2016-2017 Game Summaries
With another dominant performance in day two of the PIAA swimming championships the North Allegheny boys’ team clinched a state title, its first since 2010. Because the PIAA had to rearrange the meet schedule as a result of Winter Storm Stella last week, the diving portion of the program was moved to next weekend which means the Tigers’ victory celebration will have to wait until then. Despite the delay, a state championship coronation is inevitable as North Allegheny holds an insurmountable, 271-183, lead over second-place LaSalle College.
Already leading by 72 points entering the day, North Allegheny put the PIAA meet out of reach with the help of junior Mason Gonzalez who took first place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 43.62. Gonzalez was followed closely behind by sophomore Jack Wright who garnered third place with a time of 44.67. Adding to the NA lead was senior Eben Krigger’s third-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:28.19. Freshman Rick Mihm took fourth place in the same event with a time of 4:29.27. Checking in with top-ten showings were senior Maxwell Gonzalez (10th place) in the 500-yard freestyle and junior Andrew Zhang (ninth place) in the 100-yard backstroke.
For the Lady Tigers, senior Lauren McGrath took sixth place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.54. McGrath was also part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team, along with Anna Verardi, Kristine Mihm and Torie Buerger, that earned a sixth-place finish. Buerger checked in with an eighth-place showing in the 100-yard backstroke, posting a time of 56.66.
The PIAA will not post the final team standings until the conclusion of the state diving championships which take place at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday at Bucknell University.
Neither a late-season snow storm, one-day schedule delay nor a format change could derail the NA boys quest on day one for their first state title since 2010. The NA boys opened with a commanding 179 point total followed by LaSalle College at 107 and North Penn at 92.
The 200 Medley relay team of Andrew Zhang, Ricky Mihm, Maxwell Gonzalez and Mason Gonzalez began the meet with an impressive performance. The team dropped more than three seconds from their seed time and beat the second place team by nearly three seconds. The team then added points in the 200 Free with Eben Krigger with a third place finish, Jack Wright finishing fourth and Ricky Mihm finishing fifth. Maxwell Gonzalez had a strong swim in the 200 IM finishing in fourth place. Mason Gonzalez won gold in the 50 Free by swimming a 19.99 time. He is only the third swimmer to go sub-20 at the PIAA meet. Andrew Zhang immediately followed with a runner up finish in the 100 Fly. The team put a wrap on day one with a PIAA record breaking swim in the 200 Free Relay. Jack Wright, Ricky Mihm, Maxwell Gonzalez and Eben Krigger glided to a nearly 3 second victory over the second-place team.
The NA girls swam to seventh place finishes in the 200 Medley relay and the 200 Free Relay. Torie Buerger, Ann Juneau, Aimee Verardi and Anna Verardi swam the 200 Medley while Lauren McGrath, Kristine Mihm, Aimee and Anna Verardi made up the 200 Free relay team. Lauren McGrath placed eighth in the 200 Free and Torie Buerger placed 15th in the 200 IM.
The meet concludes today with the girls swimming the morning session and the boys swimming the evening session.
The Class AAA WPIAL title in boys’ and girls’ swimming again came home to North Allegheny. The NA boys recorded a team score of 433 and have captured the WPIAL title in six consecutive seasons and 11 of the last 12 years. Peters Township was a distant second place with 238 team points. The Lady Tigers posted a team score of 342 and have won nine straight WPIAL crowns and 10 in the last 14 years. Mt. Lebanon took second place with a score of 307.
It was another record-setting performance from Mason Gonzalez who went to break his own mark of 44.82 in the 100-yard freestyle with a new-record time of 44.17. The NA boys combo in the 400-yard freestyle relay also laid claim to a new WPIAL record with a time of 3:03.20, breaking the old mark of 3:03.63 set by Upper St. Clair three years ago.
Other NA medalists included freshman Torie Buerger who grabbed a gold medal in the girls’ 100-yard backstroke. Jack Wright earned bronze in the boys’ 100-yard freestyle, while Rick Mihm and Eben Krigger finished second and third, respectively, in the boys’ 500-yard freestyle. Brett Edwards claimed silver in the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke and Lauren McGrath took third place in the girls’ 100-yard freestyle. The Lady Tigers also garnered a silver medal in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The North Allegheny swimming and diving team will go for state gold on March 17 & 18 at the PIAA championships.
North Allegheny swimmers broke two WPIAL records and both NA swimming teams sit in first place at the conclusion of day one of the WPIAL swimming championships. The Lady Tigers currently occupy the top spot with a team score of 221, followed by second-place Mt. Lebanon with a score of 175 and third-place Upper St. Clair with a score of 132. The NA boys’ team is in firm control at the end of day one with a team score of 221. Hempfield is in second place with 151 points and Peters Township is a distant third with 131 points.
Leaving two WPIAL records in their wake, Mason Gonzalez set a new mark in the boys 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.05 and the combination of Gonzalez, Jack Wright, Eben Krigger and Rick Mihm achieved a new best in the boys 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:22.93.
Other impressive performances included a sweep across the leaderboard in the boys 200-yard individual freestyle as Krigger took first place, Wright claimed second place and Mihm earned bronze in the event. The combination of Andrew Zhang, Jerry Chen, Max Gonzalez and Mason Gonzalez claimed gold in the boys 200-yard medley relay.
For the Lady Tigers, the combo of Anna Verardi, Kristine Mihm, Ann Juneau and Lauren McGrath took first place in the girls 200-yard freestyle relay. McGrath earned another gold medal in the girls 200-yard individual freestyle. Juneau garnered a silver medal in the 100-yard butterfly event and Torie Buerger won bronze in the girls’ 200-yard individual medley. NA also took second place in the girls’ 200-yard medley relay courtesy of Buerger, Juneau, Anna Verardi and Aimee Verardi.
Day two of the WPIAL swimming championships will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Friday at Trees Pool on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
A large and supportive crowd spurred on North Allegheny swimmers as they achieved a total of ten WPIAL qualifying time standards. A total of 37 WPIAL times were achieved during the meet by area swimmers from both AAA and AA schools.
Caitlyn Edwards and Marlyn Root qualified in the 200 Free. Emma Kunzmann reached the standard in the 200 IM, while Lila McGrath did so in the 50 Free. Alex Grahor beat the qualifying time in the 500 Free by .01 seconds. The team had 2 qualifiers in the 100 back when Thomas McCaffrey and John Ehling reached the standard and had 3 qualifiers in the 100 breast – Joel Songer, Andrew Yang and Josh Galecki.
The team returns to action March 2 – 3 at Trees Pool at the University of Pittsburgh Campus for the WPIAL Championships.