WPIAL swimmers earn NISCA All-American laurels

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 | 11:42 AM

Several WPIAL swimming standouts recently were honored as All-Americans by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association for times recorded during the 2019-20 season.

The lists are compiled based on individual and relay times recorded at sanctioned high school meets during the season and submitted by the programs during the application window from Nov. 1 through June 15.

All-American standards — automatic and considered — were established. Up to 100 swimmers in each event were honored.

North Allegheny graduate Rick Mihm, a Stanford commit, earned All-American honors in six individual events and two relays.

He garnered the top spot on the list for the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1 minute, 43.98 seconds recorded in winning the PIAA Class AAA title in March at Bucknell University.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Mihm said. “The 200 IM was an event I had really focused on the whole year. To see all that hard work pay off with something like this is pretty awesome. I remembered my (North Allegheny) teammate Mason Gonzalez was No. 1 in the 100 free two years ago. After seeing that, one of my goals was to get to the top like he was.”

Mihm also ended up 15th in the 200 freestyle (1:37.10), 30th in the 100 butterfly (48.69), 84th in the 50 free (20.80) and eighth in the 200 free relay (1:22.81) with graduates Alex Grahor and Josh Galecki and rising senior Jacob McCarran.

Several WPIAL swimmers were denied the opportunity to better times in certain events at the PIAA championships.

The PIAA canceled its second-day championship and consolation finals for Class AAA (100 free, 500 free, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 400 free relay) as well as the entire Class AA state meet in the early stages of covid-19.

Mihm earned additional All-American honors in the 100 free (30th, 44.59), 500 free (49th, 4:30.15) and 400 free relay with Galecki, Grahor and graduate Branko Kosanovich (14th, 3:03.63).

Upper St. Clair rising senior Josh Matheny, an Indiana commit, is second in the nation for the 100 breaststroke with a top time of 53.02. He also placed 39th in the 200 IM (1:49.27).

Seneca Valley graduate Owen Blazer is sixth in the 100 backstroke (47.83) and 10th in the 100 butterfly (47.95).

On the girls’ side, North Allegheny graduate Torie Buerger, a Kentucky commit, led the way as she placed 19th for the 200 IM with a time of 1:59.50 recorded in taking second in the event at states.

She also is 21st with graduate Olivia Kraus, rising senior Olivia Kisow and rising junior Ella Ogden on the North Allegheny 200 medley relay (1:42.59); 26th in the 100 back (54.21); 28th with Ogden, rising senior Molly Smyers and rising sophomore Lexi Sundgren on the 400 free relay; and 56th in the 100 free (50.48).

Also earning a place in the top 30 was Fox Chapel rising sophomore Sophie Shao. She was 28th in the 100 fly with a 54.22 set in winning the PIAA Class AAA title.

North Allegheny divers recognized

The NISCA also honored divers with All-American status for accomplishments in 11-dive championship meets this season. North Allegheny’s Maya Ennis (rising senior) and Christina Shi (rising sophomore) are recognized on the list.

Shi (531.30 points) and Ennis (473.65) finished 1-2 at the WPIAL Class AAA championships in February. Ennis went on to place third at states, and Shi was fifth.

NISCA All-Americans from the WPIAL


200-yard medley relay

33. North Allegheny (Ethan Song, Jacob McCarran, Branko Kosanovich, Alex Grahor) – 1:32.32

55. Seneca Valley (Owen Blazer, Haihan Xu, Daniel Simoes, Kevin Donaldson) – 1:33.29

59. Upper St. Clair (Ganesh Sivaramakrishnan, Josh Matheny, Jason Zhang, Ryan Senchyshak) – 1:33.43

200 freestyle

15. Rick Mihm, North Allegheny – 1:37.10

66. Ethan Tulenko, Norwin – 1:39.56

200 individual medley

1. Rick Mihm, North Allegheny – 1:43.98

39. Joshua Matheny, Upper St. Clair – 1:49.27

50 freestyle

37. Ian Shahan, Belle Vernon – 20.44

63. Ethan Tulenko, Norwin – 20.67

84. Rick Mihm, North Allegheny – 20.80

100 butterfly

10. Owen Blazer, Seneca Valley – 47.95

30. Rick Mihm, North Allegheny – 48.69

50. Ian Shahan, Belle Vernon – 49.02

51. Branko Kosanovich, North Allegheny – 40.03

90. David Bocci, Butler – 49.64

100 freestyle

30. Rick Mihm, North Allegheny, 44.59

33. Ian Shahan, Belle Vernon, 44.68

500 freestyle

49. Rick Mihm, North Allegheny – 4:30.15

200 freestyle relay

8. North Allegheny (Alex Grahor, Josh Galecki, Jacob McCarran, Rick Mihm) – 1:22.81

97. Franklin Regional (Payne Rizzer, Max Wang, Andrew Harris, Owen Holm) – 1:25.73

100 backstroke

6. Owen Blazer, Seneca Valley – 47.83

100 breaststroke

2. Joshua Matheny, Upper St. Clair – 53.02

400 freestyle relay

14. North Allegheny (Rick Mihm, Branko Kosanovich, Josh Galecki, Alex Grahor) – 3:03.63

75. Seneca Valley (Kevin Donaldson, Daniel Simoes, Max Skeen, Owen Blazer) – 3:07.38


200-yard medley relay

21. North Allegheny (Torie Buerger, Olivia Kisow, Ella Ogden, Olivia Kraus) – 1:42.59

200 freestyle

89. Taylor Connors, Upper St. Clair – 1:50.34

200 individual medley

19. Torie Buerger, North Allegheny – 1:59.50

91. Kendall Craig, Seneca Valley – 2:03.63

50 freestyle

38. Olivia Livingston, Gateway – 23.09


Maya Ennis, North Allegheny – 473.65

Christina Shi, North Allegheny – 531.30

100 butterfly

28. Sophie Shao, Fox Chapel – 54.22

79. Ella Ogden, North Allegheny – 55.13

100 freestyle

56. Torie Buerger, North Allegheny – 50.48

200 freestyle relay

76. North Allegheny (Lexi Sundgren, Molly Smyers, Quinn Frost, Ella Ogden) – 1:36.12

100 backstroke

26. Torie Buerger, North Allegheny – 54.21

58. Abbie Duncan, South Fayette – 54.77

98. Talia Bugel, Fox Chapel – 55.68

400 freestyle relay

28. North Allegheny (Torie Buerger, Lexi Sundgren, Ella Ogden, Molly Smyers) – 3:26.54

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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