Peters Township has cemented itself as a program to be reckoned with in the fast and furious South Hills. It may have come as somewhat of a surprise when Peters Township edged Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair and Hempfield to finish in second place in the WPIAL Class 3A team standings. It was no surprise at states when Peters Township cracked the top 10 of the team standings at the PIAA Class 3A championships.
At states, the Indians' 200-medley relay finished seventh with juniors Paul Luniewski and Stephen Hopta joined by seniors John Martin and Mike Kehm. Kehm earned further points for Peters Township with his 11th place finish in the 50 freestyle and 16th place finish in the 100 freestyle. The top 16 finishers earn points for their team. The 200-freestyle relay capped the first day of the event with another high finish as Kehm, seniors Benon Brewer, Mitch Golias and Jake Rose placed fifth. Hopta is a WPIAL champion in the 100 backstroke.
It was a rebuilding year for the Upper St. Clair boys swim team. It was also a year of significant growth for sophomore Jack Fitzpatrick. The Panthers have a standout to build around in the coming years, that much was evident at the 2017 PIAA Class 3A championships. And as it relates to the Upper St. Clair program, they may have also found their next great backstroker. Fitzpatrick took fourth place in the 100 backstroke with a time of 50.21 at the PIAA meet. Competing in an event that the Dudzinski brothers dominated in their years at Upper St. Clair.
On the first day of the competition, Fitzpatrick took seventh in the 200 IM. He was the second-highest finisher from the WPIAL, behind only North Allegheny senior Maxwell Gonzalez.
On that same day, Fitzpatrick led off Upper St. Clair's 200 medley relay with the backstroke. That relay reached the finals and placed eighth overall. He also swam a leg in the Upper St. Clair 400 freestyle relay that qualified for states. Fitzpatrick is the reigning WPIAL 200 IM champion.
At WPIALs second-place Peters Township (238 points) and third-place Upper St. Clair (210) were joined in the top ten by Mt. Lebanon (150.50) and Canon-McMillan (74.50).