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Latrobe's Lenz sets personal best at PIAA swimming championships

Michael Love
| Sunday, March 19, 2017, 9:21 p.m.

Last year, as a freshman at Ligonier Valley, Carrie Lenz made her mark at the PIAA swimming championships.

She placed 11th in the girls AA 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, 7.58 seconds.

Lenz made the move to Latrobe in the offseason, and she knew she would face different competitors at the Class AAA level, which included her return to Bucknell over the weekend.

Lenz was the only area entry to drop time during Day 2 of the state championships Sunday as she finished 13th in the AAA 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:04.78.

“It was a really good race for her,” Latrobe coach Greg Arrigonie said.

“She closed well and finished with a personal-best time. That breaststroke field was probably the fastest I've ever seen with all the 1:03s, 1:02s and 1:01s. That was a solid place for Carrie.”

Wildcats junior Rylee Jackson also competed Sunday, and she finished 27th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.38.

The weather-forced schedule change caused PIAA officials to change the usual format of preliminaries leading to consolation and championship finals to the one-swim timed finals always seen at WPIALs.

The Hempfield boys found themselves in the water twice Sunday.

Senior Zane Wilson took 15th in the 100 backstroke with a time of 51.63, and the 400 free relay of Wilson and seniors Zack Rulli, Alex Hervol and Cole Stinebiser finished 14th in 3:12.85.

“It was kind of a rough two days for us, but they will get over it,” Hempfield coach Kevin Clogherty said. “The lessons they have learned will stick with them. I am proud of the effort from all seven.”

Franklin Regional sophomore Patrick Cavanaugh was five one-hundredths of a second off his WPIAL time in the 100 breaststroke. He finished 20th in 59.29.

Cavanaugh joined junior Ethan Yant and seniors Ethan Miller and Jarod Crowell on the 400 free relay team that placed 21st (3:15.61).

The girls 400 free relay of seniors Shannen Cloherty and Morgan Birdy, junior Michelle Lopes and sophomore Abigail Ramey recorded a 16th-place finish in a time of 3:35.60.

“It was a little disappointing we didn't perform as well as I thought we could have,” Franklin Regional coach Vic Santoro said.

“However, making it up here and doing as well as we did at WPIALs was a feat in itself, and it tells a lot about the kids and their seasons.”

After claiming five state titles, including two state records, on Day 1, the WPIAL captured one more championship on Day 2.

North Allegheny junior Mason Gonzalez won the boys 100 freestyle with a time of 43.62.

The Tigers 400 free relay quartet set a blistering pace and a state record in 2:58.00. However, the team was disqualified for a false start, and the title went to District 1's Hatboro-Horsham (3:04.70).

The final team standings at states won't be determined until after the Class AAA diving competitions, which are next Sunday at Bucknell. The girls will compete a 3 p.m., and the boys will start at 7:30.

Latrobe junior Taylor Miller, third at WPIALs, will be in the girls field, as will Penn-Trafford sophomore Paige Kalik.

Franklin Regional sophomore Mason Fishell will be making his first trip to states after taking fifth at the WPIAL boys competition.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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