With love of swimming rekindled at Edinboro, Penn Hills grad heads to nationals

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Sunday, March 5, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Stephanie Sipple didn’t make the move from the NCAA Division I level at Cleveland State to Division II at Edinboro would because it might make it easier for her to qualify for nationals. After years of high-level training, Sipple went to Cleveland and saw her enjoyment for the sport fade.

Before she could become a key cog in the Fightin’ Scots lineup, Sipple had to figure out if she still wanted to go through the grind of swimming.

“I didn’t enjoy swimming as much as I do now,” Sipple said. “My coaches and my teammates made me enjoy swimming again. I didn’t think I would be any faster, really. I would say I enjoyed it a lot more.”

Sipple will have the 24th seed in the 100 fly at the NCAA championships, scheduled for March 8-11 at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis. At the PSAC Championships, Sipple hit her seed time of 2 minutes, 2.43 seconds at a time trial.

Sipple had hit the B cut the Saturday of the event but swam it again before the meet started to try and get a faster time.

“I did it before the meet started,” Sipple said. “It was by myself and everyone was watching. They normally do it at the end of the meet, but I know I swim faster in the morning. Coach asked for and fought me to swim in the morning.”

Qualifying for nationals was the end of a strong season for Sipple at Edinboro. During the regular season, she placed first in events 18 times. At the PSAC Championships, Sipple set personal bests in the 200 free, 200 back and 100 fly.

“We are so happy for Stephanie for making it to the championship,” Edinboro coach Chris Rhodes said. “Stephanie has been on a great journey since transferring to Edinboro and always pushes herself to the best of her ability. This shows that we are going in the right direction as a team and as a collective that has helped be a part of making this happen.”

Over the course of Sipple’s career, she has a number of top times in Edinboro history. Sipple set a time for the fastest 100 fly by finishing in 56.15 seconds.

Sipple also was in the top five in the 200 free, 500 free, 1,000 free and 200 fly.

“I actually knew by the end of last year I wanted to come back,” Sipple said. “I was kind of unsure before that. I knew deep down that I was going to come back. A big part of it was my teammates, but I would also say I wanted to go to nationals.”

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