Greensburg Salem swimmers short on depth
The Greensburg Salem boys and girls swimming teams continue to rebuild under second-year coach Zack Krejdovsky.
Both squads open WPIAL Section 4-AA competition Jan. 3 against Kittanning.
“We're moving right along,” said Krejdovsky, who was hired shortly before last season. “The girls are up in number since last year.”
With 16 members, the girls team is more than double the size of the boys.
Senior Dan Yu is a standout on the boys team. He finished third in the 50-yard freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle at the WPIAL championship last year.
Yu said his goal this year is to win the 50 freestyle.
Junior Brett Smith returns after competing in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke at the WPIAL championship.
Yu, Smith and senior Josh Kappel are on two relay teams that return intact from the WPIAL meet.
Seniors Dylan Sanders (200 medley relay) and Morgan Lukacs (200 freestyle relay) round out the relays.
The boys team has only seven members.
Sophomore Paul Mica and freshman Trevor Turin joined the Lions this year.
The team is more settled with Krejdovsky, 24, as coach, Smith said.
“Zack looks as though he wants to stay,” he said.
Yu likes that the team is unified.
“We've all adapted well to Zack and are a lot closer,” he said.
Senior Abby Cawoski leads the girls team.
“Abby is comfortable in any event,” Krejdovsky said. “She brings a lot to the table.
“As team captain, she's been good in holding the boys' and girls' sides together.”
“I like to support everyone and cheer them on,” Cawoski said. “We're so small (in number), it's important that we stay close.”
Cawoski and senior Olivia Berry were part of the 200 freestyle relay team at the WPIAL championship.
Seniors Emily McMichael and Carissa Swab are sound in distance events, Krejdovsky said.
The Lions have two juniors: Alejandra Crites and N'Dia Smith, as well as six sophomores: Casey Carr, Devon Christeleit, Abby Gillis, Reilly Jobkar, Molly Lukacs and Sydney Taylor.
Maris Leonard, Hannah McMichael, Ashley Neumann and Claire Petersen are freshmen.
“We have a lot of young talent,” Krejdovsky said.
Curt Smith, a volunteer assistant coach and Brett's father, said there has been a push among boosters to have a pool built at the school.
The Lions use the pool at the Greensburg YMCA, where time and space for practices are limited.
“The YMCA is very accommodating, but it would be nice to have our own place,” Curt Smith said.
Meredith Baldock, past president of the Greensburg Salem Swim Team Parents Association, said Curt Smith has been an effective liaison with the YMCA.
“He sees that things are done to recognize the kids,” she said.
Curt Smith is one of two assistants, along with Scott Elliott, who joined the coaching staff last year.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.