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Shady Side swimmer talks about life in, out of the pool

| Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Shady Side Academy junior Courtney Clark and Ian Christie, a senior at Fox Chapel High School, competed in the USSA Ski Finals at Gore Mountain In New York.

Two weeks ago at the WPIAL swimming championships, Brendan Leech qualified in four events for this week's PIAA meet.

He finished third in the 100 and 200 freestyle events and was on the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams that finished fourth.

Leech, a junior, qualified for three PIAA events last year.

For his accomplishments, Leech has been named The Herald Spotlight Athlete.

He is confident that he and his team will do well at states this week.

“I think we'll all do well,” he said. “Our coaches always prepare us so that we peak at the end of the season.”

Here's a closer look at Leech:

Q: Who have been your role models in sports and in life?

A: My parents; my brother, Chris; and my sister, Maggie; and my coaches, John Landreth and Keegan Borland.

Q: What's your favorite TV show?

A: “Suits.”

Q: Are you optimistic about Pitt's chances in March Madness?

A: I hope they do well but it seems like they're jinxed when it comes tournament time. I still remember that time a few years ago when they were in the Elite 8 and Villanova beat them on a coast-to-coast layup.

Q: Do you have a most embarrassing moment you'd like to forget about?

A: I have a habit of splitting my swim trunks up the side a lot at practice. I've never lost the whole suit, though.

Q: What type of music do you listen to?

A: I like all kinds. It depends on my mood.

Q: Who's your favorite athlete?

A: My coach, Keegan Borland. He was a great swimmer in college and he can still beat us now.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Playing knee hockey, basketball and any sport with my friends.

Q: What is your favorite animal at the zoo?

A: The lion or the tiger.

Q: Are you into reality TV?

A: Not really.

Q: What's your favorite vacation destination?

A: Any beach. Avalon, N.J. is my favorite, though.

Q: Who would be your dream date?

A: Emma Watson.

Q: Who makes the best pizza in Pittsburgh?

A: Pizza Sola in East Liberty.

Q: Would you rather go to a Pirates, Penguins or Steelers game?

A: Penguins game.

Q: What movie could you watch over and over?

A: “The Lion King.”

Q: Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions?

A: I shake my arms and legs a lot to get loose.

Q: What's your favorite class at school?

A: Architecture.

Q: What is your favorite all-time meal?

A: Steak, mashed potatoes and ice cream.

Q: Is there a food you refuse to eat?

A: Spinach.

Q: What's your favorite restaurant?

A: Buffalo Blue's.

Q: People would be surprised to know that I...

A: ...Used to Irish dance.

Marty Stewart is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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