WPIAL qualifiers highlight Norwin swim teams' strong start
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Mark Patterson sees a big difference between the 2013-14 Norwin swimming team and its predecessor from last season.
“The whole attitude from last year to this year is 100 percent different,” said Patterson, a junior. “This year, we have a lot more determination. The first meet of the year, we had 15 WPIAL (qualifiers). That just set (the tone for) the year. We're really ready to see what happens.”
After the Norwin boys swimming team finished 23rd and the girls tied for 27th at the WPIAL Class AAA Championships in 2012-13, the Knights are off to a fast start this season. Both teams won their first five meets of the season, including last week's dual victories over Elizabeth Forward (89-76 for the girls, 95-70 for the boys).
Beyond the 5-0 starts, the team's success includes 40 WPIAL qualifiers after recording just 14 last season.
“Instead of walking in with one or two and a couple alternates, it'll be nice to have a nice group,” coach Neil Rushnock said.
The biggest reason for Norwin's improved success this season, said Rushnock and several of the swimmers, is increased depth. In 2012-13, Norwin lacked enough swimmers to fill certain events and “gave points away” as a result, Rushnock said. This season, that's changed.
“I know that many people who didn't make it to WPIALs last year have gone over and beyond what we need to,” sophomore Hannah Rusinko said. “These freshmen who have come up have really pulled it together. They're making WPIAL cuts that they didn't even think they could do in the beginning of this year.”
“I've known a lot of these guys in the past,” sophomore Eric Booth said. “I knew they were going to come in and we were going to have full lanes (and sweep events). I think the coaches know too, and they've been really concentrating on the other people — not just (lanes) 3 and 5, (the top swimmers). They've really come through for the outside lanes, and I think that's where we get our depth.”
Freshmen are contributing on both teams, Rushnock said.
“The future looks pretty good,” he said. “If we can keep getting a half-dozen freshmen (on each team) every year, it'll be nice.”
Included among Norwin's early victories was a sweep over Indiana, a team that traditionally got the better of the Knights. The boys team's victory over the Little Indians' was its first in more than 10 years.
“We were excited and hyped up for that meet,” Patterson said. “Everyone was cheering for everyone. I don't think anyone sat down the whole time. We were ready to beat them.”
Norwin's next meet is scheduled for Jan. 7 at Laurel Highlands. The Knights will open section competition at home Jan. 9 against Hempfield.
“Over Christmas break, we definitely can't take any time off,” Rusinko said. “Once we get back from the break, we're starting up with practices. We're not only working on just beating other teams. We want to have good technique, and we want to be really able to push it to not just out-touch people but to really win and drop times like we need to.”
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.
- With most starters resting, Steelers turn in lackluster loss at Heinz
- Young guns lead way into pivotal Pirates-Cardinals series
- Liriano struggles as Brewers complete sweep of Pirates
- Robust jobs report could force Federal Reserve to raise interest rates
- Indian SUV maker Mahindra to debut electric scooter in U.S.
- Teens held for trial in New Kensington cobbler heist
- Five details you shouldn’t give Facebook
- NexTier Bank buys Oakland’s Eureka to increase coverage in Western Pennsylvania
- LaBar: Best next opponent for Brock Lesnar
- Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto: Public has stake in Penguins
- Longtime Pittsburgh firefighter stayed active in service to city