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Latrobe swim teams power on

| Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012

The Latrobe boys varsity swim team has had its share of struggles so far this season, but on an individual level, things are going quite well for senior captain Lucas Bureau.

The Virginia Tech recruit has already broken three school records and qualified with several other teammates for the WPIAL AAA championship.

Bureau claimed the school's top spot in the 100 breaststroke and improved records he set last season in the 100 backstroke and twice bettered his standard in the 200 individual medley.

The boys team, however, has just one win in its first six outings this season, mostly because there are only nine boys on the team.

Senior Tim Cengia, also a team captain, has qualified in diving and in the 200 individual medley. Junior David Henderson qualified in the 100 backstroke and junior Scotty Guzik in diving.

In relays, the boys 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle teams are WPIAL championship qualifiers. Others who have qualified in the relays include senior Nathan Apel, junior Jacob Dingman, sophomore Justin Steward and freshmen Adam Henderson, Nate Jackson and Collin Smith.

"It's early in the season," second-year coach Jess Adams said. "They've been working hard. They are all supportive of each other. They do what we want them to do. They go all out and put 100 percent effort into it. We have seven freshmen; they've helped and added to the team."

On the feminine side

The girls team has more depth with 20 competitors and a 4-2 mark so far.

Junior Maddie Hoopes, a state qualifier last season, has WPIAL qualifying times in the 100 freestyle and in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

"She's a front-runner," Adams said. "She consistently does well. Overall, she did OK last year, but she did not make finals at states."

Another top returner is sophomore Kayla Owens in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.

The girls team also returns two top divers -- Shannon Bossart and Candace Hall, both seniors who have qualified for the WPIAL finals.

Other top returners who have qualified for the WPIAL championship are seniors Taylor Smail, Celeste Brasile and Katie Douds; juniors Maria Mulheren, Christie Douds and Raven Hrtyanski; sophomore Gina DeFrancesco; and freshmen Rachel Douds and Monica Sowinski.

"These girls are dedicated and hardworking," Adams said. "Kayla Owens will keep getting better. Gina DeFrancesco is a very good individual swimmer. Katie Douds was an alternate for our state teams last year. Celeste Brasile was an alternate, too. She helps hold the team together."

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