North Hills grad Lovasik makes splash in, out of pool at Pitt
North Hills graduate Brian Lovasik earned a prestigious honor recently as a member of the Pitt men’s swimming team, but is not taking it easy.
Lovasik, who was a junior, was named honorable mention NCAA Division I Scholar All-America by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America for the second consecutive year. The award recognizes athletes who have achieved a grade-point average of 3.50 and achieved a “B” time standard or competed at a NCAA regional or zone diving qualifying meet.
“I am on campus training with the team and working as hard as I can every day,” Lovasik said. “I attended (a program) so that I could improve my leadership capabilities.
“I would love to cap my career by swimming personal best times and see my teammates be even more successful and have our team move up in our ranking in the ACC.”
Lovasik, a rehabilitation science major, came in 20th in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 36.25 seconds) at the conference championship last winter. He helped the 800 freestyle relay to seventh place and a school record (6:22.56).
The Panthers finished 10th of 12 teams.
Pitt coach John Hargis said Lovasik is a special talent.
“He’s a kid who could come in and be a huge contributor, and we look for that,” Hargis said.
North Allegheny graduates Max Gonzalez and Stephen Savchik made Division III honorable mention.
Gonzalez, a freshman at Carnegie Mellon, provisionally qualified for the NCAA championship in the 200 freestyle (1:40.17).
Gonzalez, a mechanical engineering student, said it was not easy getting a 3.50 GPA at Carnegie Mellon.
“Being named a Scholar All-American is definitely a much bigger accomplishment than any of the other scholar-athlete awards I have received,” he said.
Gonzalez looks forward to competing at the NCAA championship, which would make him a candidate for the top Scholar All-America team.
Tartan coach Matt Kinney said Gonzalez is an exceptional student-athlete who filled holes.
“His versatility was a key component to his success,” Kinney said. “We will be looking to focus him more on the free and fly events.”
Savchik, a sophomore at Rochester, overcame a late start to be honored for the second consecutive year.
Savchik placed eighth on the 1-meter board and 13th on the 3-meter at the NCAA Northeast/South regional diving championship.
“He experienced a setback when he broke his thumb during a practice prior to Thanksgiving, effectively taking him out of practice or competition until January,” Rochester swimming coach Emily Wylam said. “Upon his return, he had about a month until our championships, which was his final opportunity to qualify for our zone competition.”
Yellowjacket diving coach Greg Brandes said Savchik, a data science student, is one of the hardest workers in and out of the pool he has coached.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.