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Two new faces are giving a lift to the Norwin girls swimming team.
Freshmen Jordan Kutchak and Elizabeth Smeltzer earned two or more medals at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championship meet on Jan. 28 at Derry.
The Knights placed fourth.
Norwin coach Neil Rushnock said the two are a part of an influx of freshmen to the boys and girls squads.
“The future looks good,” Rushnock said. “A couple of freshman boys (who) are swimming well in the dual meets may not qualify this year for (the WPIAL Class AAA championship), but they will for sure next year.
“A couple of girls will also (qualify).”
Both teams have winning records in dual meets.
At the county championship, Kutchak anchored the 200-yard medley relay team that placed second (1 minute, 54.86 seconds) and the 200 freestyle relay team (1:43.59) that placed fourth.
Smeltzer was in the 200 medley relay, as well as the 400 freestyle relay (3:55.17) that placed sixth. She came in third in the 200 individual medley (2:18.67) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.42).
Also for the Knights, junior Courtney Kosanovic placed third in the 100 butterfly (1:01.23) and fourth in the 200 individual medley (2:19.02) and swam in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.
Sophomore Kristy Juart, freshman Sarah Todaro, sophomore Allie Plassio and junior Caitlin Kosanovic were relay medalists.
Senior Joey Astrab led the Knight boys team, which also came in fourth.
Astrab placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.02) and was part of the 200 medley relay (1:42.18) and 200 freestyle relay (1:34.31) teams that finished fourth.
Senior Brandon Pizzuto and sophomores Phong Tran, Ethan Tulenko and Austin Livsey were other relay medalists.
Astrab said going into the season, the Knights were unsure how they would do in big meets. He said their performance at the county championship encouraged them.
Both squads are gearing up for the WPIAL championships, which begin later this month.
“We are plugging swimmers (who have not qualified) in different events to try and get them qualified,” Rushnock said.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.