Focus remains same for swim teams
A Haupt still will be the head coach of the Plum varsity boys and girls swim teams as the 2012-13 season kicks into high gear.
In the offseason, Kelly Haupt, the Mustangs head coach for several seasons, switched places with her husband, Shawn, and now, he is the head coach and she is an assistant.
What hasn't changed, Shawn Haupt said, is their optimism and anxiousness to see their swimmers produce top times and earn victories in the water.
Several boys and girls swimmers return after competing at WPIALs last year, and they will lead teams that also will be bolstered by new talent, including competitors in the freshman class.
A couple of returning swimmers also will be gunning to put their names up on the Plum record boards.
Shawn Haupt said the numbers for the boys team are bigger than usual, and a crop of freshman swimmers will score points and fight for fourth and fifth places in dual meets.
“I am really looking for the boys to challenge for a section title,” Shawn Haupt said.
Senior Luke Frederick finished seventh in the 100 breast at WPIALs with a time of 1:00.72. The time to beat to qualify for states on time was 1:00.24. Frederick's time was better than two automatic qualifiers.
“He was disappointed with his WPIAL performance even though it was his best time and a great finish to the season,” Shawn Haupt said. “He eventually understood what he accomplished and that it's sometimes more about a personal goal than a slot in the WPIAL standings. He's coming into the season shooting for a number of goals, including a couple of records on the board.”
Frederick is eyeing the Plum boys records for both the 200 free and the 100 breast, as well as the 50 free record of 56.21 set by 2011 graduate and Westminster College sophomore David Starr.
Frederick joined junior Shane Ging and sophomore Nick Figurelli on the 400 free relay team that took seven seconds off its time at WPIALs and placed 15th overall. Scott Romanko, a 2012 grad, was the fourth member of the team.
Shawn Haupt said all relay spots for both the boys and girls teams are open heading into the season and will have to be earned.
Also back after competing at WPIALs last season are seniors Berty Ruan and Dan Szurley and sophomore Lucas Cerchario.
On the girls side, senior Channing Nolan is gearing up for one more run at WPIALs and still is chasing the Plum girls record in the 100 fly.
Nolan was seeded 13th in the 100 fly at WPIALs last season. She improved on her seed time with a 1:01.16, but she finished 21st overall.
The school record of 59.29 was set in 2007.
“Channing realizes that the record isn't just going to come down,” Shawn Haupt said. “It's going to take a lot of hard work. She now is working harder than she has worked at any time in the past three years. If she continues on this path, I see that record falling.”
Senior Mia Pietropola also returns after swimming at WPIALs, and she also is hoping to break the Plum girls 100 breast record of 1:07.94 set in 2002 by Diane Sujansky.
“She is, by far, the hardest working-female on this team,” Shawn Haupt said.
“She's a leader in every way. She got sick right around WPIALs and didn't have the performance she wanted. She deserved to have a good March, and with her work ethic, I look for her to excel this year.”
Haupt said he also is looking for good things from junior Katie Gore, a WPIAL competitor last March.
“Katie continues to surprise me,” he said. “She continuously drops time.”
The head coach said a pair of freshmen girls — Hannah Adamski and Tori Metz — should make an immediate impact.
“Both of them I see at WPIALs individually and in relays,” he said. “They are both hard workers.
“We have a nice core group overall. The numbers for the girls aren't exactly where we want them to be, but the girls are hard workers, and they are going to fight at every meet.”
The Plum teams open their seasons Tuesday at home against Deer Lakes and Dec. 13 at home against Highlands. Both nonsection meets begin at 6 p.m.
Michael Love is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org