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Quaker Valley boys swimmers clinch section championship

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley's Griffin Nincke competes in the boys 200 medley relay during a swim meet against West Allegheny on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Sewickley Valley YMCA.

The circumstances were the same, but this time the result was different.

The Quaker Valley boys swim team defeated Hopewell last week to clinch the Section 2-AA championship.

“Last year, they lost the section title to Hopewell at the same meet,” coach Sue Morgan said. “They were pretty fired up taking the title back.”

The Quakers will have Hopewell in their sights again this weekend at the Midwestern Athletic Conference meet at Moon High School. The diving competition will be held on Friday, and the swimming events will take place on Saturday.

The Vikings captured the boys team title at the MAC meet in 2013, with Quaker Valley coming in second. The difference between the two teams at last year's meet was just 14 points.

The boys are 9-0 dual meets this season heading into Thursday night's section finale at Freedom.

The girls entered the week with a 7-2 record, good for third place in the section behind West Allegheny and Blackhawk.

“I'm very happy with the way the girls season has gone,” Morgan said. “They had an outside shot at winning the section as well.”

The girls lost to West Allegheny by eight points and fell to Blackhawk by a six-point margin earlier this season

“We had a chance to win going into the final event in both meets,” Morgan said. “We've gotten closer every year.

“We have some really talented girls, and we're going to keep chipping away at it.”

At the start of the week, Quaker Valley had a total of 15 swimmers and three divers who have earned spots in the WPIAL finals at Pitt's Trees Pool later this month.

“Our first goal was to win the section,” Morgan said. “Secondly, we want to win the MAC championship and perform well at WPIALs.

“We want to get as many swimmers qualified for the state meet as we can.”

The Quakers are starting to taper in preparation for the MAC meet, and they'll continue to work on the little things in practice to prepare for the WPIAL championships.

“We're going to lessen their workload a little bit,” Morgan said of her WPIAL qualifiers. “We want to keep their conditioning up but also allow their bodies to rest.

“We'll be spending more time on drills and working on starts, turns and relay takeoffs. We need to cut tenths of a second where we can.”

The depth of the Quaker Valley team has resulted in a great deal of success in the pool this season, and Morgan expects the program to continue to flourish.

“Success breeds success, and that shows in our numbers,” Morgan said. “We're hoping the program will grow, and will keep growing for the next several years.”

Kevin Ritchart is a freelance writer.

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