Penn Hills senior swimmer competing in every event at WPIAL championships
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Gabe Larson could be the most worn-out swimmer at the WPIAL championships, when all is said and done. But thanks to a dedicated training regimen, he probably won't be.
For the fourth year in a row, Larson, 17, a senior at Penn Hills High School, has qualified for all eight individual events and all three relay events with his teammates.
Larson began swimming competitively at age 5, and by 9 he was part of USA Swimming's Penn Hills Dolphins Swim Club.
The WPIAL championships are under way today at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland. Larson tied for second in the 100-meter breaststroke and earned sixth place in the 200-meter freestyle last year.
He also had two top-10 finishes in the same events at the PIAA state championships.
Larson spoke with the Progress recently about preparing for a hard afternoon of swimming:
Q: What first got you interested in swimming competitively?
A: I have liked jumping into the water as long as I can remember, and my older brothers were already swimming, so it kind of just happened.
Q: Out of all your events, do you have a favorite?
A: The 100-meter breaststroke, because I found that I was good at it, and I have continued to improve. And the 200-meter individual medley, because it challenges me in all of the strokes.
Q: Is there a particular event where you've had more success, and why?
A: The 100-meter breast; I've worked the hardest on that stroke since I realized that I had a chance to excel in it.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge so far this season?
A: Working on my backstroke. It has always been my worst stroke, but I wanted to improve my 200-meter individual medley time and break the Penn Hills record in the 100-meter backstroke.
Q: This is the fourth year in a row in which you've qualified for all eight individual events and all three team events at the WPIALs. What's the secret to that sustained success?
A: I set difficult goals for myself, and I have coaches that push me to reach those goals year-round.
Q: How often do you train each week and for how long?
A: A typical week is a two-hour high school practice Monday through Friday, followed by a one- to two-hour club practice depending on how tired I am. Saturday mornings we practice about two and a half hours.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about this swimming season?
A: Breaking the school record in the 100-meter backstroke earlier in the season and helping my team break the school record in the 200-meter medley relay on senior night.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
- Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
- Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
- Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
- Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
- Warrant issued for man accused of killing Brookline woman
- Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
- Emails among Governor Wolf’s aides reveal concern over AG Kane
- Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
- Traded after Stanley Cup, Saad not alone in being dealt after title
- Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall