Returning medalists give Mt. Pleasant swim team hope
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Mt. Pleasant swim program has worked hard to develop depth and talent, which helps it meet with solid levels of success.
This season should be no exception: Both the girls and boys teams feature a number of proven athletes.
Sandy Felice, who is in the third season of her second stint as Vikings coach — she also coached the team from 1986-92 — knows the team has a lot of potential.
“I did lose seven seniors, but I have a good core group of girls that medaled (at WPIALs) last year, and they are back,” Felice said.
The biggest loss the girls team will have to endure is the departure graduate Alyssa Dombrosky. Dombrosky was a state qualifier in the 200 medley relay last season. She also competed in several relay events, as well as the 100 butterfly.
Fortunately, the Vikings have a number of WPIAL qualifiers returning, including seniors Becky Hontz, Chelsea Jesso and Katlyn Puskar, and juniors Olivia Darr and Kyra Lasko and sophomore Fallon Nelson. All participated in relay events at WPIALs last season, and Nelson made a big splash as a freshman by qualifying for the state meet in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. She finished fifth in both events at WPIALs and set the school record in the 500 freestyle.
“Fallon can do any stroke and anything I ask her to do,” Felice said. “She gets in and does her work. She has some strong goals.”
The girls team will also feature senior Malia Brisbine, who qualified for WPIALs as a diver last season.
A number of freshmen and sophomores with Aqua Club — Mt. Pleasant's feeder program — experience will also add depth to the roster of 20.
With depth and talent in place, goals will be lofty for the Mt. Pleasant girls team.
“We want to win counties,” Felice said, noting the team has won the Class AA title at the Westmoreland County meet in each of the past six seasons. “We'd like to win the section (4-AA) and Indiana is our biggest rival. And we'd like to take a relay team to states.”
The goals also will be high for the boys team, even though the roster is comprised of just 11 swimmers. Lost to graduation is WPIAL qualifier Brandon Springer, but the team has seniors Seth Wright, Ethan Hurst and Dillon Zarycki and junior Dylan Ringer returning. All were WPIAL qualifiers in various relay and individual events last season. Zarycki also made states in the 50 freestyle.
“It's small, but mighty,” Felice said in regards to the boys team. “They didn't place as high in the relays as they wanted (at WPIALs), so it would be nice to see them place and get some medals.”
Leading the way is Zarycki.
“Dillon is a good leader,” Felice said. “He works his butt off. He gets in and does his job.”
For the boys, improving times will be key, which could help them reach some of their other goals. The team finished third in the section last year and second among Class AA teams at the county meet.
“It would be nice to see them win counties,” Felice said.
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3534.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.