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SV swimmers sweep opening meet vs. Riverside

Starting Over

JACKSON TWP — Bella Kling found it hard to contain herself during school hours at Seneca Valley on Monday.

The senior swimmer, who has previously earned three trips to the WPIAL meet and a berth to the state championships last March, couldn’t wait to get the 2023-24 season started.

“I was jumping up and down in the halls,” said Kling. “I’m swimming in college (at Gannon University), but this was my last opening-night for high school swimming.

Seneca Valley Lena Rothrock reacts to her time after  swimming in the 50 freestyle
Seneca Valley Lena Rothrock reacts to her time after swimming in the 50 freestyle against Riverside in a Swim Meet at Seneca Valley Aquatic Center on Monday December 4, 2023.(Justin Guido/Special to the Eagle)

“I’m so grateful that the school here and the swim program have made it such an encouraging environment for us. It’s such a great thing to be a part of.”

Kling was part of four victories, swimming a leg of the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays and winning individually in the butterfly and backstroke to help the Raiders post a 103-30 win over visiting Riverside.

“As a team captain (along with Taryn Wilson) this season, my goal for this meet was for everyone to come out of it motivated and excited for the future,” Kling said.

That was not in doubt as SV’s swimmers and divers joined in a number of post-meet rituals that brought about as many cheers as the competition itself.

Kling, Taryn and Alissa Wilson, Sonya Dietz, Lena Rothrock and Morgan Baker are the leaders of SV’s 27 girls swimmers.

“We have some good (individual medley swimmers) and girls who are promising in the distance events),” said SV coach Brian Blackwell. “We’re hoping that leads to a lot of flexibility in the relays. It would allow us to attack meets in a number of ways.”

Seneca Valley’s Ronny Royhab swims the breaststroke
Seneca Valley’s Ronny Royhab swims the breaststroke leg of the boys 200-medley relay against Riverside on Monday. The Raiders boys opened the season with a 102-73 win. Justin Guido/Special to the Eagle

Blackwell, too, appreciates the novelty of opening night.

“It’s good to get back into the high school flow of things,” he said. “For our freshmen, this was the first time they got to experience this.”

SV’s boys, while strong on the diving side led by senior and defending WPIAL Class 3A champion Isaiah Clerkley, field just nine swimmers.

SV did prevail against Riverside, 102-73, in a matchup of abbreviated rosters.

“We had some boys who didn’t come back out for the team this year, some others moved away with their families,” said Blackwell. “We were hit pretty hard with the numbers.

“We do hope to get some WPIAL cuts with the boys, it’s just going to take a lot of development.”

Seneca Valley hosts Fox Chapel on Wednesday.


Seneca Valley 103, Riverside 30

200 medley relay: Seneca Valley (Bella Kling, Katie Bookwalter, Sonya Dietz, Lena Rothrock) 1:52.89

200 freestyle: Morgan Baker (SV) 2:01.14

200 individual medley: Alissa Wilson (SV) 2:16.60

50 freestyle: Sasha Myers (SV) 25.32

100 butterfly: Bella Kling (SV) 1:00.11

1-meter diving: Cooper Burcham (SV) 239.70

100 freestyle: Morgan Baker (SV) 55.85

500 freestyle: Taryn Wilson (SV) 5:44.64

200 freestyle relay: Seneca Valley (Morgan Baker, Audrey Wolfe, Sonya Dietz, Sasha Myers) 1:45.36

100 backstroke: Bella Kling (SV) 1:02.20

100 breaststroke: Katie Bookwalter (SV) 1:09.46

400 freestyle relay: Seneca Valley (Bella Kling, Sonya Dietz, Sasha Myers, Morgan Baker) 3:52.10


Seneca Valley 102, Riverside 73

200 medley relay: Riverside 1:48.81

200 freestyle: Ryan Turner (R) 1:51.94

200 individual medley: Gavin Frederick (R) 2:21.78

50 freestyle: Joseph Roth (R) 22.04

100 butterfly: Ryan Turner (R) 58.49

1-meter diving: Miles Miller (SV) 232.05

100 freestyle: Caden Stahl (SV) 54.33

500 freestyle: Braden Rubinosky (SV) 5:21.21

200 freestyle relay: Seneca Valley (Colin Stevens, Andrew O’Rourke, Braden Rubinosky, Thomas Pichieri) 1:45.34

100 backstroke: Joseph Roth (R) 52.40

100 breaststroke: A.J. Barnett (SV) 1:11.95

400 freestyle relay: Riverside 3:32.89

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