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Swimming: Upper St. Clair boys seek 'three-peat' at PIAA meet

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The Upper St. Clair boys swept all three relays at WPIALs two weeks ago, a remarkable feat considering the competition. The Panthers will now look for a repeat performance at states, which is an even taller order considering they must best North Allegheny and Mt. Lebanon again while also fending off counterparts from the eastern part of the state.

"We swam well, we won the relays," coach Dave Schraven said of WPIALs. ""All three of our relays, we expect they will be competing to be state champions. That doesn't necessarily mean they will, but we will be in the mix.

The Panthers were sensational in relays. Ryan Dudzinski, Kevin Liu, Braedon Wong and Jake Johnsen won the 200 medley relay. Seniors Fynn Minuth, Patrick Lersch, Liu and Wong won the 400 freestyle relay and Dudzinski, Lersch, senior Tomos Williams and Minuth won the 200 freestyle relay.

Dudzinski will not be eligible to swim the 100 backstroke at states because of his disqualification at states but his individual loss is Upper St. Clair relay's gain. Dudzinski will swim three relays along with the 100 butterfly. Last year the Panthers took first, second and third in the three relays at states, winning the 400 freestyle relay. They graduated two relay participants, Alex Hardwick who is now swimming at Emory University and Nate Novak who is now swimming at Kenyon College.

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Swimming: Upper St. Clair's Dudzinski denied 100-backstroke showdown

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The 100 yard backstroke finals at the PIAA Class AAA championships last season was one of the best high school swim races in the country. District 1 Hatboro-Horsham junior Michael Thomas and Upper St. Clair junior Ryan Dudzinski went head-to-head in one of the fastest backstroke showdowns in state history. Thomas captured state gold with a time of 46.65, edging Dudzinski by 0.23 seconds. Thomas' time was fastest in the country, Dudzinski's was third fastest in the country. If he were in 48 other states, he would have been a state champion. If either were in another state, they would have likely broken a state record but the Bucknell University pool was home to Hershey's David Nolan in 2011 where he swam the event in 45.49, a record that still stands.

That record is in danger this year but Dudzinski will not have a shot at it and state swimming enthusiasts will not have a chance to see Dudzinski push Thomas.

At WPIALs two weeks ago, Dudzinski swam the 100 backstroke in a time that would have broken the pool record at Pitt's Trees Pool, the home of collegiate meets including conference championships. But he was disqualified on a judgment call after being submerged after the 15 meter mark, violating a new rule.

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Swimming: Upper St. Clair shows depth in pool

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles Upper St. Clair swimmers Kevin Liu and Braedon Wong.

"An Upper St. Clair swimmer has won the WPIAL Class AAA 100yard backstroke title six of the past seven years.

And each year it was a Dudzinski, Kyle from 2008-11 and his younger brother, Ryan, from 2013-14.

This year Upper St. Clair juniors Kevin Liu and Braedon Wong proved the 100 backstroke was as an Upper St. Clair program success story as it was a Dudzinski family success story.

Ryan Dudzinski swam the 100 backstroke in a time that would have broken the pool record at Pitt's Trees Pool, the home of many collegiate meets, including conference championships. But he was disqualified on a judgment call after being submerged after the 15 meter mark, violating a new rule."