There were old faces, old names and some new names and new faces climbing atop the podium representing the North zone this year in boys swimming.
The old faces, of course, belonged to the North Allegheny dynasty who captured a PIAA team title for the first time in seven years. North Allegheny essentially led the state meet wire-to-wire. It won the very first event, the 200-medley relay, with freshman Rick Mihm, junior Andrew Zhang and the Gonzalez brothers, junior Mason and senior Maxwell. Their individual depth was on display immediately with senior Eben Krigger, sophomore Jack Wright and Mihm placing 3-4-5 in the 200 freestyle, the first individual event of the meet. Max Gonzalez was fourth in the 200 IM, Zhang won silver in the 100 butterfly and Mason Gonzalez was nearly perfect, winning three gold medals.
As he has all season, Mason Gonzalez was at the center of it all for the Tigers. He won three state gold medals, the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and as part of the 200 medley relay. The disqualification denied him a rare four-for-four PIAA gold medal performance. His time of 19.99 in the 50 freestyle puts him in rarefied PIAA air. Only three swimmers have under broken 20 seconds in the event at the PIAA meet, Hershey's David Nolan and Haverford's Shane Ryan.