Wagner leads youthful, talented Quaker Valley swimming team

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Saturday, January 18, 2020 | 12:19 AM


On a Quaker Valley team with a lot of new members, junior swimmer Halle Wagner is a mainstay.

Wagner qualified for the WPIAL Class AA girls championship in two events individually in each of the past two seasons. Last season, she went to the PIAA meet in a relay.

“My experience has helped me understand what it takes to perform at championship meets,” she said.

Quaker Valley coach Alexis Glenn said Wagner is a natural leader.

“Many of the team’s younger swimmers look up to her,” Glenn said. “She’s done a great job of fostering a positive team culture. Having people like her gives us a huge advantage.”

Wagner qualified for February’s WPIAL championship in the 200-yard freestyle relay with senior Sophie Besterman, freshman Ella Fuener and sophomore Isabel Huang. The team’s time (1 minute, 47.50 seconds) ranks third in WPIAL Class AA this season.

Individually, Wagner is close to advancing in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles.

“I hope to make cuts in my typical events and some new ones,” she said.

Wagner hopes the Quakers, who are part of a cooperative sponsorship with Sewickley Academy, can go undefeated and earn the Section 2-AA title. They started 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the section.

“We will put up a fight,” she said. “I’m very excited to see (the) WPIAL meet. Between the newcomers and the returning swimmers, it will be a good meet.”

The Quakers expect to be contenders for their first WPIAL title.

“Our team is versatile in a way (we) weren’t in past years,” said Wagner, a two-time WPIAL medalist in relays. “Coach Alexis and Coach Chad (Bateson) have done a great job including everyone.”

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