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Edinboro swimmers have strong Alle-Kiski Valley pedigree | TribLIVE.com
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Edinboro swimmers have strong Alle-Kiski Valley pedigree

Tribune-Review
| Sunday, November 16, 2014 11:06 p.m.
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Photo courtesy of Edinboro athletics
Staci Schrecongost swims in a meet for Edinboro during the 2014 season.
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Photo courtesy of Edinboro athletics
Holly Stein competes in a meet for the Edinboro women's swimming team during the 2014 season.
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Photo courtesy of Edinboro athletics
Edinboro women's swimmer Holly Stein.
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Photo courtesy of Edinboro athletics
Edinboro women's swimmer Staci Schrecongost.
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Photo courtesy of Edinboro athletics
Edinboro women's swimmer Morgan Joseph.
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Photo courtesy of Edinboro athletics
Edinboro women's swimmer Mackenzie Wargo.

Staci Schrecongost and Holly Stein swam in the same meets during high school, but not for the same team. Stein, while at St. Joseph, swam as an independent in meets with Valley, Schrecongost’s team.

These days, the two swimmers are on the same side. Schrecongost and Stein are two of the leading swimmers for an Edinboro team that also includes fellow Alle-Kiski Valley graduates Morgan Joseph (Kittanning) and Mackenzie Wargo (Apollo-Ridge).

“It’s fun because swimming in college is great, but you always kind of miss the team that you started out with,” Stein said. “It’s like taking a piece of home and having it up here with you.”

The four A-K Valley natives don’t just compete on the same team — they often swim in the same relays. Joseph and Schrecongost swam in the winning 400-yard freestyle relay during a meet Saturday at Allegheny, while Joseph, Stein and Wargo teamed up on the first-place 200 medley relay.

Edinboro’s relays had first-place finishes in each of the Fighting Scots’ first five meets of the season.

“There’s always that something that brings us together,” Schrecongost said. “I guess for us, it could be that we’re all from Pittsburgh. Megan Gaza also swims on a bunch of our relays, and she’s from Laurel Highlands. So, it is nice to have people from home.”

Edinboro lost several key swimmers after finishing undefeated in dual meets and third at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championships last season.

The team is heavy with freshmen and sophomores.

That left it to seniors Schrecongost and Wargo, the team’s co-captains, and returning All-American Stein to step up as the some of the team’s key leaders.

“With the team being a young team and last year having so many seniors, a lot of the underclassmen take on a very good role in helping out the younger kids,” Schrecongost said. “Once you go through the program once, you kind of get the swing of things. We try to do our best to be there for each other.”

Schrecongost won multiple events in each of Edinboro’s first five meets. Stein, a sophomore who was Edinboro’s first All-American since 2008, was the Fighting Scots’ top swimmer in the season-opening Westminster Relays.

After a 2-0 start, Edinboro (2-2) dropped its past two meets ­— including a 115-114 setback against Allegheny on Saturday.

“I think with what we have this year, we definitely are holding our own,” Stein said. “We’re definitely doing really well, and I think everyone is stepping up and swimming as best as they can and doing a great job.

“Everyone’s been doing really good and (posting) really fast times. I think we’re doing exceptionally well.”

After two straight third-place finishes at the PSAC championships, the Fighting Scots hope their youthful roster can have a strong finish.

“I’m just ready to give it my all,” Schrecongost said. “It’s my last go-round, so I’m excited to see what happens.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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