Norwin girls swimming returns strong lineup that compete at WPIALs |

Norwin girls swimming returns strong lineup that compete at WPIALs

Karen Kadilak Karen Kadilak
Members of the 2018-19 Norwin swim team include, in front Austin Livsey, in front middle, Austin Hewitt; in row three, from left, Emilie Watson, Seth Baiardi, Shain Mosqueda, Jordan Kutchak, Ella Driggers, Jess Berger, Caitlin Kosanovic, Sarah Todaro, Courtney Kosanovic; in row four, Pilar Swankler, Alaina Gettemy, Jackie Sumpman, Abby Knouse, Elyssa Bogner, Jimmy McGrody, Michael Fulmer, Jess Kessler, Quinn Kubistek, Micah Gaydos; and in back, Abby Salvi, Emma Driscoll, Tori Marflak, Danny Smrekar, Mary Kochis, Victoria Hefflefinger, Jordan Heggan, Meagan Jordan.
Norwin swimmer Courtney Kosanovich returns for the 2018-19 season.

The Norwin boys swimming team is small, but the girls are loaded and look forward to being a spoiler under first-year coach Doug Watson.

The Knights have most of their competitors from the WPIAL Class AAA championship meet last season, plus 10 freshmen.

“(The) girls could surprise,” Watson said.

Sophomores Sarah Todaro, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Smeltzer and Jordan Kutchak return after placing 14th in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Seniors Courtney Kosanovic and Shelby Yusko, junior Allison Plassio and Kutchak are back on the 400 freestyle relay team, which was 18th.

Kosanovic and Smeltzer competed individually in two events and Kutchak in one, in which she placed in the top 20.

Senior Caitlin Kosanovic, Courtney’s sister, hopes to qualify.

Courtney Kosanovic said the the Knights are training hard under Watson, a former Norwin swimmer who took over after Neil Rushnock resigned. They swam 10,000 yards in practice the day after Thanksgiving, which she said was a first.

“We absolutely love him,” she said.

The boys team suffered a blow after juniors Ethan Tulenko and Phong Tran decided not to compete.

Tulenko placed sixth in the 50 freestyle in the WPIAL and qualified for the PIAA championship last season.

Junior Austin Livsey, who was on the 200 freestyle relay team that came in 12th, is the only Knight to return from WPIALs.

“It’s tough,” said Watson, who mentors the boys.

Sophomore Quinn Kubistek has not given up.

“It inspires us to work hard,” he said.

The boys and girls kick off the season Dec. 13 at Franklin Regional. Their Section 1-AAA openers are Jan. 10 at Hempfield.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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