West Allegheny overwhelmed Montour with speed and depth at a dual meet Thursday night at West Allegheny. The Indians won going away, 91-34. Their depth was on display right out of the gate as their relays finished 1-2 with Jessica Wasek, Kaylee Musiol, Nicole Kadlecik and Julia Snodgrass taking first place with a time of 2:01.15. Elizabeth Vollmer, Christina Prologo and Bella McClellan finished 1-2-3 in the 200 freestyle for the Indians. Emma Pentrack, Kadlecik and Hannah Cook made it back-to-back 1-2-3 finishes with a sweep in the 200 IM. Megan Routch and Eva Lagard were 1-2 in the 50 freestyle and off the diving board it was Mackenzie Hammers winning the event with a score of 113.05. Other individual winners included Musiol (100 butterfly), Snodgrass (500 freestyle) and Routch (100 freestyle).
Name: Jeremy Ellis
School: West Allegheny
Background: The nucleus of the West Allegheny swim team this season was going to be its group of seniors, most notably its foursome that won WPIAL Class AA gold last year in the 200 medley relay: Michael Kocher, Derek Currey, Jeremy Ellis and Gary McMurtrie.
At WPIALs lasts year, Ellis medaled in the 400 freestyle relay and placed 11th in the 100 butterfly but he had a disappointing disqualification in the 100 backstroke, an event he had a chance to medal in. Ellis is well on his way to returning to WPIALs this season and he will do it at the Class AAA level after his team moved up a classification.
The West Allegheny girls swimming and diving team racked up 93 points, a lot of first-place finishes and relay wins, on their way to a win over Trinity. The Indians overcame a disappointing start, as their 'A' relay team of Emma Pentrack, Megan Routch, Nicole Kadlecik and Christina Prologo were disqualified. Kaylee Musiol, Bella McClellan, Breanna McMurtrie and Eva Lagard got the Indians on the board with a second-place finish in the relay.
West Allegheny immediately retook the lead in the next event, as Jessica Wasek and Olivia Rohal finished 1-2, and never relinquished it. Musiol, Sydni Ellis and McClellan helped build that lead with a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 IM. Musiol dominated the field with a time of 2:23.51. The Indians posted another 1-2-3 sweep in the 50 freestyle with Routch (26.92), Elizabeth Vollmer (27.73) and Hannah Cook (27.54) sweeping the top three spots. Kadlecik swam the 100 butterfly in 1:01.96 to win the event and Pentrack was in second. Lagard and Vollmer in the 100 freestyle and Wasek and McMurtrie in the 500 freestyle gave West Allegheny two more 1-2 finishes. Lagard had the fastest 100 backstroke (1:04.94) and Musiol the fastest 100 breastroke (1:15.46).
A year ago West Allegheny had the best record in the PIHL, finished 20-2-0 and appeared to be unbeatable heading into the postseason.
This year everything changed.
Not only did the team lose 17 seniors, it moved up Class 2A because of the number of points it earned over the last three years and is off to a 2-14-0 start with just three games remaining.
This is not an unheard-of situation for the Indians, who won the 2012 state title, then went three seasons without sniffing the postseason. But the school now has a long-term goal so that these peaks and valleys don't happen as often.
Matt Holmes played high school football at West Allegheny. He will continue his football career just a few miles down the road -- 7.8 to be exact -- at Robert Morris University.
On Thursday, Holmes announced his commitment on Twitter. The Colonials compete in the Northeast Conference at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision level.
On their way to a WPIAL title a year ago, the Indians relied on their stingy defense and potent ground attack. Holmes -- a 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior -- was a force up front at defensive end in leading West Allegheny with 12.9 points allowed per game in 14 games. Holmes was also an offensive tackle for an Indians team that rushed for 2,274 yards, collectively.