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Charleroi's Simpson just misses gold in 50 yards

| Friday, March 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Luke Simpson recorded a personal best time of 21.29 seconds in the 50-yard event, but came up one-tenth of a second behind Beaver Area senior Cameron Clerici in the WPIAL Class AA swimming championships Thursday at Pitt's Trees Pool and earned the silver medal.

“It is kind of mixed feelings because I had two goals but only reached one,” Simpson said.

“I am proud of (the silver medal) and I got my best time. But not winning the gold, it gives me more motivation to work for with the states.”

Simpson qualified for the PIAA championships with his finish. The state event will take place March 13-16 at Bucknell University.

Although Simpson came up less than a blink from winning the gold, he blew away his personal best time of 21.52 last year at the YMCA District Tournament at Chartiers Valley High School.

Simpson has one more chance at gold today in the 100-yard backstroke.

He is seeded 16th, but the WPIAL did not use his best time to factor in the seeds.

“I should do really well in that heat,” he said.

Elizabeth Forward and Yough also saw swimmers finish in the top five of their respective meets with EF senior Braelyn Tracy winning gold in the girls' 200 freestyle with a time of 1:51.94.

Tracy wasn't done as she teamed with junior Mary Cooper and sophomores Cheyenne Cleveland and Ciara Lewis to finish fifth in the girls' 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.83.

The EF quartet of seniors Andrew Ferrington and Josh Kreig and juniors Kameron Faychak and Marshall Grubb finished second in the boys' 200-yard medley relay.

Krieg also took fifth in the boys 100-yard butterfly with a time of 52.41 seconds.

Yough freshman Jessica Cochran took fifth in the girls 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.67 seconds.

Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.

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