Aug. 6, 2014
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PITTSBURGH - Pitt swimming and diving will be well represented at this year’s USA Swimming Nationals, with five student-athletes competing at the five-day event in Irvine, Calif. from Aug. 6 to 10.
Leading the way for the Panthers is Luke Nosbisch, who is fresh off earning “High Point” scorer at the USA Super Sectionals in Buffalo last week.
“Luke continues to amaze us with his ability to race,” said head coach Chuck Knoles. “He is one of the hardest workers we have on the team. His success is directly tied with his work ethic. We are very proud of his success to date and expect him to surprise us even more at Seniors this summer and in the upcoming collegiate season.”
Joining Nosbisch in California are fellow rising senior Jon Lierley, rising juniors David Sweeney Jr., Kaleigh Ritter and Blair Wegescheide, who all competing for their Pittsburgh club team. Rising sophomore Zach Lierley is representing his home club team in Charleston, S.C.
Additionally, rising sophomores Scott Simmer and Spencer Gray participated or will participate at national events. Simmer completed his stint at Junior Nationals last weekend, which was also in Irvine while Gray will swim at the National Club Swimming Association Junior Nationals in Indianapolis from Aug. 5-9.
“We have a great nucleus of swimmers who have worked hard this summer to be competitive nationally,” said Knoles. “It is in the summertime that most gains in background and strength can be made. Our work this summer as a team will help us perform better next year going into our second season in the ACC. Seeing Pitt represented at the meet with so many swimmers at a National Championship bodes well for our future success here at Pitt.”
Nosbisch will swim in three races – the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststrokes. Entering Nationals, Nosbisch’s seed time of 1:03.01 is 19th in the 50 and 22nd in the 100. He is also 52nd in the 200.
Ritter, who is making her second appearance at Nationals has the 41st fastest time in the 1,500-meter free, coming in at 16:15.02. Ritter will also participate in the 800-meter free, where her seed time puts her 57th, and the 400-meter free.
Holding down the backstroke is Wegescheide, who races in the 50-meter and 100-meter events. Wegescheide’s seed time of 53.69 is 66th in the 50 and 79th in the 100.
Both Sweeney and Jon Lierley will each represent Pittsburgh in one event. Sweeney comes into Nationals with a seed time of 1:36.27 in the 200-meter free, which is 79th, while Lierley has the 53rd fastest seed time for the 200-meter butterfly of 2:02.47.
Lierley’s younger brother Zach looks to improve his seed time of 4:23.20 in the 400-meter individual medley, which ranks him 23rd before Nationals. Zach will swim in the 200-meter back as well and is seeded 52nd with a time of 2:03.91.
Simmer, who was Pittsburgh’s lone swimmer at Junior Nationals, wrapped up competition on Aug. 3. He had a pair of top-25 finishes, placing 23rd in the 800-meter free in 8:18.30 and 25th in the 1,500-meter free at 15:55.99. Simmer also was 34th in the 400-meter free and raced in the 200-meter free.
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