USC swimmers set for sectionals

Published Jul 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm (Updated Jul 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm)

Seven members of the Upper St. Clair Swim Club will participate in the 2013 Speedo Championship Series Long Course Super Sectional Meet set for Aug. 1-4 in Rochester, N.Y.

Ryan Dudzinski and Alex Hardwick lead the list. Both recently earned All-America honors in three individual events as well as two relays.

The National Interscholastic Swim Coaches’ Association ranks the fastest 100 swimmers in the country in each event. The NISCA then bestows upon those individuals All-America status.

Dudzinski earned the distinction for the 50-yard freestyle, 100 butterfly and backstroke while Hardwick merited the laurels in the 50, 100 and 200 free.

The pair also combined with Nate Novak and Tomos Williams for the award in the 200 free relay and with Novak and Nikhil Narayanan in the 400 free relay.

Although Dudzinski and Hardwick are forgoing the Junior Nationals this summer, they both have met the qualifying standards and will participate in that December meet to be held in Greensboro, N.C.

“It is a pleasure to coach such a talented group of swimmers and especially satisfying to see Ryan and Alex rewarded for all their hard work,” said USC head coach Dave Schraven. “For one team to have two swimmers, who each earn three All America awards in one year is a special achievement.”

Several USC swimmers garnered All-America consideration times. But, they finished just out of the top 100.

Among those swimmers and their events were:

• Kevin Liu, Tomos Williams, Dudzinski and Novak – 200 medley relay.

• Brittany Dudzinski –100 back and 200 medley relay.

• Carissa Hentosz, Meg Haggerty, Betsy Erlanger – 200 medley relay

• Jessie Reilly, Erlanger, Carly Olsakovski, Victoria Shaffer– 200 free relay

• Shaffer, Reilly, Olsakovski, Dudzinski – 400 free relay

In addition to individual accolades, USC received results for the National Dual Meet Team Rankings. Both boys’ and girls’ teams achieved their highest point totals ever. In the category of schools with an enrollment of 1,400-1,900 students, the boys ranked eighth in the country and the girls team finished fifth in the country.

Amongst all schools in the country, the combined team total ranked 24th in the nation. The only Pennsylvania teams to top that point total were Hershey (fifth overall) and North Allegheny (seventh overall).

“This is a testimony not only to the quality of our “top swimmers” but also to the overall depth of our team and the quality of our program,” said Shraven. “We are loaded with great swimmers and we are looking forward to even greater success in the 2013-14 season.”

But, currently the Panthers are looking towards Super Sectionals. In addition to Harwick and Dudzinski, the other male qualifiers include Kyle Dudzinski, Ryan and Brittany’s older brother who swims for Virginia; Braedon Wong, and Patrick.

For the girls, USC is taking Saoirse Palu-Benson, who swims scholastically for Peters Township, and Shaffer. Palu-Benson missed by one second a Junior National cut in the 200 fly at the meet at Pitt. According to Shraven, she hopes to get that time at Super Sectionals.

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