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Penn-Trafford swimmers set 4 school records at WPIAL championship meet

| Monday, March 6, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
\Penn-Trafford's John Sandala swims the boys 200-yard individual medley during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
\Penn-Trafford's John Sandala swims the boys 200-yard individual medley during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.
Penn-Trafford's Noah Gasparro swims the boys 100-yard freestyle during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Friday, March 3, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford's Noah Gasparro swims the boys 100-yard freestyle during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Friday, March 3, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.
Penn-Trafford's Jacod Yant swims the boys 200-yard freestyle during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford's Jacod Yant swims the boys 200-yard freestyle during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.
Penn-Trafford's (from left) Emma Winchell, Corina Paszek, Hannah Muro and Rachel Sich earned medals at the WPIAL championships March 3, 2017, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Submitted
Penn-Trafford's (from left) Emma Winchell, Corina Paszek, Hannah Muro and Rachel Sich earned medals at the WPIAL championships March 3, 2017, at Pitt's Trees Pool.

The Penn-Trafford boys and girls swimming teams made history on their way to top-10 finishes at the WPIAL Class AAA championship meet March 2-3 at Pitt.

The Warriors set school records in four events.

“We were excited about how many fast swims we had,” coach Dave Babik said.

On the girls side, freshman Corina Paszek bettered her record in the 200-yard individual medley event to 2 minutes, 11.13 seconds. She was the Warriors' top individual at 11th place.

“The WPIAL meet was an amazing experience,” Paszek said. “I had a great time and improved in all of my events.”

The 200 freestyle relay (1:37.07) came in fourth and anticipated a bid to the PIAA championship March 17-18 at Bucknell.

The 400 freestyle relay (3:35.88) placed sixth and also reached the podium.

Paszek, sophomore Hannah Muro, junior Rachel Sich and senior Emma Winchell competed in both.

“We were very pleased with our swims and if we make it to states, we plan on dropping more time,” said Winchell, an IUP recruit.

For the boys, sophomore Luke Babik and juniors John Sandala, Zachary Snelling and Jacob Yant (3:14.43) raised the bar in the 400 freestyle relay. They finished eighth and earned medals.

“We knew the record was within reach, but it never felt real until we looked up at the clock and realized we had done it,” said Luke Babik, Dave's son.

“That feeling was awesome, and I won't forget it.”

Sandala and Yant are proud to land on the record board.

“The biggest shock to me is seeing our names go up in place of people like Christian McCurdy,” said Sandala, referring to the former Warrior and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier.

“I have looked at those names my entire life and thought they swam at a level I could never achieve.”

“Any record of Christian McCurdy's is an impressive feat,” Yant said.

Snelling said it is cool to hold a record at a good swimming school like Penn-Trafford.

The 200 freestyle relay team (1:29.29) of Luke Babik, freshman Michael Vareha, senior Noah Gasparro and Yant finished 10th and also scored.

Sophomore Jordan Prokopec and senior Hunter Clemens contributed points individually.

Paszek, Muro, Winchell and Sich were solo scorers for the girls. Muro placed in two events.

Sophomore Logan Sherwin, senior Nate Paszek and freshman Victoria Woodley tallied points at the WPIAL diving championship meet Feb. 25.

The girls placed seventh overall and the boys ninth.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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