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Seneca Valley Swimming and Diving

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18

Feb, 2021

Raiders Sweep; Boys Win Section Title

Raiders Swim and Dive cap season, boys claim WPIAL Section 2 Title 

Wow! What a great first night at the new pool! To celebrate the opening of the SV Aquatics Center, the Butler Swim and Dive team was gracious enough to agree to come to us instead of having their home meet at Butler as scheduled. The Raiders gave a warm welcome to the Butler team, but the Tornadoes quickly got twisted once they hit the water, as they were largely unmatched by this strong Seneca Valley team. A small group of socially-distanced spectators were thrilled to have the opportunity to watch the first meet in the beautiful new facility, made even better by the boys’ team’s WPIAL Section 2 victory. 

DIVING 

Diving started off this amazing evening with a very impressive outing for both the SV girls and boys, all earning points for the Raiders. Junior Ashley Felitsky started the Raiders off with her season high score, a huge 266.25, which was also the new pool record earning her first place. Senior captain Rylie Smith had a big night of her, own adding a new dive and earning her season high score of 248.15 and a second-place finish. What an impressive first year for senior Abby Kutchma, who scored a 203.50, earning her fourth place points for the Raider girls. First year diver and sophomore Erin Castagnero narrowly missed a WPIAL cut with a 186.10, earning her fifth place. 

Another stellar performance from the boy divers! The new boards did not disappoint, and the boys seemed to just hang in the air! Leading the way was Senior captain Trevor Elliott with a massive score of 277.75 which was his season high and a new pool record earning him first place. Senior Matthew Laslavic had another great night earning his season high score with a huge 252.45 and a second place finish. Sophomore Jeremiah Laslavic was on fire with his season high score of 252.40 and a third place finish. Rounding out the boys with a fourth-place finish was sophomore Sam Hersick with an impressive 221.35 which was his season high score. 

GIRLS SWIMMING 

The SV Girls did not lose a single event all night. The 200 Yard Medley A Relay team started the swimming portion of the meet with a show of strength, grabbing a first-place win and setting a new SV school record. Junior Ria Dietz (backstroke), senior Edie Sawyer (breaststroke), senior Kendall Craig (butterfly) and sophomore Peri Gaguzis (freestyle) turned in a 1:45.71 in the race, beating the 2020 record by an eye-popping .01 and catapulting SV to first seed in the event in WPIAL. The B Relay team placed second with Annabel Morrisard, Carly Brunello, Bella Kling, and McKenzie Van Iddekinge, while the C Relay of Dilini Ranaweera, Sydney Sweger, Paige Walko, and Eva Carney took third.   

The SV girls swept the next event 1-2-3. Junior Cara Della Toffalo had a new season best time of 1:59.24 in the 200 Yard Freestyle. senior Emma Kreber came in second place, and senior Delaney Molinero came in third. Not to be outdone, the Lady Raiders swimming the 200 Yard Individual Medley made a clean sweep of the event as well, with senior co-captain Kendall Craig coming in first with a 2:06.80, sophomore Peri Gaguzis second with a 2:09.58, and senior co-captain Edie Sawyer third with a personal best time of 2:11.09. 

All four of the SV Girls swimming the 50 Yard Freestyle earned points for the team, with senior Kristen Bedell coming in first, sophomore McKenzie Van Iddekinge taking third, junior Eva Carney taking fourth, and junior Bryn Carney coming in sixth with a personal best time. The three Raiders in the next race – the 100 Yard Butterfly – took first, third, and fifth place, and all three – junior Ria Dietz, freshman Bella Kling, and sophomore Paige Walko - turned in personal best times in the event. The swim was particularly sweet for Bella as it was her first sub 1:00 time in the fly. 

Senior Kendall Craig continued the SV girls’ first place finishes in the 100 Yard Freestyle, with a season best time of 53.27. Teammates Delaney Molinero, freshman Taryn Wilson, and Bryn Carney took fourth, fifth, and sixth, and earned points for the Raiders, with Bryn hitting a personal best. In the 500 Yard Freestyle, Peri Gaguzis seized first in a commanding swim of 5:06.76 that earned her the third-place seed in WPIAL. Junior Abby Perry and senior Bella Stefanowicz placed second and third in the event, both with new season best times, and senior Emma Kreber finished fourth for another complete sweep for the Raiders. 

The 200 Yard Freestyle Relay was another dominating race for the Lady Raiders, with the A, B, and C Relay teams earning first, second, and third place finishes against Butler. The A relay was led off by senior Kristen Bedell, with Peri Gaguzis and Bella Stefanowicz in the second and third legs, and Kendall Craig anchoring for the win and their season best time, as well as a fifth place WPIAL seed. The B relay included McKenzie Van Iddekinge, Taryn Wilson, Abby Perry, and Delaney Molinero. The C relay consisted of Emma Kreber, Cara Della Toffalo, Eva Carney, and Bryn Carney. 

