WPIAL swimmers earn top-eight seeds for Saturday evening’s PIAA Class AAA finals

Saturday, March 16, 2019 | 1:08 PM

LEWISBURG — Several WPIAL swimmers are set to compete for state gold on Day 2 of the PIAA Class AAA swimming championships at Bucknell University.

The morning preliminaries began with Mt. Lebanon’s Trinity Ward and Gateway’s Olivia Livingston earning the fourth and fifth seeds, respectively, in the 100-yard freestyle.

North Allegheny’s Torie Buerger is the No. 2 seed for the 100 backstroke, while South Fayette’s Abigail Duncan is seeded fifth.

Butler’s Laura Goettler and Fox Chapel’s Zoe Skirboll are the respective No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the 100 breaststroke. The championship heat features four WPIAL swimmers in all as Moon’s Leah Baker is the fifth seed, and Connellsville’s Tatum Detwiler is seeded sixth.

In the girls 400 free relay, the North Allegheny quartet of Buerger, Olivia Kisow, Lila McGrath and Molly Smyers swam to a No. 7 seed in the preliminaries.

On the boys side, Penn Hills’ Kimani Gregory owns the No. 2 seed in the 100 free, while North Allegheny’s Jack Wright is close by with the third seed. State College’s Matt Brownstead, who set a new PIAA record Friday in the 50 free, is the top seed for the 100 free.

North Allegheny’s Rick Mihm swam the fastest 500 free by five seconds in the preliminary round. Teammate John Ehling checks in as the No. 3 seed for the championship finals.

In the 100 back, Upper St. Clair’s Jack Fitzpatrick has secured the No. 1 seed, while Seneca Valley’s Owen Blazer is seeded sixth.

It’s also Upper St. Clair at the top in the 100 breast as Josh Matheny claimed first overall in the preliminaries. A pair of North Allegheny swimmers — Jerry Chen and Jacob McCarran — are seeded third and seventh, respectively.

The final event of Friday evening, the boys 400 free relay, will have the North Allegheny combination of Mihm, Wright, Chen and Anatole Borisov as the No. 1 seed.

The Upper St. Clair relay of Fitzpatrick, Reese Samuel, Ryan Senchyshak and Graham Kretschmar earned the No. 8 seed.

The championship and consolation finals heats begin for the girls at 5:05 p.m. and for the boys at 7:35. The PIAA Swimming Hall of Fame will honor its 2019 inductees at 4.

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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