TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

North Allegheny's Semler takes final plunge after teams sweep WPIAL titles

Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Penn Hills' Gabriel Larson swims during his victory in the boys' 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Penn Hills' Gabriel Larson swims during his victory in the boys' 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Plum's Luke Frederick swims during the boys' 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Plum's Luke Frederick swims during the boys' 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Oakland Catholic's Alexandra Elizues swims during the girls' Class AAA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Oakland Catholic's Alexandra Elizues swims during the girls' Class AAA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Alyssa Ruffing (left) leans forward to at the start of the girls' Class AAA 100-yard freestyle at the WPIAL swimming championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Alyssa Ruffing (left) leans forward to at the start of the girls' Class AAA 100-yard freestyle at the WPIAL swimming championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - North Allegheny's Zachary Buerger swims during the boys' Class AAA 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>North Allegheny's Zachary Buerger swims during the boys' Class AAA 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - North Allegheny's Sam Rutan reacts after winning the boys' Class AAA 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL swimming championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>North Allegheny's Sam Rutan reacts after winning the boys' Class AAA 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL swimming championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Gateway's Andrew Nosbisch swims during the boys' Class AAA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Gateway's Andrew Nosbisch swims during the boys' Class AAA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - North Allegheny's Jacquelyn Du swims during the girls' Class AAA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>North Allegheny's Jacquelyn Du swims during the girls' Class AAA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Oakland Catholic's Leah Smith swims during her record-setting performance in the girls' 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL swimming championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool. Smitih's time was 4:39.78, beating her own record by about two seconds.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Oakland Catholic's Leah Smith swims during her record-setting performance in the girls' 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL swimming championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool. Smitih's time was 4:39.78, beating her own record by about two seconds.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Pine-Richland's Kristen Murslack swims during the girls' Class AAA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Pine-Richland's Kristen Murslack swims during the girls' Class AAA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Latrobe's Madeleine Hoopes swims during the girls' Class AAA 100-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Latrobe's Madeleine Hoopes swims during the girls' Class AAA 100-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Central Catholic's Brian Corletti swims during the boys' Class AAA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Central Catholic's Brian Corletti swims during the boys' Class  AAA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Mars' Maragret Gruber swims during the girls' Class AA 100-yard backstroke during the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Mars' Maragret Gruber swims during the girls' Class AA 100-yard backstroke during the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Elizabeth Forward's Braelyn Tracy swims during her victory in the girls' Class AA 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Elizabeth Forward's Braelyn Tracy swims during her victory in the girls' Class AA 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Mt. Pleasant's Fallon Nelson swims during the girls' Class AA 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Mt. Pleasant's Fallon Nelson swims during the girls' Class AA  500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Freeport's Bria Otwell swims during the girls Class AA 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Freeport's Bria Otwell swims during the girls Class AA 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - St. Joseph's Holly Stein swims the Class AA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>St. Joseph's Holly Stein swims the Class AA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Derry's Tyler O'Barto swims during her victory in the boys' Class AA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Derry's Tyler O'Barto swims during her victory in the boys' Class AA 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Brad Kolesar of West Mifflin High School swims during the boys' Class AA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Brad Kolesar of West Mifflin High School swims during the boys' Class AA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Geibel's Steve Conko swims during the boys' Class AA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Geibel's Steve Conko swims during the boys' Class AA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Yough's Jessica Cochran swims during the girls' Class AA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Yough's Jessica Cochran swims during the girls' Class AA 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Justin Kostlnik of Laurel Highlands High School swims during the boys' Class AA boys 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Justin Kostlnik of Laurel Highlands High School swims during the boys' Class AA boys 100-yard backstroke at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Geibel's John Paul Zimcosky swims during the boys' Class AA 100-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Geibel's John Paul Zimcosky swims during the boys' Class AA  100-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships on Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Geibel’s Emily Zimcosky swims to victory Friday, March 1, 2013 in the Class AA 100-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>Geibel’s Emily Zimcosky swims to victory Friday, March 1, 2013 in the Class AA 100-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - North Allegheny swimming coach Kirk 'Corky' Semler and his team take a victory plunge following the boys and girls teams' victory at the WPIAL swimming championship Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>North Allegheny swimming coach Kirk 'Corky' Semler and his team take a victory plunge following the boys and girls teams' victory at the WPIAL swimming championship Friday, March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - North Allegheny head swimming coach Kirk 'Corky' Semler and his team take their victory plunge following the boys and girls team's victory at the 2013 WPIAL swimming championship at Trees Pool on the University of Pittsburgh campus on Friday March 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>North Allegheny head swimming coach Kirk 'Corky' Semler and his team take their victory plunge following the boys and girls team's victory at the 2013 WPIAL swimming championship at Trees Pool on the University of Pittsburgh campus on Friday March 1, 2013.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - North Allegheny swimming coach Kirk 'Corky' Semler and his team celebrate after their victory plunge following the boys and girls team's victory in the WPIAL swimming championship March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review</em></div>North Allegheny swimming coach Kirk 'Corky' Semler and his team celebrate after their victory plunge following the boys and girls team's victory in the WPIAL swimming championship March 1, 2013, at Pitt's Trees Pool.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports
By Keith Barnes
Friday, March 1, 2013, 8:06 p.m.
 

