Young Pine-Richland swimmers showing potential

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Sunday, December 15, 2019 | 11:48 AM


The Pine-Richland boys swimming team looks forward to improving after finishing at the bottom in the WPIAL Class AAA championship meet last season.

Rams coach Pete Barry said sophomores William Laubacher and Trent Vakula, plus the 400-yard freestyle relay team, have the potential to advance to the PIAA meet.

Senior Andrew Wenzel returned from the 200 freestyle relay.

“We have a solid group,” Wenzel said. “We have a lot of talent among the underclassmen.

“There is a lot of potential.”

The Rams tied for 22nd place with two other teams in the 2019 WPIAL rankings.

After three nonsection meets, they kick off Section 2-AAA action Jan. 2 at home against Seneca Valley.

On the girls side, Barry said the Rams have two potential state qualifiers in sophomore Madison Alexander and senior Alyssa Schonbachler.

Alexander achieved the Rams’ best showing among boys and girls in the WPIAL meet with 10th place in 1-meter diving.

Schonbachler had top-15 finishes in two swimming events, including the 100 backstroke, where she hopes to break the school record.

“My goal for the team is to make sure everyone has a fun, positive experience and (works) together,” Schonbachler said.

Senior Zoe Farrar is encouraged so far.

“Everyone displayed an outstanding performance at the first meet,” she said.

The Rams finished 24th of 27 in the WPIAL last season.

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