at Division I Lehigh said she is encouraged by her performances so far this season.

Dorish, a three-time WPIAL Class AAA top-five medalist in the 100-yard breaststroke, topped the field in the event (1 minute, 4.32 seconds) at the Jim Stacy Memorial at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio, on Dec. 21.

Her efforts that day helped Mt. Lebanon finish as the runner-up to Ohio power Hudson in the 30-team standings.

“I am really happy with my 100 breast result from Spire,” Dorish said. “I am faster than I’ve ever been at this point in any season.

“I took my (Spire) swim out only one-tenth slower than I took it out at states last year when I went my best time (1:03.02), so I think I will be able to take it out even faster and bring it back faster with a good taper. That really encourages me for my swims when it comes time for WPIALs and hopefully states.”

Dorish said she welcomes the expected challenge from several other high-level WPIAL and PIAA swimmers this year. That challenge includes last year’s WPIAL 100 breast runner-up and state champion Laura Goettler, a senior from Butler.

“I definitely think the 100 breast (in Class AAA) is one of the most competitive events at WPIALs and states,” said Dorish, who placed fourth in the event at WPIALs last year and finished a personal-best ninth at states.

“I’ve been swimming against Laura since I was 8 years old, and it’s fun to go against her. She really pushes me to go fast.”

Dorish said coming up short in search of a state medal last year in the 100 breast continues to motivate her. She swam a 1:03.02 in the consolation finals, but her preliminary time of 1:03.97 was slower than her time at WPIALs (1:03.42).

“I had trained hard to get that state medal, so I was pretty frustrated with just missing getting into the (top eight championship) finals,” she said. “I just went out really hard in my final, and I think I swim better when I do that. It ended up working out for me.”

Dorish was locked into the consolation final after the prelims, but her 1:03.02 was better than two times recorded in the championship finals.

Dorish also is hoping for big things this year in the 50 free. She earned her second WPIAL medal in the event last year — a personal-best fourth — and qualified for states.

Excitement, she said, extends to what the relays can accomplish this season. She owns three WPIAL gold medals as part of the 200 medley relay and one, acquired last year, with the 200 free relay.

The medley relay went on to claim last year’s PIAA title, and the free relay took sixth.

Mt. Lebanon coach Thomas Donati said he’s pumped for what Dorish can accomplish this year and also for what she brings to the team as a senior leader.

“I have a young team, and she just works so hard and is such a great example for the younger swimmers,” he said. “She’s very serious and focused, but you can tell she’s also having fun. Her swims at Spire really boosted her confidence.”

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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