Upper St. Clair’s Josh Matheny named to list of country’s top under-18 swimmers

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Monday, January 27, 2020 | 6:00 AM


Upper St. Clair junior swimmer Josh Matheny is focused on this year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials after earning a top honor recently from USA Swimming.

Matheny, 17, was named to the organization’s 2019 18 & Under World 100 list as one of the best 18-and-under male swimmers in the country.

Matheny ranks third based on his performance in the 200-meter breaststroke. He earned a gold medal in 2 minutes, 9.40 seconds at the FINA World Junior championships in August in Budapest, Hungary.

A member of Team Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics, he ranks second in the world in the event to a swimmer from Japan (2:09.21).

“I am honored to be recognized, but motivated to try to be No. 1,” he said.

The two swimmers ahead of him — Luca Urlando (200 butterfly, 1:53.84) and Carson Foster (200 individual medley, 1:57.59) — rank first in the world in their events.

According to USA Swimming, the goal of the program is to acknowledge the excellence achieved by 18-and-under athletes and their coaches and clubs. The complete world ranking list consists of 299 American male swimmers and 338 American female swimmers.

“Josh’s ranking on the the World 100 helped to validate all the work the members of PEAQ have done over the past five years,” said his mother, Kristin, a club president. “When we merged the clubs (Upper St. Clair and Chartiers Valley, then Pitt’s Team Pittsburgh Aquatics, plus a program at Canon-McMillan), our primary goal was to provide an opportunity for swimmers in Western Pennsylvania to reach their fullest potential.

“With Josh’s success and the success of PEAQ’s swimmers overall, we believe we are well on our way to achieving our goal.”

A member of the 2019-20 national team, Matheny earned an invitation to the World Junior championships with a third-place finish in the 200 breaststroke in the Phillips 66 National Championships. He is a four-time World Junior championships medalist.

Matheny, who verbally committed to Indiana, will travel to Omaha, Nebraska, for the Olympic Team Trials in June.

“I would like to swim personal bests in (the) 100 and 200 breaststrokes,” he said. “That is my biggest meet of the year.”

PEAQ coach David Schraven said Matheny is laser focused.

“We are preparing in such a way that he is able to perform to the best of his ability,” Schraven said. “If we take care of that, we will be happy with the results, whatever those may be.”

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