SF Lady Lions wins Class AA swim title; Damich a double winner
Thanks to victories in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 400-yard freestyle relay, South Fayette clinched its first WPIAL girls’ swimming on the second day of Class AA competition championship at the University of Pittsburgh’s Trees Pool.
“This is unbelievable,” said Morgan Fink, who won three gold medals in the meet. “We won a section title for the first time in 15 years and now our first WPIAL championship. This is absolutely amazing.”
Amazing was how the Lady Lions dominated the field. South Fayette racked up 252 points to claim the Class AA trophy. West Allegheny secured the runner-up hardware with a 222.5 score.
South Fayette opened and closed the meet with triumphs in the relays. After winning the medley relay yesterday, the Lady Lions breezed to the win in the 400 free relay in 3:36.39 time, a full 4.4 seconds ahead of second-place West Allegheny. Fink anchored the relay, which included Maddie Bartrug, Mary Rosati and Sydney Briner.
“The relay was awesome. We were pumped up,” said Fink of the relay. “Nothing was going to stop us. We worked so hard for this.”
Fink worked hard in her signature swim, the 100-yard breaststroke. Last year’s WPIAL champion finished first this time by five-tenths of the second. In the process, the senior set a new school record with her 1:05.01 time.
“It was nice to defend my title,” she said. “I usually try to take it out fast. Luckily, I had the endurance to finish it.”
Before she heads to Duquesne, Fink hopes to do well at the PIAA championships set for March 13-14 at Bucknell University. She says she’d like a Top 8 finish in both her races as she has done in the past.
“More records,” she said with a laugh. “It’s been a fantastic year and winning WPIALs is a great end to a great year. I’m glad it’s not over yet.”
It’s a long way from being over for Drew Damich. The Chartiers Valley sophomore won his second gold medal of the competition when he cruised to victory in the 500-yard freestyle. He won the 200 free as well.
Damich entered the event as the favorite so he was expected to win. “But not by that much,” he said. Damich won in 4:40.87. Montour’s Jarod Kehl took seond in 4:46.37.
“I’m really happy with where I am,” he said. “I like this pool. It’s a fast pool and my favorite pool. It’s the fastest pool I’ve competed in.”
Trees Pool proved fast for a number of other area swimmers who placed in the Top 8 and medaled. Other top finishers included:
* Mary Rosati, fourth in the 500 free.
* Maddie Bartrug, eighth in the 100 free.
* Michael Schmidt from CV, fourth in the 500 free.
* Danielle Pekular from Bishop Canevin, sixth, 100 back.
* South Fayette’s boys 400 free relay team of Timothy Bernhardt, Matt Guyan, Evan Zombek, Ryne Fromholzer, fourth.
* CV’s 400 free relay of Schmidt, Joshua Rosato, Paul Novelli and Damich, fifth.
* Timothy Bernhardt, seventh, 100 breast.