Baldwin's swimmers, divers anticipating successful postseason results
The Baldwin boys' and girls' swimming teams have changed their focus from last year, when the boys' team fell just short of winning the section.
After losing 12 seniors to graduation, both squads have set their sights on reaching individual goals and attaining post-season success.
“This year, the talent is there, but the depth is not. But I expect us to have our best postseason ever,” said Wendy Lutz, Baldwin's eighth-year head coach.
Lutz predicts Baldwin will send a record 10 individual qualifiers to the WPIAL Class AAA championship meet later in the season, and is confident all six relays will qualify as well.
Three Baldwin swimmers and two divers already have qualified.
Nick Roth, a senior, qualified in the boys' 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Juniors Brendan Antenucci and Brendan Hoydick qualified in the 100 backstroke.
Roth, Antenucci, Hoydick and junior Trey Brown also qualified in the 200 medley and the 400 freestyle relays.
Sara Conklin, a junior, is close to qualifying in the girls' 100 butterfly.
“Our diving team is bigger than ever this year,” Lutz said. “We have so many that we have two girls that we roster on the boys' team.”
Senior Fallon Ferrari and junior Zach Murray already have qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA diving finals.
Along with Ferrari, junior Jill McDonnell and sophomore Dominique Cozza are diving for the girls' team.
Diving for the Baldwin boys' team are Murray, junior Adam Arnold, and freshmen Samantha Conklin and Madison Pavlick.
The girls' relays are also expected to qualify for the WPIAL championships.
Swimmers expected to compete for spots on those relay units include juniors Kaylee Krugh and Sara Conklin, sophomore Ali Ryan, plus freshmen Jillian Pritchard, Katy Werner and Jennifer Popovski.
Remaining team members include Nate Benton, Wyatt Sullivan, Allie Claherty, Natalie Garda, Bryan Ihrig, Jill McDonnell, Zach Ward, Nick Depretis, Daniel Maloney, Tom Schaefer, Carlee Wroblewski, Terrence Ahlin, Samantha Conklin, Sarah Hanson and Allison Miller.
“I'm expecting a very competitive dual meet season,” Lutz said. “But this is going to be one of those years where we can't let our record define our success.”
Jennifer Goga is a freelance writer.