The Allegheny College swimming and diving team will welcome 16 incoming student-athletes for the 2017-18 season. The 13 swimmers and three divers hail from a total of four states, including eight from Pennsylvania, five from Ohio, two from Texas, and one from Illinois.
Western Pennsylvania proved to be a hotbed this season for the team, as seven members of the newest recruiting class hail from Pittsburgh-area high schools including North Allegheny, Oakland Catholic, Shaler, Highlands, and Laurel Highlands. These seven student-athletes competed for clubs including Allegheny North, Fox Chapel, GPAC, and Pine Richland Aquatics. The Gators will also welcome three members from Columbus, Ohio area high schools including Whetstone, Gahanna Columbus Academy, and Worthington Kilbourne.
The incoming class also has strong family ties, as the Gators add two sets of twins, a sibling of a current team member, and the son of a current Allegheny assistant coach. Both sets of twins are local standouts, as Aimee andAnna Verardi hail from North Allegheny High School and the Allegheny North Swim Club, while Hunter andChelsea Pietrzycki are from Cleveland, Ohio and Parma High School. A Pittsburgh native and Oakland Catholic graduate, Megan Corletti joins her older brother Brian, a junior Breast/IM specialist and Allegheny team captain, while Douglas “D.J.” Merchbaker of Cochranton, Pennsylvania is the son of Christine Merchbaker, a former Virginia Tech standout and current volunteer assistant coach for the Gators.
“Both sides of incoming student-athletes are strong in the Breaststroke, Fly, and short IM,” said fourth-year Allegheny head coach Kirk Kumbier, “while the incoming women will also add solid depth in sprint and mid-distance events.”
Kumbier said that the Verardi sisters are solid in events 200 and under across the board, as Anna is sprint and backstroke oriented, while Aimee is strong in sprints, short axis, and the IM.
Emily Schaefer (Shaler High School/Pine Richland Aquatics) has excelled in Butterfly and IM, and also will look to be utilized for freestyle relays and the Breaststroke. “She has great toughness, and potential for high-end middle distance speed,” said Kumbier.
Coming off of a breakout senior season at perennial power Oakland Catholic, Corletti will look to make an impact in the Breaststroke, IM, and relays, while Texas native Claire Collier (Clear Falls/South Shore Sails) is expected to contribute in the Breastroke and as a mid-distance and distance specialist.
Another Texan, Amanda Pandola (Liberal Arts & Science Academy/Lost Creek Aquatics) is expected to compete in the splash and dash and relay events, while Kumbier also expects her to build strength in the short fly and potentially the 200 free. Rachel Tobler (Libertyville, Ill./Lake Forest Swim Club) will specialize in the Butterfly and add depth in mid-distance, while Chelsea Pietrzycki, who competed with Cleveland Area Diving, is well-rounded on both boards, and adds to the already strong Gator female diving contingent.
While the women have added depth in the free and breast, the men’s incoming class features a pair of divers who will be looked upon to make an early impact, as the addition of newcomers Trey Serbin (North Allegheny) and Hunter Pietrzycki will also give the Gator men a trio of physics fighters.
Brandon Thomas (Laurel Highlands HS/Fox Chapel) brings all-around speed, as he has specialized in the fly while also having experience in sprints and IM. Logan Indest (Worthington Kilbourne/Buckeye Swim Club) andBen Blackburn (Highlands HS/Fox Chapel) look to team up in the Breaststroke and IM, while Indest will also add talent to the Gators’ mid-distance and Butterfly group. Noting his size and strength, Kumbier also believes that Blackburn has potential to add sprint speed.
Two more Columbus natives, Tin Le (Gahanna Columbus Academy/Great Columbus Swim Team) and Mitchell Nottage (Whetstone/North Waves) will round out the short stroke and IM events. Both are Ohio High School State Championship participants and have solid background in all three strokes. Merchbaker has spent his high school career as a sprint/backstroke specialist, and spent a stint with the Virginia Gators in the summer following his freshman year.
“We are excited to see what this group of incoming Gators can do,” Kumbier said. “They have great potential. We are looking forward to solid depth in-season, a chance to chase top-spots at Conference Championships, and a springboard to work towards more NCAA qualifying marks and invitations.”
