North Allegheny Extend Streaks With Sweep Of 2020 AAA WPIAL Championships

2020 AAA WPIAL Swimming/Diving Championship

  • February 27-28, 2020
  • Trees Pool, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • SCY (25y)
  • AAA Meet Results

North Allegheny High School successfully swept the 2020 AAA WPIAL Championships in Pittsburgh, as the girls won a record 12th straight title while the boys claimed their ninth consecutive crown. The 12 victories in a row for the Lady Tigers surpasses the previous record of 11 set by Oakland Catholic.

GIRLS MEET

The North Allegheny girls topped the team scores by 180 points on the strength of winning seven out of 12 events on the schedule.

Senior Torie Buerger led the way, winning the 200 IM (2:00.57) and 100 back (54.21) individually while also contributing to the winning Tiger relays in the 200 medley and 400 free. Both of her individual wins were new personal bests, lowering her 2:00.96 and 54.31 times set last year.

In the 200 medley relay, Buerger led off in 25.01 to give the team over a 1.4-second lead, and she was joined by Olivia KisowElla Ogden and Olivia Kraus who finished in a final time of 1:42.59, over three seconds clear of the field.

In the 400 free relay, which closed things off, Buerger opened up in 50.77 to give North Allegheny a huge lead before Lexi Sundgren, Kisow and Molly Smyers all split 52s as they won by over five seconds in 3:27.75.

Smyers won the 500 free individually in a time of 5:00.32, exactly two seconds off her best. In the 200 free, she was a close runner-up to Upper St Claire’s Taylor Connors, as the two juniors posted times of 1:50.34 and 1:50.62 respectively.

Smyers also contributed to the third relay win for the Tigers in the 200 free, joining Sundgren, Quinn Frost and Ogden, who anchored them home in 23.55 for a time of 1:36.12.

The other victory for North Allegheny came in diving, where freshman Christina Shi led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1-meter with 531.30 points.

The other multi-event winner for the girls was Gateway senior Olivia Livingston, who claimed the 50 (23.09) and 100 free (50.15).

OTHER WINNERS

  • Fox Chapel Area freshman Sophie Shao won the 100 fly in a time of 54.74, edging out NA’s Ogden (55.13).
  • Laura Goettler of Butler Area High School touched first in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:03.17. Goettler, a senior, also placed second to Buerger in the 200 IM in 2:02.45.

FINAL GIRLS TEAM SCORES

  1. North Allegheny, 422
  2. Mt Lebanon, 242
  3. Fox Chapel Area, 194
  4. Seneca Valley, 192
  5. Upper St Clair, 165

BOYS MEET

On the boys’ side, North Allegheny won by 128 points while sweeping the relays and getting two individual wins from senior Rick Mihm.

Mihm won the boys’ 200 IM in 1:49.23, with Upper St Claire junior Josh Matheny (1:52.78) in second, and also topped the field in the 500 free (4:31.91). Matheny won the 100 breast by almost three seconds in 54.43.

Mihm also led off the winning Tiger relays in the 200 medley (1:32.92) and 400 free (3:05.32). He was joined by Jacob McCarranBranko Kosanovich and Matthew Turzai in the former and Josh GaleckiEthan Song and Alex Grahor in the latter.

Kosanovich added an individual victory in the 100 free, clocking 45.80, and teamed up with Galecki, Grahor and Turzai to win the 200 free relay in 1:25.11.

Also winning two individual events for the meet were seniors Ethan Tulenko of Norwin and Owen Blazer of Seneca Valley.

Tulenko touched first in the 50 (20.78) and 200 free (1:40.07), while Blazer won the 100 back by almost three seconds (47.83) and the 100 fly (48.48).

Winning the 1-meter diving was Fox Chapel Area freshman David Manelis, who cleared the field by over 100 points with a score of 524.90.

FINAL BOYS TEAM SCORES

  1. North Allegheny, 380
  2. Seneca Valley, 252
  3. Hampton, 185
  4. Upper St Claire, 175
  5. Franklin Regional, 163

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Entgegen

WPIALs has really fallen off… It used to be such a fast meet looking at the section’s past years and now the only fast dudes are Rick Mihm and Josh Matheny. Rick is graduating this year and Josh Matheny is unable to carry his team on his back.

Just saying

You identified two of the fastest high schoolers in the nation, going to Stanford and Indiana. Those two are outliers. It would be like saying Brendan Hansen and Kyle Salyards were the only fast swimmers around in the late 90s, same with David Nolan a decade ago, even though they were in other districts in PA

Most of the top swimmers don’t rest for WPIALs because they can qualify for states unrested. It’s been like that for decades. That’s the way it is with the fastest swimmers at that level. I don’t see that as a bad thing.

But WPIALs has gotten faster for sure, compared to years and decades past. Saying that the meet has fallen off seems unduly harsh.

Entgegen

I mentioned those two because they are the only two to really stand out this year at WPIALs as they should. And I did forget Blazer as a standout. In the past 4 years especially, the WPIAL was pumping out highly ranked recruits and a good amount of them, even if they were outliers. This allowed for WPIALs to be a big meet were multiple nationally ranked recruits collided for fast swims. This year, there were 3 big names: Mihm, Matheny, Blazer. Two years ago: Wright, Gregory, Matheny, Mihm, Gonzalez, Fitzpatrick, Zhang. Those guys plus their teammates rewrote the WPIAL record books, not to mention the National Record books. I understand that top swimmers don’t rest for WPIALs but to… Read more »

The urchin whisperer

What’re you on bro look at others like Blazer and the depth of talent throughout. The wpial is still loaded with great swimmers and will continue to be for a long time.

Entgegen

I did forget Blazer. He had fast FAST swims. 22.0 and 47.x are crazy speedy. My bad. But he’s a senior as well. After Matheny’s year, who else stands out like some of the stars of the WPIAL(specifically on the guys’ side) did their years such as Mason Gonzalez, Jack Wright, Kimani Gregory, Ryan Dudzinski, Fynn Minuth, Zachary Buerger, Rick Mihm, Josh Matheny? They all went(or going to) to major swimming powerhouses and contributed greatly to those teams as well. Over half of those names came on in the past 4 years. And that is not including the other swimmers that would end up going to smaller collegiate programs as well. The talent recently in the WPIAL was far and… Read more »

Seahorse

99% sure NA was not tapered – they have bigger fish to fry next week at states

walrus

In the past few years, North Allegheny only tapers about 2-4 kids for states. The rest are fully tapered and shaved for WPIALS. A few of them are even on a double taper after just recently getting WPIAL qualifying times at their ‘Last Ditch’ meet.

Three Rivers Swim Coach

Does anyone know if any of the top swimmers have committed to Pittsburgh or have even been recruited by Pittsburgh??

vandy

I’m unaware as to whether or not any WPIAL swimmers are committed there, but Pitt’s recruiting trends are interesting. The vast majority of the team (men & women, swimming & diving) are either Western PA or international athletes. So yes, I would expect some WPIAL swimmers in the next few years to commit to Pitt.

Swim Fan

There’s a freshman from North Allegheny- breaststroke, they have a recruit next year from Hinsdale Central (Chicago).

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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