The trip to Uniontown Thursday night was worth the drive for the visiting Mount Pleasant boys with the Vikings returning home from Laurel Highlands with a season-ending 98-78 Section 4-AA victory.
The Mustangs’ Joe Holp and Collin McManis spotted the home team the early lead after finishing 1-2 in diving. Holp took first place with a WPIAL qualifying point total of 168.22.
Holp will be diving in his first WPIAL Class AA Diving Championship at South Park on Friday, Feb. 21.
“I’m not looking to beat anybody. I know it’s going to be a challenge, but top six would be fun. I’d qualify for states,” said Holp.
Divers in section meets dive six times, but advancing to the WPIAL finals involves 11 dives.
“I’ve never done more than six dives,” said Holp. “My forward 1½ pike, inward dive pike, are my better dives. I have to get the back 1½ with a half twist down. I just learned it a couple days ago.
“I have enough 2.0 (degree of difficulty) dives in. I want more, though.”
The Mustangs continued the momentum in the pool with Ian Hamilton, Kole Friel, Andy VanVerth and Connor Locke winning the 200 medley relay in a qualifying time of 1:50.78.
First-place finishes were hard to come by for the home team as the meet progressed, though. Friel won the 500 freestyle in a qualifying time of 5:15.05 and Hamilton met the standard with his winning time of 59.17 seconds in the 100 backstroke.
Friel (200 IM), VanVerth (100 butterfly), Hamilton (100 freestyle), Locke (100 freestyle), and the 200 freestyle relay met the WPIAL qualifying standard.
Dalton Swartz started the run for the Vikings when he won the 200 freestyle in a qualifying time of 1:57.62, a couple of seconds ahead of the Mustangs’ Dean Schiffbauer. He finished third in the 100 freestyle in a qualifying time of 53.72 seconds.
“I’m good now. I just qualified for the 100 freestyle. I’ve been trying for a while now,” said Swartz.
A senior, Swartz wanted to end the regular season on an upbeat note.
“I wanted to finish good. I just want to do my best,” said Swartz.
He knows where he’d like his times to be when the season ends in a month.
“I want to try to get my best time ever in the 100 freestyle, the low 52s (seconds). I want to swim 1:53 in the 200 freestyle. I had 1:57 tonight. That’s the best I’ve done this season,” said Swartz.
Zak Koch (200 IM, 2:06.29, WPIAL; 100 breaststroke, 1:08.07, WPIAL), Brad Paraska (50 freestyle, 23.69, WPIAL; 100 freestyle, 52.58, WPIAL), Daniel Lynch (100 butterfly, 57.93, WPIAL), the 200 freestyle relay of Lynch, Swartz, Koch and Paraska (1:36.65, WPIAL), and the 400 freestyle relay of Ben Fisher, Swartz, Koch and Paraska (3:48.22, WPIAL) also had first-place finishes for the Vikings.
Joe Barrick finished the 500 freestyle in a WPIAL qualifying time.