Latrobe swimmers prove they belong with strong PIAA showing
TribLIVE Sports Videos
LEWISBURG — Latrobe didn't win any individual titles in the PIAA Class AAA swim meet Friday and Saturday at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.
Nor did the team capture gold medals in either of its two relays.
Wildcats coach Grey Arrigonie still couldn't have been more pleased.
Despite going against some of the best swimmers in the state, including Oakland Catholic's Leah Smith (a Virginia recruit), Christina Leander of West Chester East (Tennessee), Warwick's Emily Cameron (Georgia) and Kristen Murslack of Pine-Richland (Auburn), as well as schools with outstanding traditions such Hershey and North Allegheny, Latrobe finished fourth in the overall team standings with 120 points, four in front of Oakland Catholic.
“We had almost a perfect meet, so I couldn't be happier than that,” Arrigonie said.
“Most of them have their best times and we definitely swam better than we were seeded throughout the meet, and that was a big part of moving up ahead of some of those teams.”
Kayla Owens improved her seeding, and with her five-slot jump from her original qualifying time out of the WPIAL finals in the 100-yard breaststroke, she went from ninth overall to fourth after the morning preliminary heats and swam in the title race.
Though she dropped one slot to fifth at the wall, she finished with two individual medals —including a third in the 200 individual medley — and medals in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.
“There were a couple mistakes and things that I can improve on, but it was the pressure of the moment, and I was pretty happy with it overall,” Owens said. “I was real excited for our team placing in both of our relays because that's never happened since I've been here, and we've shown improvement over the years.”
Sophomore Monica Sowinski won the consolation race in the 200 freestyle with a time (1:51.67) that would have given her a seventh-place finish in the medal heat to a sixth-place finish in the 100 freestyle.
“It was tough winning the consolation, but I think it gave me motivation,” Sowinski said.
“I just wanted to place as high as I could. I was just happy to be in the medal heat.”
It didn't hurt that the team had veteran guidance, with senior Maddie Hoopes, a Connecticut recruit, steering the way.
Though she wasn't able to win a championship after taking the WPIAL Class AAA 100 freestyle as a freshman, she was the butterfly leg on the 200 medley relay and the second leg of the 400 freestyle relay, and she helped the team through rough spots.
“We've been training so hard for the past year, and being captain of the team, it's extremely exciting to see a team place fourth at WPIALs and fourth at states,” Hoopes said. “As a team, we're super excited.”
It bodes well that Sowinski and Owens will be coming back, which gives the Wildcats a solid foundation moving forward.
“The girls just have to have the determination follow them,” Arrigonie said.
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.