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Oakland Catholic's Kondis makes most of meet experience

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Peyton Kondis made her mark last winter as a sophomore on the Oakland Catholic girls swim team, as she earned several medals at the WPIAL Class AAA championships at Pitt's Trees Pool and also fared well at the PIAA state meet at Bucknell University.

That success has continued through the spring and summer.

With the 2014-15 school year only a couple of weeks away, the Plum resident is able to take stock on a busy and strong performance for her Greater Pittsburgh Aquatic Club at the North Carolina Swimming Senior State Long Course Championships in Greensboro, N.C., from July 24 to 27.

Several members of Greater Pittsburgh attended the meet, and Kondis, 15, swam her six events against swimmers older by as much as five to 15 years.

“I was very excited and a little nervous to be swimming this meet,” Kondis admitted.

“About a week before the meet I suffered a neck injury, and I was out of the water for about five days. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get the times I wanted to get.

“It was fun to go south for that meet, because we were able to face a lot of great competition we hadn't faced before.”

The winner of the women's 50-meter freestyle was aged 31. Kondis finished 38th in the sprint event with a time of 28.82, but she fared far better in other events, including her top swims, the 100 and 200 breaststrokes.

Her top performance came in the 200 breast as she finished second with a time of 2:39.89.

She was in the final heat with three swimmers 20 and older and three others between the ages of 17 and 19.

“With being out of the pool for five days, I was worried about my conditioning, but I was really happy with the results of the meet,” Kondis said.

Kondis wasn't too far behind in the 100 breast, as she brought home bronze with a time of 1:14.13.

She added a fifth-place finish in the 200 IM with a time of 2:27.26, and she took 11th in the 200 free (2:10.88).

The top eight swimmers after the preliminaries swam in the A final, while swimmers nine through 16 after the prelims took part in a B�consolation final.

She achieved her junior national cuts in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and is planning on competing at USA Swimming's Winter Junior National Championships in early December in Seattle.

“When you get your junior national cuts, you are set for colleges, and colleges start looking at you more,” said Kondis, who hopes to swim at a Division I school and study medicine.

“They are pretty hard to get.”

Kondis said the cuts also helped her qualify for next summer's junior nationals meet.

She qualified for the North Carolina meet in all six events during her swim season last year, and she repeated and bettered those times this season.

Even though the season for Greater Pittsburgh has technically ended, Kondis still is training. She said she will be balancing training for winter nationals and her upcoming season with Oakland Catholic and her academics.

Kondis recently became a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American. To be eligible for the All-American honor, a swimmer must maintain at least a 3.5 grade-point average and earn specific time requirements for each of his or her events.

For her efforts in the pool, Kondis earned Allegheny Mountain Swimming's 2012-13 Swimmer of the Year award for the girls 13-14 age group at the AMS banquet in June.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com

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