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Oakland Catholic wins PIAA Class AA team swimming title

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By Keith Barnes
Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oakland Catholic won its fifth PIAA Class AA team swimming title in the last seven years with a 165-158 victory over Panther Valley.

Oakland Catholic did not have an individual gold medalist, had senior Amanda Stewart disqualify in both the 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley and trailed Panther Valley 158-133 heading into the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Panther Valley did not qualify a relay team in the event, which meant Oakland Catholic had to finish no worse than fifth. The Lady Eagles came home in third and, with it, a 165-158 victory for their fifth title in the last seven years.

It is also the fifth straight under coach Mercedes McCarthy, who stepped away from the team the previous two seasons before returning this year.

"The last time I was here, those girls were freshmen and, when they stepped up on that (medal) lock, they looked so happy and they looked so proud that I'd have given anything to see that look on their faces again," McCarthy said. "Even if they had to take it down to the 400 freestyle relay."

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