Geibel, Mt. Pleasant swimmers hope to find success at WPIAL meet
When the WPIAL Class AA Swimming Championships are held Thursday and Friday at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool, a trio of Geibel students will be looking to make a big splash.
Freshmen Emily Zimcosky and Steve Conko, as well as junior John Paul Zimcosky, each will compete in two events, and each are in prime position to walk away from the two-day event with medals and a trip to the PIAA Championships March 13-16 at Bucknell University.
In her first year of swimming at the high school level, Emily Zimcosky has earned the WPIAL's top seed in the 200 freestyle (1:55.08) and the 100 freestyle (52.68). Conko, also new to high school competition, has garnered the second seed in the 100 butterfly (53.51) and the 100 backstroke (55.77). John Paul Zimcosky is the third seed in the 100 freestyle (50.36) and the sixth seed in the 50 freestyle (22.71).
However, according to Emily Zimcosky, success won't be judged on past accomplishments or seedings.
“I'm expecting a lot of competition,” Emily Zimcosky said, noting that seed times aren't always accurate due to swimmers tapering close to the end of the season. “People can come in and have a phenomenal swim and that's the great thing about swimming.”
Because Geibel does not have a swim team, the trio of Geibel athletes competed with Connellsville in various meets throughout the season. Emily Zimcosky noted that much of the group's success is due to their coach, Laurel Highlands, who helped them throughout the season. She mentioned that the group's togetherness has been a vital part of that success, as well. She's hopeful that the tight bond the group shares will serve each member well at WPIALs.
“I'm always very nervous when it comes to a big meet, but this year, I have a great sense of confidence because I have a great relationship with my teammates,” Emily Zimcosky said. “We are a close-knit group.”
Mt. Pleasant also has a close-knit group of swimmers, but the Vikings' group is much larger — 11 swimmers will compete at WPIALs.
“I'm really proud,” Mt. Pleasant senior Dillon Zarycki said. “We have a good group of kids, and we'll swim really hard.”
Zarycki is seeded fifth in the 50 freestyle (22.59) and 18th in the 100 freestyle (51.89). Zarycki will join Ethan Hurst, James Enlow and Seth Wright as part of the 10th-seeded 200 freestyle relay (1:34.93) and 16th-seeded 400 freestyle relay (3:38.11).
But for Zarycki, his focus isn't necessarily on winning WPIALs or even qualifying for states.
“To me, it's just luck if you go to states,” Zarycki said. “I love swimming and I know that whatever happens, I'm going to be happy.”
Dylan Ringer, Adam Patula, Wright and Hurst comprise the 11th-seeded 200 medley relay (1:49.21). Ringer is the 13th seed in the 100 backstroke (59.92) and the 20th seed in the 200 individual medley (2:17.03). Hurst is seeded 17th in the 50 freestyle (23.39). Wright is the 26th seed in the 200 freestyle (1:59.29) and 22nd in the 500 freestyle (5:30.08). Enlow is the 24th seed in the 200 individual medley (2:18.88).
Mt. Pleasant sophomore Fallon Nelson appears to have a chance to qualify for states. She is seeded sixth in the 200 freestyle (1:59.36) and 500 freestyle (5:19.06). Nelson is also a part of the 400 freestyle relay (3:52.11) and 200 freestyle relay (1:44.41), which includes Chelsea Jesso, Olivia Darr and Kyra Lasko. Both relay teams are seeded fifth.
Lasko, Jesso, Darr and Katyln Puskar are the 11th seed in the 200 medley relay (2:01.28). Lasko is the 11th seed in the 100 backstroke (1:04.89) and Jesso is seeded 20th in the 50 freestyle (26.43). Darr is the 32nd seed in the 200 freestyle (2:10.50).
Kaylie Martinowski and Noah Chovanec will serve as relay alternates. Madie Kromer, Alyssa Oplinger, Zachary Remaley and Jake Hostetler each qualified as part of various relay teams throughout the season, but will not compete at WPIALs.
Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.