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Quaker Valley's Besterman to swim at Cleveland State

| Monday, April 24, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Quaker Valley's Amelia Besterman
Quaker Valley's Amelia Besterman
Mt. Lebanon's Jack Rice
Mt. Lebanon's Jack Rice

Quaker Valley senior Amelia Besterman will double her load on the Cleveland State swimming team and looks forward to it.

Besterman, 17, of Leet recently committed to the NCAA Division I Vikings.

Cleveland State coach Paul Graham said Besterman will go from the 200-yard individual medley to the 400 IM and from the 500 freestyle to the 1,650 freestyle.

“(And it) didn't spook her one bit,” Graham said.

Said Besterman: “Cleveland State has excellent coaches, and I think they can make me an even stronger swimmer.”

Besterman placed fourth in the girls 200 IM and third in the 500 freestyle in the WPIAL Class AA championship meet this year. She was on the 200 freestyle relay that won and the 400 freestyle relay that was second.

She finished in the top 16 in the PIAA championship in each of the four events. In the 200 freestyle relay, she placed ninth and missed a medal by one place.

She also considered West Virginia, Bloomsburg, John Carroll and Canisius.

“I chose (Cleveland State) because of the strong academic programs and impressive swim team,” said Besterman, who plans to study pre-physician assistant science. “The coaches and swimmers made me feel welcome immediately.”

Besterman said she liked the school's state-of-the-art facilities and urban location in downtown Cleveland.

The Vikings placed fifth of eight teams in the 2017 Horizon League championship.

“Choosing (Cleveland State) seems to be the perfect reward for Amelia's dedication, speed and challenge,” Quaker Valley coach Jacinta Batisky said.

Tom Donati, Besterman's coach with the Mt. Lebanon Aqua Club, said Besterman is an all-around swimmer whose best swimming is ahead of her.

Mt. Lebanon senior Jack Rice will join the Cleveland State men's team.

Rice was 2016 WPIAL Class AAA champion in the boys 50 freestyle and seventh in that event and fifth in the 100 freestyle this year.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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