Swimmers wrap up spectacular season

Some of Northgate-Avonworth's star swimmers: top, from left, Isabella Salerno, Anna Kohler, Danica Raich, Carly Spahr; bottom, L to R: Aidan Sommers, Mason Herzig, Luke Wagner, Luke Tomczak, Cooper Groll. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

It was a banner week for the Northgate/Avonworth swim team, with the boys' and the girls' teams winning over Shadyside Academy and Knoch High School teams.

On Monday night, the Northgate-Avonworth swimmers took on perennial WPIAL-AA powerhouse Shady Side Academy in a meet that many expected to be a close contest. In the end, though, both the girls’ and the boys’ teams dominated the opposition and showed that they are ready for their push toward the WPIAL and PIAA championships.

Coach Jesse McKelvey noted, “This was a first-ever win against Shadyside for the girls’ team since we entered a section with them. I believe the boys have always beaten SSA.”

The girls posted a 111-59 victory with a number of strong performances, including senior Karen Siddoway setting a new team record in her victory in the 100 breaststroke.
Winning the other individual events were Siddoway in the 200 freestyle, juniors Angie Patarini in the 100 butterfly and Isabella Salerno in the 100 freestyle, sophomore Carly Spahr in the 500 freestyle, and freshman Anna Neiss in the 50 freestyle.

Siddoway, Patarini, Salerno and Neiss also combined to win the 200 and 400 relays. Junior Kaylee Madey posted a WPIAL qualifying time in her second place finish in the 200 freestyle.

The boys’ team extended its three-year section undefeated streak with a 105-65 victory.

Individual event wins were posted by senior Aidan Sommers in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley, juniors Luke Tomzcak in the 100 breaststroke and Luke Wagner in the 100 freestyle, sophomore Cooper Groll in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle.

Contributing to relay event victories were Sommers, Tomczak, Wagner and Groll and sophomore Clark Bernauer. Posting WPIAL qualifying times were senior Mason Herzig in the 200 freestyle, junior Hugo Eadie in the 100 backstroke and sophomore Graham Herzig in the 200 individual medley.

The teams wrapped up their regular seasons by winning an away meet at Knoch on Tuesday and hosting a home meet against East Allegheny.

Referring to the girls’ first-ever victory over Shadyside, Coach McCelvey said, “It was lovely to see the girls shine.They have been cohesive and supportive of one another all season and it has paid off. They push for each other. They are looking strong and staying focused. I am extremely proud of them all.”