Swimmers to compete at invitational over break

| Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

Quaker Valley swimming coach Sue Morgan has a gift she thinks her swimmers will like: a trip to the West Allegheny Christmas Invitational meet on Dec. 28.

The Quakers will be among 11 boys teams and 11 girls teams from the area, as well as Ohio and West Virginia, that will compete. Six or seven independent swimmers also are expected, according to West Allegheny coach Bob Miller.

“I wanted to give the kids a break from training,” Morgan said. “I sent emails to some of the coaches asking if they knew of an extra meet, when West Allegheny contacted us.

“We're excited. Our kids will get the chance to see some top-level kids from other areas.”

Miller said teams that do well at the meet usually do well at the WPIAL championships.

The West Allegheny girls team and the Indiana boys team captured WPIAL Class AA titles after winning the invitational each of the last two years.

“It's a very competitive meet,” Miller said. “Quaker Valley is a good addition to a good mix of teams.”

Because it will be missing some swimmers due to the holidays, Quaker Valley does not expect to finish first in boys or girls competition.

Morgan considers the meet ideal for inexperienced swimmers.

“They'll get to see what MACs are like,” she said, referring to the Midwestern Athletic Conference championships to be held in February at Moon.

Morgan said the meet also will be good preparation for the WPIAL championships.

Senior Sarah Francis is looking forward to a change from dual meets.

“It will be fun,” she said. “There will be different heats with similar times (among swimmers).

“It's different than what you usually have this time of year.”

Sophomore Josh Chamberlain will appreciate a break from training.

“During Christmas vacation, because there are no classes, we do a lot of yardage, which can be rough,” he said.

“It will be nice to get away for a day.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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