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Seneca Valley Swimming and Diving

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Feb, 2021

Raiders Split Against NA

Raider Boys defeat North Allegheny, hand Tigers their first defeat in 13 years 

The Raider boys swim and dive team defeated juggernaut North Allegheny for the first time since 2007, in a tight meet that came down to the very last race, where senior and team co-captain Connor Anderson out touched his NA rival by .21 to nab second place in the relay and capture the win. The boys hope to finish their season undefeated after two more section rival meets against Hampton and Butler Thursday and next week. The Lady Raiders fought hard against a tough North Allegheny squad, falling 102-79.  


The fight doesn't always go to the fastest or the strongest, often it goes to the most willing. Not that the Seneca Valley boy’s team wasn't both fast and strong on Tuesday night in the contest against North Allegheny. However, there was no doubt that they were the most willing.  

Make no mistake about the fight, it was not easily won. You would not expect it to be easy against a tough NA squad, one that had not lost a dual meet in 13 years and that Seneca Valley had not beaten in 14 years. 

The battle started for the boys in the 200 Yard Medley Relay. NA captured first, but the SV A and B Relay teams were able to secure second and third. The A Relay, consisting of Connor Seeley, Logan Hockenberry, Gavin Blazer, and Zach Lozowski secured second with a time of 1:39.66. The B Relay of Owen Tekelenburg, Haihan Xu, Frankie Walton, and Connor Anderson swam hard and were able to get the third place points for the team. In the 200 Yard Freestyle, Junior Kevin Donaldson struck back for SV with a first-place finish, and a personal best time of 1:42.66, easily winning the event. Senior Renhan Xu was able to capture 4th for SV in a meet where every point was precious. 

In the 200 Yard Individual Medley, the SV boys were able to capture another first place when Haihan Xu came into the wall with a 1:57.05. However, NA got the second through fourth spots, with Zach Cox placing fifth and Connor Seeley in sixth. It was a similar result in the 50 Freestyle as Danny Simoes came in first with a time 21.53 but NA took the next three spots. Frankie Walton placed fifth and Connor Anderson sixth. The trend continued in the 100 Butterfly. Gavin Blazer came in first place with a personal best of 52.44, but second through fourth went to NA. Renhan Xu came in fifth and Logan Hockenberry also had a personal best in the event with a time of 59.44.  

If it was a heavyweight boxing match, the next two events would have been the equivalent of each team landing haymakers. The Seneca Valley Boys struck first in the 100 Freestyle. Danny Simoes finished first with a personal best time of 47.05, and Kevin Donaldson continued his strong work in the meet by finishing second. Then Zach Lozowski came in with a personal best of his own of 49.51 to finish fourth, just missing a sweep by .14 seconds. In the 500 Freestyle NA showed their resilience, despite two personal bests by SV swimmers. NA swept the event, overcoming a valiant effort by team co-captain Matt Stevens, who finished fourth with his personal best time of 4:54.52, finishing just .29 behind third, and 1.05 behind second. Freshman Danny Kane also had a personal best time of 5:17.27.  

The SV boys got a measure of revenge in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. The A Relay of Connor Anderson, Kevin Donaldson, Zack Lozowski, and Danny Simoes took home first place, finishing in 1:29.09. NA took second but the SV B Relay of Frankie Walton, Renhan Xu, Zach Cox, and Gavin Blazer came up big with their third-place finish and the coveted points. The C Relay of Alex Kim, Colin Mansfield, Ronny Royhab, and senior Brian Whitney swam hard but were not able to beat out their rivals. 

In the 100 Yard Backstroke NA struck back again, taking first, third, and fourth. The only guardian between them sweeping the event was Connor Seeley and a personal best time of 55.60 for his second-place finish. Owen Tekelenburg was able to capture fifth for the Raiders.  

With two events left, the SV Boys were trailing with an uphill climb, or swim in this case. The 100 Yard Breaststroke had two big battles going on, and a pair of Raider Sophomores came out on top in both. The most important battle was for first place, with Haihan Xu and his NA opponent fighting to the end, but when that end came it was Xu who prevailed with a personal best time of 57.33, winning by .48 seconds. The second battle was for third and points the SV Boys desperately needed. In this fight it was Logan Hockenberry who came out on top, out touching his NA rival by .22 seconds for the important third place finish with a time of 1:03.59. 

