Tuesday, January 25, 2022 | 6:06 p.m.
Fox Chapel junior Sophie Shao, defending WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A champion in the 100-yard butterfly, looks at her time in the event on the swimming performance list on the WPIAL website and sees who is also recording the best times and doing one load the rankings.
Shao is seconds ahead of the 100 butterfly as the final boys’ and girls’ lists for the individual swimming and relay events as well as Class 3A and Class 2A diving were released on Monday night.
His best time of 54.65 seconds came in the meeting between Fox Chapel and Shady Side Academy on December 10.
Shao is also highly ranked in several other events, including the 200 individual medley, where she was first with a time of 2:07.44, just a tenth of a second ahead of North Allegheny runner-up Natalie Sens.
A common theme on performance lists at this point in the season is that all-around swimmers are among the leaders in a number of events.
This is when decisions start to be weighed and strategies are formed in terms of preparing for the WPIALs. Performance listings can play a role in allowing a swimmer and their coach to see where others are throughout the WPIAL booth.
The performance rosters are also populated with several freshmen and other newcomers ready to make their mark at WPIALs.
Gateway rookie Hunter Raymer, for example, has come out on top in the distance events and holds the fastest time in the Class 3A 500m freestyle – a 4:43.16 set in a sectionless encounter against Blackhawk on the 20th. December.
He is also 11th in the 200 free (1:45.98).
Each individual swimmer can participate in two individual events and two relays at the WPIALs or one individual event and three relays.
The WPIAL has again adopted automatic and secondary schedules for swimmers to meet if registrations need to be limited to a certain number.
Last year, 16 were entered in each individual event and 12 were entered for the relays. Once the automatic qualifications were determined, the secondary qualification times were used to fill in the rest of the field.
Fields for each Class 3A and 2A diving competition at the WPIALs were uncapped, with each qualifier gaining entry.
For diving, the total point qualification standards for six dives in dual meets and 11 dives that can take place in an invitational are published on the WPIAL website.
The WPIAL Class 2A Diving Championships will be held on Friday February 25th in North Allegheny.
North Allegheny is also set to host the Class 3A Diving Finals on Saturday February 26.
The WPIAL Swimming Committee is still determining where the Swimming Championships will be held, but the dates for those meets will be March 3-4.
Due to covid logistical issues with Pitt’s Trees Pool, last year’s championships were moved to Upper St. Clair.
All qualifying competitions for swimming and diving must be completed by February 19 with an entry deadline of February 21.