Pine-Richland returns several swimmers
Heading into this swimming and diving season, the majority of the firepower the Pine-Richland team had last year is back. The only major hit came on the girls diving side, where Lauren Lamendola graduated and Tia Boren moved out of the district, leaving the strongest unit on the team in question.
But Pine-Richland coach Pete Barry has a plan, and it begins with the Murslack twins: Kristin and Allison. Kristin will score big in the 200 IM, and her second event will be determined later.
“I am leaving that up to her,” Barry said. “She is a senior, so I am letting her have her choice.”
Her choice will probably be between the 100 breaststroke or butterfly. Allison is coming off an injury and hopes to stay healthy this season and compete in the 200 and 500 freestyle events.
Barry hopes Ally Sanzi makes up some of the points he will lose in the diving category, and with the help of Siani Noll and Makenna Laffey — both sophomores — the deficit could close as the season moves along.
“Siani came is last year really wide-eyed and excited,” Barry said. “She is versatile (50, 100, 200 freestyle and 100 back). We just have to find out what event will work the best for her.
“Makenna will swim the 200, 500 (free) or the 100 back, where she is solid. Hopefully she can make an at-large bid.”
Senior Lydia Sargent is a hopeful to qualify in the 50 free and has an outside chance to work things out in the 100 breaststroke.
Barry thinks all his relay teams will be solid again, and although he does not want to put the bar too high, he said that having several WPIAL qualifiers is the goal.
Pine-Richland has 13 divers between the boys and girls this season, led by PIAA qualifier Dom Giordano, who just accepted a scholarship to FSU. Nathan Kern also could have an impact, and Barry is hopeful to send them both to WPIALs and hopefully states.
“We have great senior leadership and a good sophomore class who is hungry,” Barry said.
On the boys swimming side, Nick Tomczak will fill the void left by Eamon Trebelcock and will have an impact in the 100 breast. Barry also is counting on Ryan and Jon Henderson (twins) to be the versatile swimmers he knows they can be.
“Ryan and Jon are both well-rounded swimmers,” Barry said. “They, along with Jonathan Schubert, all swim year-round.”
Schubert will swim the 100 fly and possibly the 500 free, according to Barry.
The versatility is great for Barry, and this season he has the numbers to go with it. Barry said he is sporting his biggest team ever at 67 swimmers.
“It speaks for the eagerness of kids to participate in sports year round,” Barry said. “I had three football players come out for the team. That is great.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.