The SV Boys were still trailing, but now they were within striking distance of victory going into the final event, the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay. The Raiders A relay team was determined to do their part. For the first and last leg SV turned to two swimmers who had already had a fantastic meet: Juniors Kevin Donaldson and Danny Simoes. For the middle two legs the A relay counted on Senior leadership with Renhan Xu and co-captain Matt Stevens. The foursome left no doubt who would take first, and captured the vitally important 8 points and first place with a time of 3:19.35. That left the race for second place to decide the meet. The Seneca Valley B Relay proved up to the task. They were led out by a strong swim by Frankie Walton, and followed up by Zach Lozowski who had the fastest split of the foursome. Haihan Xu had a great swim finishing his fantastic evening, and handed the race over to co-captain Connor Anderson to determine if the boys would go home victorious. North Allegheny was not going to make it easy, as their A relay anchor ended up having the fastest split of any swimmer in the event. In the end, it came down to who wanted it more as co-captain Connor Anderson channeled the desire for victory that his team had shown all night. With their SV girl teammates cheering him on, and parents at home screaming at their streaming devices, Anderson was able to out touch his NA rival by .21 seconds. 

The Seneca Valley community was left holding its breath waiting on the final tally to be announced. When it was, the announcement showed a final of 94 to 92, with the Seneca Valley Raider Boys emerging victorious. They showed the importance, not only of winning a race, but also of swimming for every point no matter the place. They showed that they were the most willing. 


The divers started the meet against a tough NA girls dive team.  Leading the SV divers was junior, Ashley Felitsky, ranked 7th in the WPIAL, placing 4th with a 214.85.  Senior, Rylie Smith, ranked 12th in the WPIAL, came in 5th , and first year Sophomore, Erin Castagnero came in 6th.   

The boys earned 2nd, 3rd, and 5th places all adding points for this amazing Raider win!  Senior, Trevor Elliott, ranked 4th in the WPIAL, led the boys with a 234.65 earning him 2nd place. Senior, Matthew Laslavic, ranked 5th in the WPIAL, was the 3rd place winner with a 218.00, and Sophomore, Jeremiah Laslavic put up 5th place points for the Raiders.   


The SV Girls kicked things off with the 200 Yard Medley Relay. The A team of Ria Dietz swimming backstroke, Edie Sawyer swimming breaststroke, Kendall Craig swimming butterfly, and Peri Gaguzis swimming freestyle captured a season best time of 1:46.30, putting them second only to their NA rivals in WPIAL rankings. In the 200 Yard Freestyle, Abby Perry took first place, Cara Della Toffalo turned in a season best swim with 2:00.33 and took third, and Emma Kreber got a personal best 2:02.34 which was good enough for a WPIAL B cut. 

In the 200 Yard Individual Medley, NA took the top spot but the Lady Raiders followed it with second for Kendall Craig, third for Edie Sawyer, and fourth for Peri Gaguzis, capturing 9 of the 16 points for SV. In the 50 Yard Freestyle, Annabel Morrisard and Kristen Bedell earned points for the Raiders, with Annabel nabbing her WPIAL B cut in a 25.59 swim. McKenzie Van Iddekinge came in sixth with a personal best time of 26.86. Next up was the 100 Yard Butterfly, with the Raiders taking second for Ria Dietz, fourth for Bella Kling, and sixth for Dilini Ranaweera, with Bella achieving a personal best of 1:01.04 as well as a WPIAL B cut, and Dilini also hitting a personal best of 1:03.78. 

In the 100 Yard Freestyle, team co-captain Kendall Craig took third with a time of 54.04, with support from Kristen Bedell in fifth and Cara Della Toffalo in sixth. The 500 Yard Freestyle saw the Raiders take third, fourth, and fifth, with sophomore Peri Gaguzis achieving her season best time of 5:09.00, senior Bella Stefanowicz also hitting a season best and a WPIAL B cut with a time of 5:25.69, and Abby Perry a second behind Bella taking fifth. 

The 200 Yard Freestyle Relay A team of Kristen Bedell, Bella Kling, Cara Della Toffalo, and Bella Stefanowicz came in third with a time of 1:44.89. The 100 Yard Backstroke saw junior Ria Dietz hitting the wall first, just .27 ahead of her NA rival, with a time of 58.72. Annabel Morrisard took fourth in the event and Dilini Ranaweera took sixth. Senior and team co-captain Edie Sawyer took first place in the 100 Yard Breaststroke in 1:04.50, just .07 off her best time of the year, with Carly Brunello taking second and Sydney Sweger taking third in the event and all three earning points for the Raiders. In the final event, the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, the A team of Kendall Craig, Abby Perry, Bella Stefanowicz, and Peri Gaguzis came in first with a season best time of 3:42.14, which ranks them 4th in WPIAL. The B Relay of Annabel Morrisard, Delaney Molinero, Bella Kling, and Ria Dietz took second and earned points for the team. 

The Raider girls ultimately fell to the Tigers 102-79, but they were thrilled to be able to cheer the Raider boys on to victory over NA. 



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