Penn-Trafford swimmers, divers set to contend at WPIAL meets
After sweeping titles at the county meet, Penn-Trafford seniors Paige Kalik and Logan Sherwin look forward to doing the same at the WPIAL Class AAA diving championship on Saturday at North Allegheny.
Kalik (324.90) and Sherwin (352.85) topped WPIAL Class AAA in girls 1-meter six dives and boys 1-meter six dives, respectively, as of Feb. 1.
Kalik, the defending WPIAL champion, had close to a 60-point lead over second place.
Penn-Trafford diving coach Mark Martini said Kalik and Sherwin are working hard.
“I am really focusing on practicing my harder dives,” said Kalik, an Akron recruit. “A majority of my points come from the dives that are higher in difficulty.
“Each day, I try to focus on something different to make sure I cover everything before the end of the week.”
Sherwin, a Chicago recruit, planned on running through his entire dive list a few times a day.
Sophomore Xander Lentz qualified for the boys championship. Sherwin, also a swimming qualifier, said he and Lentz should give the Warriors (10-0 overall, 5-0 in Section 1-AAA) a large number of points going into the WPIAL swimming championship Feb. 28-March 1 at Pitt.
Kalik is eager to help the girls (8-2, 4-1).
“Our team is pretty small,” Kalik said. “Any points I earn will make a huge difference in our overall standing.”
Kalik and Sherwin captured gold medals at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championship on Jan. 25, making them the first pair to do so under Martini.
Relays will be the linchpins of the Warriors at the swimming championships.
The boys 200-yard freestyle relay (1 minute, 28.47 seconds) and 400 freestyle relay (3:14.82) teams ranked second in WPIAL Class AAA after setting meet records at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championship.
On the girls side, the 400 freestyle relay (3:40.69) and 200 freestyle relay (1:40.47) teams ranked fifth and sixth based on their times at the county meet.
Qualifying for WPIALs for the boys were senior Luke Babik, sophomore Ben Yant, junior Nicholas Graziano, sophomore Austin Prokopec, senior Jordan Prokopec and freshman Anthony Tumino and for the girls, senior Hannah Muro, junior Corina Paszek, sophomore Rebecca Good and junior Alyssa Tomb.
“We are excited to see how fast our kids swim,” Penn-Trafford coach Dave Babik said. “We are encouraged because our training has been going very well, and we have done good times up to this point.”
Graziano said he and his teammates are hoping to get a relay team on the podium and a place at the PIAA championship March 15-16 at Bucknell.
Muro has a similar goal.
“It would be great to finish off senior year by medaling with my teammates,” she said.
Luke Babik said the Warriors gained a lot of confidence after the county championship.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.