The incoming Gators will look to make an immediate impact at the ultra-competitive North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championships and push the team onto the Division III National scene. Below are the eight men and eight women joining Allegheny next year:
|Aimee Verardi||North Allegheny/Allegheny North Swim Club, PA||Sprint, Fly, Breast|
|Anna Verardi||North Allegheny/Allegheny North Swim Club, PA||Sprint, Back, IM|
|Amanda Pandola||Liberal Arts & Science Academy/Lost Creek Aquatics, TX||Sprint, Mid-D, Fly|
|Chelsea Pietrzycki||Parma/Cleveland Area Diving, OH||Diving|
|Claire Collier||Clear Falls/South Shore Sails, TX||Mid-D, Dist, Breast|
|Emily Schaefer||Shaler Area/Pine Richland Aquatics, PA||Fly, IM, Breast|
|Megan Corletti||Oakland Catholic/Greater Pittsburgh Aquatic Club, PA||Breast, IM|
|Rachel Tobler||Libertyville/Lake Forrest Swim Club, IL||Fly, Mid-D|
|Ben Blackburn||Highlands/Fox Chapel, PA||Breast, Sprint, IM|
|Brandon Thomas||Laurel Highlands/Fox Chapel, Laurel Highlands YMCA, PA||Sprint, Fly, IM|
|Douglas Merchbaker||Franklin/(Virgina Gators), PA||Sprint, Back|
|Hunter Pietrzycki||Parma/Cleveland Area Diving, OH||Diving|
|Logan Indest||Worthington Kilbourne/Buckeye Swim Club, OH||IM, Breast, Fly|
|Mitchell Nottage||Whetstone/North Waves, OH||Breast, Back, IM|
|Tin Le||Gahana Columbus Academy/Greater Columbus ST, OH||Sprint, Stroke, IM|
|Trey Serbin||North Allegheny, PA||Diving|
|Allegheny College Women – Class of 2021|
|Anna Verardi||Aimee Verardi||Claire Collier||Emily Schaefer|
|50 FS||24.27||50 FS||24.74||50 FS||25.76||50 FS||25.61|
|100 FS||53.52||100 FS||53.19||100 FS||56.95||100 FS||54.44|
|200 FS||2:00.38||200 FS||2:04.76||200 FS||2:04.13||200 FS||2:00.83|
|100 BK||58.97||100 BK||59.92||500 FS||5:28.73||500 FS||5:21.59|
|200 BK||2:10.83||100 BR||1:07.44||1000 FS||11:35.31||1000 FS||11:24.85|
|100 BR||1:12.34||200 BR||2:26.52||100 BR||1:09.29||100 BR||1:10.27|
|100 FL||58.90||100 FL||58.01||200 BR||2:39.96||200 BR||2:34.76|
|200 IM||2:10.80||200 IM||2:09.09||200 IM||2:22.24||100 FL||58.93|
|Megan Corletti||Amanda Pandola||Rachel Tobler||Chelsea Pietrzycki|
|100 BR||1:07.85||50 FS||26.16||50 FS||27.99||1-mtr (6)||269.50|
|100 FL||2:34.97||100 FS||56.31||100 FS||59.58||1-mtr (11)||394.50|
|200 IM||2:23.24||200 FS||2:00.71||200 FS||2:10.11||3-mtr (6)||Club Exp.|
|100 FL||1:06.38||500 FS||5:45.45||3-mtr (11)||Club Exp.|
|100 FL||1:02.99||5-mtr||Club Exp.|
|Allegheny College Men – Class of 2021|
|Benjamin Blackburn||Brandon Thomas||Douglas Merchbaker||Hunter Pietrzycki|
|50 FS||23.28||50 FS||22.11||50 FS||22.46||1-mtr (6)||235.40|
|100 FS||51.73||100 FS||46.93||100 FS||50.48||1-mtr (11)||362.80|
|100 BR||1:00.24||200 FS||1:45.05||100 BK||58.88||3-mtr (6)||Club Exp.|
|200 BR||2:11.32||500 FS||5:00.85||50 FL-R||25.68||3-mtr (11)||Club Exp.|
|200 IM||2:03.63||200 BK||2:02.24||5-mtr||Club Exp.|
|Logan Indest||Mitchell Nottage||Tin Le||Trey Serbin|
|100 FS||51.34||100 BK||57.46||50 FS||22.40||1-mtr (6)||226.50|
|200 FS||1:50.90||100 BR||1:02.19||100 FS||49.70||1-mtr (11)|
|500 FS||4:54.11||100 FL||57.56||200 FS||1:51.58|
|100 BR||1:02.84||200 IM||2:06.75||100 BK||56.51|
|200 BR||2:11.51||200 BK||2:10.58|
|100 FL||53.58||100 BR||1:03.90|
|200 FL||1:57.01||100 FL||55.84|
|200 IM||2:00.36||200 IM||2:02.96|
Press Release courtesy of Allegheny Athletics.