Flames News · Varsity Swimming


The Northgate/Avonworth team traveled to Riverside high school Saturday morning, 02/06/21, for a last minute added non section meet.  Even with the late minute addition to the season schedule, the boys and girls came prepared and took care of business.   Due to Covid restrictions and a smaller than usual pool, the team was not able to travel with their full team however that did not stop either the boys or girls from leaving Riverside with victories.   The Saturday morning meet also saw a little bit of history made for the NGHS swim team as freshman Ryan Hartle participated in the 1 meter diving competition.  Hartle went on to earn Northgate/Avonworth’s first ever WPIAL qualifying spot in the diving competition with a score of 187.05.  The girls won with a landslide 71-11 win, and the boys had some tough competition but came out victorious 62-36.

Girls Recap:

The NGHS ladies ‘A’ relay of Amelia Hardiman, Danica Raich, Anna Neiss, and Elise Nardozzi opened the Saturday morning meet with a first place time of 1:57.65.  Freshman Elise Nardozzi and Senior Carly Spahr earned WPIAL qualifying times Saturday morning.  Nardozzi in the 50 yard free event earned her qualifying time with a 24.82, and Spahr in the 100 yard backstroke earned her qualifying time with a 1:01.93.  The ladies of NGHS cruised through the morning putting up numerous season best times.  Kendall McKelvey put up a season best time in the 200 yard free event.  McKelvey dropped five seconds for a season best 2:02.96.  Kendall also dropped over five seconds in her 100 yard backstroke event for a new best time of 1:06.20.  Both Amelia Hardiman and Catrina Raich earned best times in the 200 yard IM event.  Amelia finished with a 2:22.28 and Catrina touched with a 2:22.37.  In the 50 yard free event, Anna Neiss and Elise Nardozzi took first and second place while also earning season best times.   Anna Neiss finished with a 24.69 and Elise finished with a 24.82.  Neiss also dropped over four seconds in her 100 yard breaststroke earning a new season best time of 1:16.55   Anna Kohler dropped time in the 100 yard butterfly event with a 1:04.97.

Boys Recap:

The Riverside boys would be by far the NGHS boys toughest competition so far this season.  The NGHS boys swimmers (Matthew Purcell, Zach Schuster, Cooper Groll, and Clark Bernauer) were able to capture a first place win with a time of 1:40.30 in the opening 200 yard medley relay.  The boys had their work cut out for them in most events Saturday morning but gave it their all to earn a hard fought victory.  WPIAL qualifiers included senior Graham Herzig in the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 56.58, Jack Blaser in the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.69, and Ryan Hartle with the first ever in NGHS swim history WPIAL qualifying score of 187.05 in the 1 meter diving event. The boys ‘A’ relay team of seniors Clark Bernauer, Graham Herzig, Cooper Groll, and sophomore Matthew Purcell clinched their qualifying time in the 200 yard free relay with a time of 1:32.33.   The boys also had numerous season best times Saturday morning including Sam Kohler who dropped 1.5 seconds in his 200 yard free event for a time of 1:57.87.   Kohler also posted a best time of 53.88 in the 100 yard free.  Matthew Purcell posted season best times in the 200 yard IM with a 2:00.63, and the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 53.64.   In the 500 yard free event, freshman Zach Schuster dropped an impressive 10 seconds for a new season best time of 4:59.70.  Schuster also improved on his 50 yard free time with a new season best of 23.57.  Jack Blaser secured a new season best time of 1:04.69 in the 100 yard breaststroke, and Andrew Baldauff earned a new best time of 2:20.17 in the 200 yard IM.   Senior Graham Herzig earned a new season best in the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 56.58.

The team will return to their home pool for a non section meet again Keystone Oaks on Monday, February 8th.   You can watch the team compete via the team youtube channel.  Click the link below to subscribe!

NGHS Swim team youtube channel