Only one thing was unusual about Sylvia Roy’s championship 50-yard freestyle race during the WPIAL Class AAA finals.

“My turn was a little bit wonky. A weird angle,” Roy said. “That would be the only thing I would have changed.”

While that imperfect flip turn during the two-lap race cost her a WPIAL record by .01 of a second, it did not prevent her from claiming her second straight gold medal in the event.

Roy clocked a 22.72 winning time. Gateway’s Olivia Livingston, who is a freshman at Louisville, set the record of 22.71 in 2022.

“I was definitely hoping for the record. I was a lot closer than I thought I would be,” Roy said.

Last year as a freshman, Roy won the 50 freestyle with a 23.09 time. Her seed time was 23.01.

“I think there has been a really big improvement in my underwaters over the last year so that helped me a lot,” Roy said of reducing her marks.

Experience also helped Roy.

“Last year, I was so nervous,” she said. “It was my first swim here. This year was a lot easier.”

Roy though was pushed by Kaitlyn Connors. The Upper St. Clair junior finished runner-up (23.23) to Roy for the second time this season. The pair clashed in a dual meet, with Roy touching out Connors at the wall.

“Kaitlyn and I are really good friends,” Roy said. “Our competition is never too intense. It’s like friendly competition.”

The first day of competition at the University of Pittsburgh’s Trees Pool was not so amiable for the girls teams as North Allegheny bolted ahead of the pack, racking up 307 points. Fox Chapel and Seneca Valley were positioned in second and third place while USC and Lebo were fourth and fifth with 127 and 122 points, respectively.

Other first-day highlights for area girls included: Amanda Aidar, fourth in the 200 and sixth in the butterfly; Maddie Berg and Zoe Poe, fourth and fifth in the 200 freestyle; Marley Reese and Mary Elsen Reinhart, sixth and 10th in the 200 IM, Adrienne Hagins, seventh in the butterfly and 10th 50 freestyle.

USC took the silver and bronze in the 200 free and IM relays. The foursomes featured Connors, Aidar, Blaire Gillespie and Kendell Drew.

After the first day of the boys’ competition, the Lebo (131.5) and Bethel Park (110) were chasing North Allegheny (202.5) and Seneca Valley (192).

Top individual boy performers also included: Andrei Tudorsacu, runner up in the fly while Trent J. Powell and Ben Whiteford were eighth and ninth; Nazar Zoukovski, third and Josh Grimenstein, ninth in the IM; William Stilley and Lenny DeMartino, sixth and eighth in the 200 free; Nathan Stutzman, Chase Dustevich, Aiden Filer and Luke Kallaur, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth in the 50 free.

In the free relay, USC’s Zoukovski, Whit Burns, Griffin Tomscheck and Matvey Zoukovski finished fourth. Powell, Luke Kallaur, Stutzman and DeMartino followed in fifth for BP while Lebo’s unit of Stilley, Sangay Lama, Constantin Matros and Ryan Frank were ninth.

In the medley relay, Lebo’s Tudorascu, Frank, Jacob Burton and Dustevich placed fourth. BP’s Powell, Luke Myers, Kallaur and Stutzman added seventh and USC’s Ben Whiteford, Burns, Colby Bernard and Matey Zoukovski took eighth.

Editor’s note: Results from day two of the competition were not available for the print publication of this edition of The Almanac.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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