Penn-Trafford swimmers, divers prepare for WPIAL meet
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Penn-Trafford swimming coach Dave Babik believes his team is coming on strong as the end of the season approaches.
With the biggest competitions of the season coming up, that could mean big things for the Warriors.
Penn-Trafford's swimmers are in the midst of preparing for the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships, which will be held Feb. 27 and 28 at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool. The diving championships are scheduled for this weekend.
“The WPIAL event is probably the biggest and most exciting meet that the kids will ever swim,” Babik said. “(It's) even more exciting than the state meet, just because there's so many athletes, there's so many spectators and they all know each other. It's really exciting. It's a very different experience, even for kids that have been in a lot of big meets. The WPIAL experience is like no other.”
A total of 12 Penn-Trafford swimmers and divers will compete individually at WPIALs after qualifying during the regular season. Mike Bertoni and Joey Ference will both compete at the diving championship this weekend.
Swimmers who will compete individually next week include Noah Babik, Kurt Baurle, Anthony Montalto, Patrick Reilly and Tony Sekowski on the boys side and Devon Davenport, Emily Graziano, Audra Ragan, Cassie Szmyd and Emma Winchell on the girls side.
Penn-Trafford also qualified teams to compete in all six relays: the boys and girls 200- and 400-yard freestyle and 200 medley relays.
“After how well we did at our county meet, we had a couple relays do very well. I think that we have at least one relay on each side that should do very well and contend for a high place.”
The swimmers began preparing for the competition this week through tapering, which entails a gradual decrease in the volume and intensity of the swimmers' training.
“I'm going to have a couple different tapers going on,” Babik said. “It's supposed to create a rested state so that it allows them to go faster. That's one of the things we'll be doing, and the other thing we'll be doing is refining some technique, just taking care of some fine-tuning.”
Penn-Trafford closed section competition on a high note, sweeping rival Norwin last week. Babik said he liked how the team handled the emotion of Senior Night and a rivalry competition against Norwin. He also said the team did well to shake off a layoff of a week and a half between meets.
“That meet really punctuated a good season,” he said. “I thought that the kids did really well throughout the season, and I was really pleased to see how we ended up.”
Babik said he expects all of the competitors to perform well at WPIALs, beginning with Bertoni and Ference this weekend.
“We usually taper very well, and the lifetime bests we achieve is usually a high percentage,” he said. “We're always expecting everyone to do really, really well, and we're always excited to see that happen.”
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.
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
- Steelers’ Bell, Chiefs’ Charles elevating running back position in NFL
- Game Commission aims to settle controversy through study
- South Fayette football team distributes Steelers tickets to Carlynton, Wilkinsburg
- Frye: Early peek at 2015 seasons
- Pitt players support Rudolph for job
- Pouliot scores in NHL debut as Penguins tame Panthers, 3-1
- Minor league report: Other prospects on Penguins’ radar
- 3 tips to use up health account funds
- Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status