Tri-State Sports & News Service writer Nicholas Tolomeo profiles Chartiers Valley swimmer Drew Damich. Click here to read his story.
(Photo: Chartiers Valley's Drew Damich won championships in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL Class AA meet at Pitt's Trees Pool. Marilyn Schwilm/Tri-State Sports & News Service)
"The noise, the size and the speed all made for an eye-opening experience for Drew Damich at his first WPIAL swimming championships.
Competing on the Class AAA level three years ago, Damich, then a Chartiers Valley freshman, finished ninth and 10th in his signature distance freestyle events, the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races.
"It shocked me -- it was a much different meet than I expected it to be," Damich recalled. "I grew up swimming, doing meets for clubs and USA Swimming. I went into [the WPIAL championships] thinking it was going to be just another meet -- it was completely different.
"There are a lot of really fast kids, the whole atmosphere was amazing. It gets really loud in there compared to any other event. It was eye-opening.""