After 35 years coaching at North Allegheny, there was no more fitting way for Corky Semler to finish his coaching career at the WPIAL level than with the Tigers traditional team plunge into Pitt's Trees Pool to celebrate another in a litany of championships.

“I'm just excited about these kids' performances, and this retirement stuff has been a distraction,” Semler said. “The dive into the pool is the icing on the cake because what I look forward to is each kid doing something that they've never done before and the smile on their face when they've accomplished something. That's what I look for.”

On the surface, these two titles weren't any different than the other 23 combined boys and girls championships that came in his tenure. North Allegheny has been a dominant force on the boys and girls sides for nearly a decade — the boys have won seven of the last eight championships, and the girls won their fifth consecutive crown.

This year also marked the fourth time North Allegheny's boys and girls teams have won WPIAL Class AAA titles in the same year. The boys got past Upper St. Clair, 327-269.5, while the girls rolled to 417 points, 160 ahead of second-place Oakland Catholic.

“This whole journey has been about relationships and been about people and you learn just how many close friends you have and the people who value each other's efforts,” Semler said. “It's a close-knit community, and I'm going to miss being a part of it.”

It will still be a couple of weeks before Semler hangs up his whistle for good. He still has to guide North Allegheny through the PIAA Class AAA finals March 15-16 at Bucknell's Kinney Natatorium, and the Tigers will be one of the favorites to win the state team title.

It certainly helps that they have outstanding performers on the girls side like sophomore Morgan Soulia, who broke the WPIAL record in the 100-yard freestyle (50.82); Jacquelyn Du, who set a new standard in the 100 backstroke (55.57); and the 400 freestyle relay made up of Soulia, Jade Song, Anna Seethaler and Du, which broke its own 2012 WPIAL record in 3:26.55.

While North Allegheny dominated the Class AAA team standings, Indiana won its third consecutive boys title with 203 points, 31 ahead of second-place Mars. The South Fayette girls won for the first team title in school history with 252 points, just edging two-time defending champion West Allegheny by 29.5 points.

Individually, Mars senior Margaret Gruber earned her second record of the meet. One day after breaking her record in the 100 butterfly, the Virginia Tech recruit beat another of her marks with a time of 54.51 in the 100 backstroke, 0.09 seconds ahead of her pace from last year.

“All in a day's work,” Gruber said laughing. “I was more happy with the personal-best time. After doing that, I know I can do great at states.”

Oakland Catholic senior Leah Smith added to the records list during the Class AAA meet, as well. The Virginia commit nearly lapped the field in the 500 freestyle, as she took nearly two seconds off her 2011 record time of 4:41.37 with a 4:39.78.

She capped her day by breaking the record in the 100 freestyle (50.48) during the lead leg of the Oakland Catholic 400 freestyle relay. A swimmer can set a record in an event if they are the first leg of a relay.

Smith, who also set a new mark in the 200 freestyle Thursday, beat second-place Allison Murslack of Pine-Richland by more than 20 seconds in the 500 freestyle.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself in this meet and I wanted to go 4:34,” Smith said. “My best time is 4:36 in December, but I didn't feel that was my best, and I want to go for the national record (4:34.78).”

Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kbarnes@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KBarnes_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Lower Burrell couple charged with 6 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty
  2. Woman accused of prescription scheme
  3. New Kensington dedicates fireworks festivities to longtime coordinator
  4. Funeral planned for Connellsville teen who died in crash
  5. Connellsville fireworks display gets change of site
  6. State store relocates  to Highlands Mall
  7. Brackenridge gets $98K federal grant to fund waterline project
  8. Rossi: Rutherford shines as old boss pouts
  9. Pam Porterfield: Church events, family reunions, benefits abound in Fayette County
  10. New trial sought in 1977 murder case
  11. Liriano, Pirates complete sweep of Tigers