SSA swim teams strong at WPIAL meet
The Shady Side Academy swim team got off to a strong start on Friday at the WPIAL Class AA championships at Trees Pool.
For the boys, Brendan Leech finished fourth in the 200 freestyle and qualified for the PIAA championships.
The 200 freestyle relay team of Thad Ellis, Leech, Andrew Lehman and Ryan Koul took first place and Ellis also qualified for the state meet with a fifth-place finish in the 50 freestyle.
On the girls side, the 200 medley relay team of Karen Shi, Emily Jaffe, Destin Groff and Ali Sarner finished fourth and moved on to states.
Caroline Colville finished seventh in the 200 freestyle while Groff was a qualifier with her third-place finish in the 100 butterfly.
SSA's success continued on Saturday.
For the boys, Ellis qualified in the 100 freestyle with a third-place finish.
The 400 free relay team (Ellis, Leech, Lehman, Koul) advanced with a second-place finish. Overall, the boys team finished fifth in the standings.
For the girls on Saturday, Groff qualified for states in the 100 freestyle with a fourth-place finish while Colville finished fifth in the 500 freestyle.
The 400 free relay team finished sixth. The girls ended up in fifth in the team standings.
“Our meet was a strong one,” SSA coach John Landreth said. “I thought we would have to swim well to be top-5 at the beginning of the season, and that is what happened. We had some excellent individual swims from Destin, Thad, Caroline and Brendan, but our relays have not peaked yet. So that is what we are looking forward to at the state meet.”
The PIAA championships will be held at Bucknell University from March 13 to 16.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.