Wallace breaks WPIAL 200 freestyle record
Several records were broken at the WPIAL swimming championships Friday, but only one was smashed.
Oakland Catholic’s Jordan Wallace won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 51.34 seconds at the WPIAL Class AA championships held at Pitt’s Trees Pool. The previous mark was 1:55.68 set by Kay Toth of Peters Township in 1995.
‘It was an awesome race,’ Wallace said. ‘Especially since I wasn’t shaved and tapered for it. I was happy I was able to win. That was what I was aiming for.’
She certainly hit a bull’s-eye.
That isn’t even Wallace’s fastest time in the event. This past Christmas, she swam the event in 1:48.00 at a Christmas meet. But a fast time yesterday wasn’t as important as helping her team win.
‘Jordan is focused on her team,’ Oakland Catholic coach Alisa Scioscia said. ‘She has become an incredible asset to our team. She is the first to congratulate team members. She could just be concerned with her individual events, but she sees the whole picture.’
Part of the big picture includes Oakland Catholic’s team score of 111. The Eagles are tied with Shady Side Academy for first place in Class AA. Moon Area leads Shady Side Academy boys, 145-110.
The Shady Side girls won the 200 freestyle relay, the final event yesterday, edging out defending WPIAL champion Oakland Catholic.
‘Oakland Catholic has so many strong swimmers,’ Shady Side coach John Landreth said. ‘So that is why I was glad to win that relay. Oakland Catholic is the cream of the crop, so I am ecstatic. I thought we would be down by 30 points.’
In Class AAA, the Bethel Park girls are tied with Mt. Lebanon, 124-124.
‘I would like the meet to come down the final relay,’ Mt. Lebanon coach Tom Burchill said. ‘That makes for an exciting meet.’
The Class AAA boys might come down to an exciting finish.
The Bethel Park boys, who are trying to win their 21st consecutive team title, lead North Allegheny, 150-132.50. A team champion in both boys and girls will be crowned at the end of today’s events. Competition begins today with Class AA at 11 a.m. and Class AAA at 3:30 p.m. Swimmers are competing for a chance to qualify for the PIAA championships March 9-10 at Penn State’s McCoy Natatorium. The top-five swimmers in each event in Class AA automatically earn a trip to State College. In Class AAA, the top-four finishers are in. Up to eight can qualify in both classes if they meet PIAA standards.
‘At least we aren’t behind,’ said Bethel Park coach Jerry Koller, who probably has ‘the streak’ on his mind. ‘We just need to step up the momentum (today).’
The only other Class AA record to be broken was the 200 individual medley set by Keystone Oaks’ Aubra Thomas with a time of 2:07.27.
In Class AAA, the Mt. Lebanon 200 freestyle relay quartet of Kaitlyn Orstein, Kiersten Rosenberg, Ellen Koch and Nikki Starr set a record with 1:36.55. Seneca Valley’s Amanda Smith broke her own record in the 200 individual medley at 2:05.01, which she set at last year’s WPIAL meet.
‘I didn’t think I was going to go that fast,’ Smith said. ‘But once I got in, I felt good. I am glad I broke the record, but I like breaking someone else’s record better.’
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review fashion writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, email@example.com or via Twitter .