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Butler’s Matteson making strides for Butler swimming

Staking his claim
Mars’ Sean Muchnok swims the 100-yard butterfly in Wednesday’s meet against Butler. Muchnok won the event, but Butler earned a sweep of the boys and girls meets. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle

BUTLER TWP — Keaton Matteson does not have the swimming experience many of his teammates possess, but the junior seems to have solidified his role in the water at Butler High School.

He began swimming in the eighth grade for Butler YMCA’s team.

“I wrestled and played soccer growing up and things didn’t work out with that,” said Matteson. “I picked swimming up and it was something I wanted to stick with. I like the competition.”

Matteson considered his times the last two years as being “slow”, but is in the process of changing that.

He considers the 100-yard freestyle to be his best event and he’s shaved seven seconds off his time since November.

He won the event against Mars Wednesday along with tying teammate Noah Collins for first place in the 50 freestyle and contributed to two relay wins as the Golden Tornado defeated the Planets 93-50.

“Keaton is a good swimmer and he’s evolving,” said Butler coach Troy Kroll. “There was one meet earlier this season where his performance was all between his ears, but since then, he’s seeing his potential.”

Also helping the Tornado improve to 3-2, Daniel Birch won the individual medley and the backstroke while Collins won two events on his own, adding the 200 freestyle to his win in the 50.

Mars’ Sean Muchnok qualified for the state championship meet in the 100 breaststroke last year and admits it was a surprise.

“Going into last season, I was just hoping to make the WPIAL meet,” he said. “I was stressed out for states and I want to get back and finish better this season.”

Muchnok won the breaststroke and butterfly Wednesday for the Planets (0-4) and swam a leg on the winning 400 freestyle relay team.

Girls

Butler 102, Mars 69

Abigail Vance (500 freestyle, 200 freestyle) and Addison Vance (200 IM, butterfly) paced the Tornado’s effort as Butler won 10 of 12 events.

“What sticks out so far about our girls (3-2) is that they’re working as a unit,” Kroll said. “We’ve got a strong core and they push each other. In an individual sport like swimming, you don’t always get that. When you do, you want to hold onto it.”

Emily Mueller won the diving event for the Planets (2-2) with a score of 227.80.

Mars coach Todd Slobodnyak was unable to attend the meet due to a family obligation.

Both the Tornado and Planets will be in action next Thursday. Butler hosts North Hills while Mars visits Pine-Richland.

Girls

Butler 102, Mars 69

200 medley relay: Butler (Rachel Smith, Addison Vance, Rylee Pflugh, Abigail Vance) 2:00.66

200 freestyle: Abigail Vance (B) 2:02.98

200 individual medley: Addison Vance (B) 2:17.72

50 freestyle: Rylee Pflugh (B) 26.51

1-meter diving: Emily Mueller (M) 227.80

100 butterfly: Addison Vance (B) 1:05.26

100 freestyle: Emma Pflugh (B) 57.98

500 freestyle: Abigail Vance (B) 5:34.08

200 freestyle relay: Butler (Rylee Pflugh, Rachel Smith, Emma Pflugh, Abigail Vance) 1:47.08

100 backstroke: Rachel Smith (B) 1:07.65

100 breaststroke: Riley Connelly (M) 1:14.30

400 freestyle relay: Butler (Annabelle Turner, Julie DeMeio, Emma Pflugh, Addison Vance) 4:06.44

Boys

Butler 93, Mars 50

200 medley relay: Butler (Jackson Morgus, Ben Grossman, Keaton Matteson, Noah Collins) 1:50.07

200 freestyle: Noah Collins (B) 2:05.17

200 individual medley: Daniel Birch (B) 2:17.28

50 freestyle: Keaton Matteson/Noah Collins (B) 24.15

1-meter diving: Not contested

100 butterfly: Sean Muchnok (M) 1:05.88

100 freestyle: Keaton Matteson (B) 53.55

500 freestyle: Jackson Morgus (B) 5:53.25

200 freestyle relay: Butler (Keaton Matteson, Ben Grossman, Jackson Morgus, Noah Collins) 1:40.44

100 backstroke: Daniel Birch (B) 1:04.32

100 breaststroke: Sean Muchnok (M) 1:07.39

400 freestyle relay: Mars (Preston Heynes, Alexander Harrison, Peyton Randall, Sean Muchnok) 4:02.45

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