Highlands coach Brancato competing at national level again
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Highlands swimming coach Beth Brancato isn't ready to give up competing.
She's been like a fish out of water for years.
“Every time I step on deck, I just wanted to be in the water,” Brancato said. “WPIALs was the worst. I used to live for the big meet.”
Brancato, 35, a former standout at Highlands and Nebraska, did get back in the pool March 23 at the Swim Against Huntington's Disease Master Meet, at Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
She posted top times in the Masters Level, as well as overall.
Her times rank among some of the country's best this year, helping her earn a spot in the US Spring Nationals, going on Friday in Indianapolis.
“I was out of the water for 12 years. I got back in with one of my best friends,” Brancato said. “She swam with me in Nebraska.”
Brancato also has reconnected with a former college teammate, Helene Rovnan, who also continues to compete.
The pair decided to return to the pool together.
Both have been training to get back into form. Rovnan is from South Africa.
“It came back pretty quickly. Training at that level is different when you're 35, than when you're 18,” Brancato said. “You could go five workouts until you need a recovery workout. Now I go about three workouts.”
That wasn't enough to stop Brancato from posting low times.
She finished first in all three of her events: the 50-yard freestyle, with a time of 24.24, the 50-yard butterfly, at 26.56 and the 100-yard individual medley with a 1:03.99.
Her time in the 50 free is the top time in the nation, this season, in her division.
She has the No. 4 time in the 50 fly and the 19th-best time in the 100 IM.
The hardest part for Brancato is not the training and competing, it's balancing that with every day life.
“I have a job and a family, with kids. They have their own activities,” Brancato said.
“I then started coaching at Highlands. We went to that first meet, and I told my husband I have to get back into the water.”
It was also the first time her husband and kids saw her compete.
Helping her do so, is not just her husband, but also her parents. In order for Brancato to train, she has to rely on their help coordinating care for her kids, after school.
That help may have to go on a little longer.
“Nationals is definitely not the end of it,” Brancato said. “The world championships are next year in Montreal. I'm definitely going to keep competing.”
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.
- NFL notebook: Steelers rookie camp to include 51 players
- NHL notebook: Devils hire Shero to serve as general manager
- Steelers are banking on linebackers to improve strength of defense
- Pitt men collect another transfer with Brown’s Maia
- Pittsburgh Symphony’s new CEO to be first woman, youngest to hold the office
- Washington Health buying Southwest Regional Medical Center in Waynesburg
- 2 injured in Lower Burrell head-on accident
- Rostraver man charged with killing sister’s boyfriend, dumping body at gas well site
- What’s in a name? A Pittsburgh connection to Britain’s new princess
- Ex-White Oak animal shelter VP sentenced to jail on theft charges
- Buffalo Township candidate allegedly stole opponent’s signs, assaulted police officer