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Norwin swimmer among top seeds at WPIAL championship meet

| Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, 12:31 a.m.

After taking a year off from the Norwin swim team, Kathryn Painter is back in a big way.

The Knights junior enters the WPIAL swimming and diving championships at Pitt as the Class AAA top seed in the girls 500-yard freestyle and 200 individual medley.

She is joined by Yough sophomore Madison Nestor as the only students at schools in the Daily News region to earn top seeds. Nestor posted the best qualifying time in the girls Class AA 100 breaststroke.

East Allegheny sophomore Brian Fox is seeded second in the Class AA boys 50 freestyle.

Painter, who competed exclusively for the Norwin Aqua Club during her sophomore season, was hoping to continue her success after recently setting meet records in both events at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championships.

“In the 500, she just looked so strong,” Norwin coach Neil Rushnock said. “The further she went, the more and more the other swimmers faded back. She just kept going. She was so strong the whole way, the first lap through to the last lap.”

Painter also will swim on two relay teams — the 200 medley, seeded fourth, and 400 freestyle, seeded seventh — for Norwin at the WPIAL event, which will be Thursday and Friday at Trees Pool.

Other Daily News-area top-10 individual qualifiers include Eric Booth of Norwin, seventh in the boys 200 individual medley and 10th in the 100 breaststroke; Mark Patterson of Norwin, sixth in the boys 100 backstroke; Woodland Hills' Claudia Zido, 10th in the girls 200 freestyle; and Norwin's Hannah Rusinko, seventh in the girls 100 backstroke, all in Class AAA.

Also, Brad Kolesar of West Mifflin, third in the boys 100 backstroke and fourth in the boys 100 butterfly; Arli Tilves of West Mifflin, eighth in the girls 200 individual medley; Mary Cooper of Elizabeth Forward, ninth in the 50 freestyle; and Jessica Cochran of Yough, third in the 100 butterfly and sixth in the 100 backstroke, all in Class AA.

With Booth among its swimmers, the Norwin boys 200 medley relay team enters the event seeded eighth in Class AAA.

Elsewhere, the Elizabeth Forward girls 200 freestyle relay team is ranked third in Class AA, while the West Mifflin boys 200 medley relay team and the Elizabeth Forward boys 200 freestyle relay team both are ranked ninth in Class AA.

Trib Total Media staff writer Doug Gulasy contributed. Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at dmackall@tribweb.com.

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