Josh Matheny of Upper St. Clair coasted to victory during the Toyota U.S. Open held Nov. 12-14 in Richmond, Va.
Representing Team Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics Club, Matheny won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.26. That was well under the trial cut of 1:03.29 and .12 seconds ahead of silver medalist Connor Morikawa
Matheny also won the 200-meter event in 2:16.26, again under the trial cut of 2:17.89.
Matheny is a three-time WPIAL and four-time PIAA champion in his premier event. He is again expected to be a force in scholastic swimming this winter for Upper St. Clair High School. The senior is an Indiana University recruit.
Pitt not it
The WPIAL championships will not be held at the University of Pittsburgh’s Trees Pool.
Additionally, the WPIAL Board of Control approved a plan to potentially reduce the number of swimmers who will qualify for the meet.
Indoor gatherings are limited to a percentage of capacity under statewide guidelines because of COVID-19 restrictions. The district will determine stricter qualifying standards in January to reduce the number of participants.
North Allegheny, however, remains the site for the Class AAA and AA diving championships Feb. 26-27.
However, the WPIAL has not settled on an alternative pool for the swimming finals.
“It stinks,” said Mt. Lebanon head coach Tom Donati that the meet will not be held at Pitt. “But, I expected that, especially when you see what’s been happening down there. Most of us coaches have been meeting and part of the discussion to help the committee look at alternative places.”
Donati said he was reminded by Mt. Lebanon athletic director John Grogan that any option is better than not competing.
“He said, ‘Tom, it’s not about championships this year, but getting kids chances to compete.’ Anytime we get to race, we are lucky,” Donati said.
Lebo will be fortunate to begin competing. During a meeting held Nov. 23, the school board suspended all athletics through Dec. 11. The Blue Devils were scheduled to host Erie McDowell on that date. North Allegheny is supposed to pay a visit Dec. 17.
“They have 60 swimmers and I have 60 with 25% capacity our limit is 85 people, including swimmers, timers and officials,” Donati said. “To be honest, I don’t know how we do it. That leaves parents out and no real spectators. Everything will all be live steamed.”
Lebo, however, had some positive news recently regarding swimming.
Hannah Morelli signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her career at George Mason while Zoe Rebol will swim at Stony Brook University, N.Y.
BP on hold
Bethel Park has suspended athletic activities until Dec. 8 while students attend classes remotely because of COVID-19 concerns.
Also, the WPIAL is also seeking venues for its basketball championships. The Petersen Events Center on the Pitt campus has hosted the event for six seasons.
Practices for winter sports, including wrestling and rifle, commenced Nov. 20. First competitions are scheduled for Dec. 11.