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Shady Side Academy girls place third at PIAA meet

| Monday, March 21, 2016, 1:30 p.m.

Fresh off of winning the WPIAL Class AA swimming championship, the Shady Side Academy girls had high hopes of adding the PIAA title to their resume last weekend at Bucknell.

The Indians had to settle for third place as Malvern Villa Maria cruised to a state championship with 314.5 points. Gwynedd Mercy was second with 214 and SSA followed with 116 points.

In the first day of competition Friday, the SSA 200-yard medley relay team of Caroline Colville, Heather Grune, Ashley Azzarello and Meredith Cummings finished in sixth place. Lindsey Grune posted a ninth-place finish in the 200 IM while Azzarello came in 10th in the 100 butterfly. The 200 free relay team of Jeanne Lauer, Heather Grune, Colville and Lindsey Grune came in 10th place.

In Saturday's events, Azzarello finished fourth in the 100 backstroke, Lindsey Grune was eighth in the 100 free and the 400 free relay team of Azzarello, Colville, Cummings and Lindsey Grune finished second.

In the boys events on Saturday, SSA's Zac Coughlin finished 14th in the 500 free.

“We swam very well, especially on Saturday,” SSA coach John Landreth said. “We had stronger performances every time we went to the pool. That is certainly the goal, but seeing it come to fruition is very empowering and contagious. I am proud of everyone who swam for seeing and embracing the idea of placing as high as we could as a team. The enthusiasm built to a fantastic crescendo on the final day of swimming.”

Landreth said next year's girls' team also will be very strong.

“Caroline Colville is our only senior,” he said. “She has led from the front for her whole career. She will be sorely missed but leaves our team in a much better place than when she was a ninth-grader. The future is certainly bright for the SSA swim teams.”

The PIAA Class AAA championships were March 16-17, also at Bucknell.

In the diving competition, Fox Chapel freshman Jonah Cagley finished 12th with a score of 397.95.

Penn-Trafford's Joey Ference won his second straight PIAA title with a score of 524.05.

Marty Stewart is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-782-2123 or

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