Gateway freshman swimmer Livingston sets state record at PIAAs
Olivia Livingston opened some eyes and burst onto the scene at WPIALs with her championship performances in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles.
Now the rest of the state knows what the Gateway freshman swimmer is all about.
Livingston claimed the 50 free title in record time Saturday at the PIAA and posted a runner-up finish to Pennsbury (District 1) junior Morgan Scott in the 100 free Sunday.
“I know she really wanted that (100 free) title, but she had an amazing two days, and she has nothing to be ashamed about,” Gateway coach Jonathan Moore said.
“Morgan swam one heck of a race to beat Olivia. (Morgan) had to be fast to beat her. I asked Olivia if she gave her best, and she said she did. That's all I can ask of her is her best.”
Livingston's first race at states was golden. She swam a 22.83-second race in the 50 at WPIALs, only eight one-hundredths of a second off the state record set in 2012.
That record is no more as Livingston replaced it with a 22.73 and ascended to the top of the medals podium.
“I was really happy. I was really pushing for that state record. It was really close,” Livingston said.
Livingston, a self-proclaimed bundle of nerves before every race, was keeping a eye on her closest competitors during her 50 sprint.
Caroline Famous, a freshman from Conestoga, finished second and was the only other swimmer in the girls Class AAA 50 to break 23 seconds (22.98).
Famous was in Lane 3, right next to Livingston.
“I was looking at her the whole time,” Livingston said. “I was just focused on her and trying to race with her. She really pushed me to go faster. I was so happy to get my hand on the wall first.”
Livingston broke five records over the course of the WPIAL and PIAA championships.
In addition to her 50 free record at states and the 50 and 100 records at WPIALs, she also set school marks in the events. Those school records had stood for almost three decades and were in the possession of Gateway Sports Hall of Famer Melanie Morgan.
“Olivia has accomplished so much this year as only a 15-year-old freshman,” Moore said. “The emotion she showed after the 100 showed how much she cares. She loves this sport. It is such a pleasure as a coach to work with such a great athlete who also is a great student and great person.”
Central Catholic junior Adam Whisner, a Monroeville resident, swam in four events at states.
His best finish came in the 100 backstroke, where he was 10th (51.04).
Whisner helped the Vikings 400 free relay place 12th with a time of 3:11.75.
On Day 1, he took 12th in the 200 freestyle (1:42.01) and was a part of the 200 medley relay that landed 15th (1:36.63).
Another Monroeville resident, Oakland Catholic senior Megan Corletti, made her PIAA debut and was a part of the Eagles 200 medley relay that placed 17th with a time of 1:50.04.
Corletti swam a personal best at WPIALs in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.85) and took 16th overall.