There was already very little drama in whether or not Burrell senior Joshua Wertkin would qualify for WPIALs in his final high school season. He had already qualified for WPIALs as a junior. But whatever drama there was, ended in an early-season meet against Highlands when Wertkin swam a 2:18.34 in the 200 IM to make the cut (2:19.70) by over a second. The time was also good enough to win the event at the dual meet. He also achieved a WPIAL qualifying time in the 100 backstroke, this time just barely. The Burrell senior swam the 100 backstroke in 1:04.34, just making the WPIAL cut of 1:04.60. Once again the time was also good enough to win the event at the dual meet. Wertkin also swam legs on Burrell's 200 and 400 freestyle relay.
A year ago at WPIALs, Wertkin chose to compete in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke. His strongest showing was in the 100 backstroke where he finished 12th and earned the Buccaneers five points in the team standings. He was also a part of a fifth-place 200 medley relay. Wertkin is the lone returning swimmer at Burrell from that relay.