Upper St. Clair’s Matheny to swim at World Junior Championships
By: Karen Kadilak
Friday, August 9, 2019 | 7:02 PM
Upper St. Clair rising junior Joshua Matheny will be among the world’s best under-18 swimmers at the FINA World Junior Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Aug. 20-25.
Matheny, 16, was one of 45 boys and girls named Thursday to represent Team USA.
Matheny placed third in the men’s 200 long-course meter breaststroke (2 minutes, 11.02 seconds) and 12th in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.91) at the Phillips 66 National Championships at Stanford on July 31-Aug. 4. Both times met 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials standards.
Matheny, the 2018 U.S. junior national champion in the 100 breaststroke and a member of the 2018-19 U.S. men’s junior team, said he was happy with his performance.
Dave Schraven, Matheny’s coach with Team Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics and Upper St. Clair, said Matheny has targeted junior worlds for a year.
“We’re happy he’s taking this step,” Schraven said. “We also still want to perform better when we get there.”
Schraven was named one of three men’s assistant coaches.
USA Swimming said nearly 20 members of Team USA’s 2016 Olympic Team competed at past FINA World Junior Championships.
Matheny, a two-time WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion in the 100-yard breaststroke, set a National Federation of State High School Associations record (52.52) in the 100 breaststroke at the PIAA championship this year. Matheny broke by close to a second the meet record set in 2000 by Haverford’s Brendan Hansen, a six-time Olympic medalist.
Schraven, a former Stanford swimmer, said Matheny is the best swimmer he has coached.
“He’s an elite,” Schraven said. “He has great talent and the desire to be the best.”
Matheny will be one of two southern Allegheny County products to have competed internationally this year.
Oakland Catholic graduate Leah Smith, who grew up in Mt. Lebanon, placed third in the women’s 400-meter freestyle (4:01.29) and fifth in the 800 freestyle (8:17.10) at the FINA World Championships in South Korea in July.
Smith, a 2016 Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist, said on the FINA website her ambition is to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
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