Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Chartiers Valley's Drew Damich, Vincentian's Abbey Bartoszewicz
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School: Chartiers Valley
Claim to fame: Damich brought home two gold medals from the PIAA swimming championships this past weekend. He won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:40.52 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:33.75. In the 500, Damich trailed Montour's Jarod Kehl on the final lap but was able to pull off the win by 0.53 seconds.
“Drew's an incredible swimmer who has a great work ethic and is completely dedicated to swimming,” coach Heidi Fiorentini said. “I really think he's bound for greater things if everything goes well.”
How does it feel to win two PIAA gold medals?
It feels pretty good. I wasn't happy with one medal going into it at the beginning of the season. I worked really hard and it really paid off.
Did you realize how close you were to Kehl in the 500 freestyle?
I knew the whole time that we were basically dead even the whole race. Going into the last lap I just knew that as soon as I touched I was going to go as hard as I can.
How much will you train in the pool this summer?
I train with Mt. Lebanon Swim Club. We're still in the water now. I have a meet starting Thursday through Sunday at Virginia Tech. After this meet we have a two-week break and then we start back up and train all through the summer.
What do you hope to improve this summer?
I definitely need to work on my walls. I knew that when I was racing Jarod. He got me on every turn, so that's definitely something I need to improve.
Claim to fame: Bartoszewicz had 14 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday in a PIAA semifinal win over Bishop Guilfoyle. She also made the game-winning shot in Vincentian's 44-42 win over Berlin Brothersvalley in the second round of the PIAA Class A playoffs on March 13. She also scored 10 points in a 68-51 win over Kennedy Catholic in the PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday.
How much fun are you having in the playoffs right now?
It's definitely special because it's my senior year. I have to thank my whole team because we've all played our hearts out. I just want to go out each game and play for the other seniors. We still have a long way to go.
What moment will stick out from your high school career?
I'd just have to say all of the WPIAL championships. Each team was like a family. Winning those three WPIAL championships meant so much and showed how much the hard work paid off.
Have you decided where you'll attend college?
No, I have not. I will make my decision after the playoffs. I'm looking at Mt. Union and St. Vincent.
Do you have a major in mind?
Communications. I love to talk and I have always been interested in broadcast and radio. I love listening to Mikey and Big Bob on Kiss FM.
What's something people may not know about you?
I like to write poetry.
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