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North Catholic’s Lamb sets WPIAL meet record in 100-yard backstroke

Record Setter
North Catholic’s' Alex Gongas dives into the pool to start her race in the girls 500-yard freestyle event during the WPIAL swim meet at Trees Pool on Friday. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (3/1/2024)

PITTSBURGH — Luke Lamb said Thursday that he wanted more.

The North Catholic junior’s desire materialized Friday — and in a big way.

At the University of Pittsburgh’s Trees Pool, Lamb set a WPIAL Class 2A boys championship meet record with a swim of 48.68 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke. He’d entered with an All-American-level time already.

“Coming in, that’s really all I wanted,” Lamb said. “I wanted to win and I wanted to get the record.”

He was seeded first in the 100 backstroke with a time of 48.85. Riverside’s Joseph Roth, the defending champion in that race, finished less than a second behind.

“Even since I was younger — like, seven, eight, 9, 10 — I was always a backstroker,” Lamb said. “Once I hit high school, that’s when it really started to took off. ... It’s always come natural to me. I just feel more comfortable on my back.”

Lamb is .13 of a second away from the PIAA meet record, which he plans on resetting soon.

“I’m not tapered right now or anything, so I’m expecting better times at states,” he said. “Once I’m ready for states and I get rest, I think I’ll get that. I really want that.”

With 63 points, the Trojans finished 15th out of 22 teams. The Mars boys (33.5) got 17th place, while Knoch (32) was 19th. Sophomore Adrian Lavorini was the only other boys medalist from the Butler County area on the day, finishing seventh in the 500 freestyle.

Thrice is Nice

Freeport freshman Kasey Schrecongost finished the day with three medals, two of which she earned in individual events.

Schrecongost posted a time of 53.91 seconds in the 100 freestyle, good enough for seventh in that event. It was her fastest time in that race this high school season.

“It’s really exciting,” Schrecongost said. “My competition was amazing. Those girls were super fast, so I’m very proud of myself.”

In the 100 backstroke, she finished third with a time of 58.44, while senior teammate Caitlyn Brennan also medaled by touching the wall the eighth-quickest.

The Yellowjackets’ 400 freestyle relay was the sixth-fastest on the day. Schrecongost and her sister, Kira, were part of that quartet. As were juniors Mary Anne Altman and Danielle Parke.

“I kind of just went into it with a positive mindset,” Schrecongost explained. “I just told myself, ‘Go! Be strong, be brave, and whatever happens, be proud of yourself.”

Freeport ended the two-day meet in fifth-place with 178 team points. Knoch was 12th with 70.

Pleasant Disbelief

Giona Lavorini wasn’t sure her timing was right.

That was a good thing.

The Knoch junior won the girls’ 100 breaststroke by setting a personal-best time of 1:01.90 in the event. She beat out Indiana’s Peyton Scott, who she said had bested her last year.

“I was really surprised,” Lavorini said. “I kind of knew I came in first just because I could kind of see when I touched. When I looked up to the board and I (saw) a 1:01, I was like, ‘Is that correct?’”

She was more excited about the digits on the board than with her placement.

“I’m glad I got first, but I’m really happy with my time,” Lavorini said. “I was not expecting to go under 1:02 because my best time was a 1:02.9. So that’s almost a second drop of my best time. ... I’m better at the 200 breaststroke, but now it kind of shows that I can go fast in the 100 breaststroke, as well.”

Now, she has even more to build on going forward.

“I know there’s a lot that I can work on,” Lavorini said. “That’s good because I can go even faster than that. I’m not at my peak.”

Girls

Freeport, Knoch

100 freestyle: 7-Kasey Schrecongost (F) 53.91

100 backstroke: 3-Kasey Schrecongost (F) 58.44, 8-Caitlyn Brennan (F) 1:01.89

100 breaststroke: 1-Giona Lavorini (K) 1:01.90

400 freestyle relay: 6-Freeport (Kira Schrecongost, Mary Anne Altman, Danielle Parke, Kasey Schrecongost) 3:40.09

Boys

Knoch, Mars, North Catholic

500 freestyle: 7-Adrian Lavorini (K) 4:53.43

100 backstroke: 1-Luke Lamb (NC) 48.68

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