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Boys Swimming & Diving: 2017 North Season Recap

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

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.

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Girls Swimming & Diving: 2017 North Season Recap

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

It was a year of team and individual triumph in the North zone.

In a career full of achievements, titles and records, finding a fitting conclusion can be a daunting task. Highlands senior Bailey Bonnett managed to do it though. One of the greatest WPIAL swimmers in recent history, Bonnett went out in a blaze of glory at the PIAA Class 2A championships this week at Bucknell University. In her final high school event, the 100 breaststroke, Bonnett won gold, set a personal best and set a state record. The Kentucky recruit won the 100 breaststroke, which was her fourth individual state title and her second of this year. Her first state title of the event came on her first day of competition, when she snapped a 7-year WPIAL drought in winning the 200-individual medley. In the 100 breaststroke, Bonnett broke the 2015 record held by Wilmington's Lauren Barber by 0.25 seconds. At WPIALs Bonnett won the 100 breaststroke by over five seconds, setting another record. She ends her high school career with eight PIAA individual medals under her belt, four golds, one silver and three bronzes. She won PIAA gold in the 500 freestyle in 2015 and 2016 to go with her two golds this year in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM, a rare display of versatility in the fastest competition in the state.

Quaker Valley's Maddy Andrews is another elite swimmer who bid farewell to the WPIAL this year. Swimming in the 500 freestyle at Bucknell University, Andrews clocked in at 4:59.31 in the marathon event to place third. Later that same day she also anchored the Quaker Valley 400 freestyle relay that notched points by taking 13th. On the first day of the event, Andrews picked up another bronze when she swam the 200 freestyle in 1:51.41. Andrews pulled double duty that day as well when she anchored the 200-freestyle relay for the Quakers. That relay placed ninth.

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Boys Basketball: 2017 North Season Recap

Written by Brad Everett on .

Pine-Richland, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic and Sewickley Academy played for WPIAL championships in 2016 and all returned many key players a year later, so expectations for making a return trip to the Petersen Events Center was considerably high.

Each lived up to the hype.

It was a strong season for the North area, which saw three teams win WPIAL titles, three others reach the final, and one team win a PIAA championship. The region also feature a bevy of excellent individual performances.

Championship banners will be raised this upcoming season for three teams: Pine-Richland, North Catholic and Sewickley Academy. Pine-Richland won its second straight WPIAL title, this one coming in the newly-formed Class 6A. North Catholic captured its second consecutive title, this one in 3A. Sewickley Academy, which lost to North Catholic in the 2016 1A final, claimed the 2A title. Sewickley Academy also won its third PIAA title.

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Boys Basketball: 2017 North Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature boys basketball teams from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2016-17 season.

2017 0327 Sewickley BBasketball(Photo: Sewickley Academy's Nate Ridgeway celebrates after getting fouled late in the PIAA Class 2A championship game Friday against Constitution. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)