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Belle Vernon Area, Ringgold swimmers in WPIAL meet

| Thursday, March 1, 2012

Belle Vernon Area and Ringgold hopefuls will be competing for gold in the WPIAL Class AA and AAA swimming championships, which start today and run through Friday at Pitt's Trees Pool.

BVA will be represented by 13 swimmers and Ringgold seven in the various events.

For Ringgold, the top hopeful is Kyle Garase, who will be competing in the 100 fly and 100 free.

Garase finished sixth in the 100 fly in the PIAA championships a year ago and is seeded first in the WPIAL, so Ringgold coach Mike Sikorski has high hopes on what might happen this weekend.

"Kyle finished sixth in the state last year in the 100 fly, so we are hoping for a better outcome this year," Sikorski said.

Also for the Rams, Garrett Devenney will be swimming the 200 free and 100 fly. He is also a previous WPIAL qualifier.

Will Michalowski will swim the 100 breast and this is his first time qualifying for an individual event.

Emily Harger will swim the 50 free and 100 breast and has also qualified for WPIAL finals in the past.

Ringgold also qualified its 200 medley relay and both the 200 and 400 free relay teams, which will consist of Garase, Devenney, Michalowski, Cody Martin, Spencer Allen, and Cole Bidoli.

BVA, meanwhile, has several swimmers who Lep coach Robert Reda is hoping for big things from.

"We have some boys I think have a good chance to do well," Reda said.

Among them are Tom Crawford, Brandon Luda, Scott Verner and Alex Yawny, all of whom will swim in two individual events as well as relays.

Crawford will compete in the 200 and 500 free, where he is seeded eighth in each event.

Luda qualified in the 200 and 100 free, Verner in the 50 free and 100 back and Yawny in the 200 IM and 100 fly.

Teammate Matt Bronakow-ski will be in the 100 fly.

BVA's 200 medley relay team of Joel Wolfe, Geno Leone, Bronakowski and Jake Riley will compete, along with the 200 and 400 free relay teams of Luda, Yawny, Crawford and Verner.

The 400 relay team is seeded sixth while the 200 free relay team is seeded seventh.

For the girls, Gibby Kohr will swim individually in the 50 and 100 free events, as well as in the 200 and 400 free relays.

Kohr will compete in the relays with Johni Beeler, Rachel Smith, Rebecca Wardle and Ally Smith.

The top four finishers in each even will qualify for the PIAA championships. In addition, other finishers based on times will also qualify.

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