Ria Dietz killed it in the 100 Yard Backstroke, tying her own personal best time of 58.15 and taking the gold. Annabel Morrisard also had a personal best in the event, going sub 1:00 for the first time, taking third place, and punching her ticket for the WPIAL championships. Bella Kling and senior Dilini Ranaweera placed fourth and fifth, earning points for the Raiders. The four fastest times in the 100 Yard Breaststroke race were earned by Seneca girls. Edie Sawyer beat her own school record with a time of 1:04.28, taking meet gold and cementing her first place WPIAL berth. Sydney Sweger, Carly Brunello, and freshman Sloan Meyers took second, third, and fourth, with Sloan achieving a personal best time. 

In the final event for the girls, the Seneca 400 Yard Freestyle A Relay team had the fastest time with Abby Perry, Bella Stefanowicz, Bella Kling, and Emma Kreber taking first. The B Relay team of Kristen Bedell, Cara Della Toffalo, McKenzie Van Iddekinge, and Sloan Meyers earned points with their third-place win. 

With the new 8-lane pool affording the swimmers more chances to compete in each race, the Lady Raiders turned in a dominating performance against section rival Butler, 223 to 87, and finished their season with an impressive 9-1 record.  

BOYS SWIMMING 

On the Boys side, the opportunity to capture the WPIAL Section 2 championship was on the line. 

Starting with the 200 Medley Relay, the SV A Relay team captured first. Team co-captain Connor Anderson, Haihan Xu, Gavin Blazer, and Zach Lozowski came in with a time of 1:38:32. The B Relay of Connor Seeley, Logan Hockenberry, Trevor Elliott, and Frankie Walton captured third, and the C Relay of Owen Tekelenburg, Zach Cox, Alex Kim, and Noah Peterson brought home fourth place. In the 200 Yard Freestyle, Butler was able to see some success and edge out first place, with SV Junior Kevin Donaldson finishing second with a time of 1:45.03, and seniors Renhan Xu and Matt Stevens finishing fourth and fifth.  

In the 200 Yard Individual Medley, the SV boys came back strong when junior Daniel Simoes and sophomore Haihan Xu captured first and second. Simoes finished in 1:56.62 and Xu in 1:57.51. Butler bounced back, winning the 50 Yard Freestyle, but Zach Cox was able to secure second with a time of 24.12, and juniors Noah Peterson and Collin Mansfield came in fourth and fifth, respectively. In the 100 Yard Butterfly, the Butler squad again showed its strength by taking home first, and Danny Simoes had to settle for an unusual (for him!) second place. Gavin Blazer came in third place, and Alex Kim and Collin Mansfield were fifth and sixth. 

The Seneca Valley Boys were not able to bring home first in the 100 Yard Freestyle, but they were able to take second through fourth. Junior Kevin Donaldson finished second with a time of 47.74, and third and fourth were captured by junior Zach Lozowski at 48.64 and sophomore Frankie Walton at 49.98, each obtaining a personal best time. In the 500 Yard Freestyle, SV was able to bring home first and second. Senior co-captain Matt Stevens showed his leadership with a personal best time of 4:53.79 securing his WPIAL top-16 spot. Renhan Xu finished second with a 4:57.07. Freshman Danny Kane finished fourth, and junior Noah Peterson had a personal best time of 5:48.82.  

The SV boys turned their sights to the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. The A Relay of Danny Simoes, Gavin Blazer, Haihan Xu, and Kevin Donaldson brought home first. The B Relay was led out by Zack Lozowski who captured a personal best in the leadoff 50 free with a time of 22.74, followed by Renhan Xu, Frankie Walton, and Collin Mansfield who combined to capture third place. In the 100 Yard Backstroke Seneca wasn't able to win first, but it wasn't for lack of trying. All four of the Raider swimmers came into the wall with personal best times and took second through fifth. Connor Seeley was second with a 54.67, Connor Anderson was third with 55.06, Owen Tekelenburg was fourth with 58.29 and a WPIAL B cut, and Danny Kane was fifth with a 59.73, and his first sub 1:00 time. 

The 100 Yard Breaststroke showed the depth of the SV team in the event. Haihan Xu finished first with 58.77, Logan Hockenberry continued his strong season and captured third with a 1:02.57. Zach Cox finished fourth, and Ronny Royhab brought home points for the team with a sixth place finish. In the 400 Freestyle Relay, Butler showed they had strong swimmers, but as a common theme, they just couldn't compete with the Seneca Valley depth. Butler was able to finish first, but Seneca took the next three spots. The A Relay of Kevin Donaldson, Gavin Blazer, Connor Anderson, and Danny Simoes came in at 3:19.00 for second. The B Relay of Frankie Walton, Owen Tekelenburg, Alex Kim, and Matt Stevens finished third and the C relay of Zach Lozowski, Logan Hockenberry, Danny Kane, and Noah Peterson came in fourth. 

The Seneca Valley Raiders Boys finished the night with the victory, with the final score 186 to 109. While it was a sweet victory, it couldn't match the savory taste of finishing the season as the WPIAL Section 2 Champs, and a perfect 10-0 season! 

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