Smith leads list of All-America swimmers

Published Jul 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm (Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm)

The National Insterscholastic Swimming Coaches Association announced its 2012-13 All-America list from the past high school season and several area athletes were recognized.

Leah Smith leads the list. The Mt. Lebanon resident earned All-America status in three individual events and two relays.

Smith ranked second in the nation with her time of 4:52.74 in the 500-yard freestyle and fifth in the country with her time of 1:45.52 in the 200 free. She registered a 50.91 All-America time for the 100 free as well.

She combined with Natalie Feola, Alexandra Elizeus, Peyton Kondis and Leah Smith for the accolade in the 200 as well as 400 free relay.

The Oakland Catholic graduate will be a freshman at the University of Virginia this fall. In 2012, she competed in the United States Olympic Trials.

Ryan Dudzkinski and Alex Hardwick led the list of Upper St. Clair honorees, whose times were among the top 100 in the country.

Hardwick earned the distinction in the 50 (20.95), 100 (45.79) and 200 free (1:39.9) while Dudzinski picked up the status in the 100 backstroke (49.69) and butterfly (49.30) as well as the 50 free (20.89).

The pair guided the 200 free relay team (1:24.86) that included Nathan Novak and Tomos Williams as well as the 400 free relay unit (3:08.11) that also featured Novak and Nikhil Narayanan to All-America acclaim.

Kyle Higgins capped his career at Peters Township with the 95th best time (50.11) in the country for the 100 fly. The rising freshman at Kentucky also helped the 200-yard medley relay to All-America status with a 1:35.28 mark. Dan Pletz, Chris Buzard and Sebastian Yocca also comprised that squad.

Erik Brinkhoff gained All-America honors in the 50 free with a 20.94 time. He also helped the 400 free relay team of Mitchel Stahara, Zach Misak and Daniel Litwin to a new school record with an All-America time of 3:07.93.

A Bethel Park product, Brinkhoff will swim at Eastern Michigan this fall.

Mt. Lebanon’s Katie Ford and Meghan Schilken garnered individual honors.

While Schilken earned the distinction with a 56.16 time in the 100 back, Ford gained the honor in that race with a 56.13 time as well as the 50 free (23.35). The rising senior is a two-time WPIAL champion.

The duo also helped the 200 free relay of Veronica Bogdanski and Anna McGlade to the distinction with a 1:36.03 time.

Among the divers netting All-America status were Maria Lohman from Chartiers Valley and Ashley Sams from Bethel Park.

A rising junior, Lohman is a two-time district and two-time state finalist, having won the PIAA title this winter.

While California finished first with 843 total recipients, Pennsylvania ranked second in the nation with 348 total honorees.

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