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Quaker Valley boys win MAC swimming title

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Quaker Valley boys swimming team expects a win at the Midwestern Athletic Conference meet last weekend to pay dividends at the WPIAL Class AA championship next week at Pitt's Trees Pool.

Led by the 400-yard relay, which set a school record, Quaker Valley had top times that will lead to better heat and lane assignments, coach Sue Morgan said.

“It's a huge boost for swimmers to go that fast when they aren't tapered,” said Morgan, who expects major improvement from rested swimmers.

“It's reassuring knowing our training is paying off,” junior Josh Chamberlain said.

Sophomore Kyle Hrabovsky, junior Griffin Nincke, freshman Harry Harkins and Chamberlain finished third in the 400 freestyle relay (three minutes, 22.97 seconds).

Hrabovsky, senior Matt Noel, Harkins and Chamberlain took first place in the 200 freestyle relay (1:31.79).

Noel anchored the 200 medley relay team that placed fifth in 1:48.44. Senior Robert Cary, sophomore Evan Ragoowansi and Nincke also swam.

Chamberlain and Noel, who tied for second in the 50 freestyle (22.74), were among top individual competitors.

Chamberlain and Noel finished fifth and sixth in the 100 freestyle with marks of 50.08 and 50.59, respectively.

Hrabovsky was second in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.85) and fifth in the 200 individual medley (2:08.85).

Ragoowansi qualified for the WPIAL championship in placing sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.62).

Harkins was fourth in the 100 butterfly (57.57) and fifth in the 100 backstroke (59.24).

Cary, who finished sixth, trailed Harkins in the 100 backstroke (1:02.12).

Nincke was sixth in the 200 freestyle (1:53.34).

Freshman Regis Conlin and junior Dominic Crivelli placed fifth and seventh, respectively, in 1-meter diving.

West Allegheny coach Bob Miller, whose team was runner-up, was impressed by Quaker Valley's depth.

“They're a strong team; we saw that when we swam them (in Section 2-AA),” Miller said.

Quaker Valley clinched the section title earlier this month.

Competing at the conference championship for the first time, junior Erin Russoniello led the girls team, which finished third.

Russoniello, who moved from Minnesota before the season, set a Moon pool record in winning the 100 breaststroke (1:09.19).

Russoniello also was on the winning 200 medley relay team that improved the school record it set earlier in the season by two seconds (1:55.21). Junior Kathryn Wroblewski, freshman Amelia Besterman and senior Alexis Glenn swam, as well.

Russoniello, Besterman, freshman Maddy Andrews and Glenn were in the 200 freestyle relay that placed second (1:45.68).

Besterman (200 individual medley and 500 freestyle) won two events individually.

Freshman Reilly Diggins was fifth in 1-meter diving.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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