Quaker Valley swim teams get results

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Sunday April 3, 2022 | 11:01 a.m.


John Nemeth recently completed his second season as Quaker Valley swim coach.

Nemeth, a QV college physical education teacher, was an eight-time All-American at Denison.

Nemeth coached at Chartiers Valley from 2015-2020 and coaches with Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics. He previously coached at Centerville High School in Dayton, Ohio.

He is assisted at QV by Rose Stidsen and Vernon Yenick.

“It’s been a great couple of years in Quaker Valley,” Nemeth said. “The swimmers and divers welcomed us and were a great group to work with every day. And it’s a great community that supports swimming and diving, which makes our lives as coaches so much easier.

The affable QV coach discussed his basic coaching philosophy.

“I would say it’s good quality work that keeps the swimmers engaged,” Nemeth said. “It can be a mentally draining sport, so I always try to write workouts that swimmers can stay focused on. I’m by no means perfect, but I’ve found that athletes who are mentally challenged in the pool benefit more from training than those who checked out because of a long boring streak.

“There’s a balance there because you need distance, but I always try to create workouts that have different goals and give swimmers something specific to work on every lap.”

Nemeth, 34, had an eventful March, both in and out of the pool.

After coaching the Quakers in the WPIAL Class 2A Finals at Pitt’s Trees Pool and the PIAA Championships at Bucknell University, Nemeth spent a “honeymoon” week in Barbados.

Nemeth and his fiancée Leah Herbert, who is employed as a dental assistant, will wed on May 7, as their wedding plans have been reversed due to covid restrictions.

Quaker Valley was represented by 11 swimmers and three divers at this year’s state championships. Nemeth discussed their performances.

“We took a lot of positives from the PIAA competition, and that’s something our team will learn and grow in the future,” he said. “Last year was unique with the covid adjusted WPIALs and PIAAs, so this is the first time our swimmers and divers have competed in a competition like this. There’s a learning curve that comes with preliminaries and finals in competitions like this, and we didn’t have that experience last year.

“It wasn’t a perfect meet (PIAA) and there are some swims and dives we’d like to come back to, but overall we’re proud of how (QV athletes) competed and know that they will be better next year. However, being able to qualify 14 athletes is a big deal, and every one of those athletes will return next season. We are excited about the future of QV swimming and diving.

Quaker Valley’s top swimmer in 2021-22 was Emily Connors, an accomplished sophomore competitor and three-time state medalist.

“Emily is a tough swimmer and has had to do a lot of fast runs over the last six weeks or so,” Nemeth said. “It’s a challenge, especially when you consider that she swam the 100 (-yards) free twice (preliminaries, finals) in the United States and then also swam the 100 free twice on the (400) relay. free on the same day (preliminaries, finals) She also had to run the 100m butterfly, then immediately get up and take the lead in the 200m freestyle relay twice, which is not easy.

“She continued to push through adversity and step in when her team needed her, and she sets the tone for everyone. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She wants more and will be there. height next year, I know.

All three QV girl relay teams qualified for the state championships.

Connors swam the first leg of the women’s 200 freestyle relay, which was sixth in 1 minute 40.73 seconds. Connors, freshmen Paige Juliano and Kwilai Karto and junior Ella Fuener teamed up for the event.

“It was my goal to get on the podium in my individual events, and I was able to do that,” said Connors. “I didn’t swim the times I wanted or place the way I wanted, but I’m still happy that I was able to get on the podium at the state level.

“And one of our team’s goals was to get at least one of our stints on the podium, and we did that successfully.”

The Quakers 400m freestyle and 200 medley relay teams finished 10th and 15th. Connors, Fuener, Getty and Juliano competed in the 400 freestyle relay. Getty, Gilligan, Fuener and Juliano swam in the 200m medley.

Three divers – Ruby Olliffe, Ruby Krotine and Katie Blackmer – have represented Quaker Valley in the States. Olliffe, the WPIAL 2A finalist, placed sixth.

The Quakers’ two individual qualifiers to the States were junior Alex Wagner in the 200 IM and rookie Ryan Steinfurth in the 100 backstroke.

Wagner, Steinfurth, freshman Thomas Fuener, sophomore Wesley Riddle, and junior Spencer Wiehe all contributed relays.

“We’re excited about the potential on the boys’ side,” Nemeth said, “and they’re motivated to improve for next year.

“We just want to continue to build interest in the program and improve the team as a whole,” he continued. “We certainly wanted to deepen the team since we were at the top last season, and I think we have done that on both sides.

“I would also say that we wanted to see some individual growth from the swimmers since it’s such a young team. It’s always going to be more progressive, but the team has matured over the last year and they’ll continue to grow next year.

Tags: Quaker Valley

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