WPIAL swimmers punch tickets to finals on Day 1 at PIAA Class AA championships

Friday, March 16, 2018 | 1:30 PM

LEWISBURG — WPIAL swimmers already are making their mark on Day 1 of the PIAA Class AA swimming and diving championships at Bucknell.

Several posted preliminary times Thursday morning that put them in the championship finals.

The top eight swimmers in each event from the preliminaries will compete in the championship final, while those who took ninth through 16 will take part in the consolation final.

The boys finals will be at 4:35 p.m., with the girls finals to follow at 7:05.

Belle Vernon freshman Ian Shahan leads the WPIAL boys contingent. He is seeded second in the 100-yard butterfly with a prelim time of 50.83 seconds.

Right behind Shahan in the 100 fly is No. 3 seed Dean Kralic, a senior from Riverside, with a time of 50.91.

Others with times that put them in the championship finals are Mars senior Andrew Ivory (seventh, 200 individual medley), the Northgate 200 medley relay (fifth seed) and 200 free relay (fifth seed), the Riverside 200 medley relay (seventh seed) and Mars junior Andrew Pierre (seventh, 200 free).

On the girls side, Mt. Pleasant sophomore Heather Gardner recorded a 23.59 in the prelims of the 50 free and will be the second seed by the slimmest of margins behind Grove City junior Emma Wilson (23.57) for the championship final.

Northgate junior Karen Siddoway will be the third seed (1:53.68) for the finals of the 200 free.

Also qualifying for the evening championship finals are Indiana sophomore Harley Kessler (eighth, 200 IM), Elizabeth Forward sophomore Kaelyn McClain (eighth, 200 free) and the Shady Side Academy girls 200 free relay (seventh seed).

The complete preliminary results can be found at piaa.org.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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