The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

Latrobe swimming makes a Splash at WCCAs

The swim team had a succesful WCCA meet and is looking towards WPIALs.

The Greater Latrobe swim team had a successful weekend at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association (WCCA) swim meet. The girl´s team finished second and the boy´s team finished fourth overall and second in 2A. 


Charlie Thomson, a sophomore on the boy’s side, took the win in the 50 freestyle and placed fifth in the 100 butterfly. Thomson said, ¨In practice we definitely toned it down a little in difficulty right before counties, not doing more than a 25 fast. This made sure we were energized for the meet.¨ 


Taking first in the top 50 free was something Thomson had on his radar. Thomson said, “Grey [swim team head coach] had told me weeks prior that I had a chance of winning the 50 at counties, but seeing the speeds I was skeptical. While I was behind the block, I had no idea what to expect, but I did know that I wanted it.¨ 


Thomson has more goals moving forward as he gets closer to WPIALs. Thomson said, ¨I expect to shave off some more time especially in the 100 free if I end up swimming that event at WPIALs instead of fly.¨ 


Lauren Bell finished second in the 50 freestyle and was crowned county champion in the 100 butterfly, taking down the 100 butterfly record that previously stood for 16 years. Bell stated that she was not expecting to break the mark. Bell said,¨ Grey told me about it right before I went up to swim and he told me what the record was and I said, ´Ok! Great! Let’s do it!´¨ 


The previous mark stood for 16 years. Taking down the record did not come easy. Bell trains with her teammates around the clock to prepare. ¨ I trained hard. I trusted in my coach with the sets and got some rest and I just treated my body right and had a mental regroup with myself.¨ 


Additionally, Bell and her team started training earlier in the year to prepare for this season. ¨ I started training earlier. I started lifting earlier.¨ 


Bell, a former standout on the girl’s soccer team, decided to focus on her swimming this year. ¨Last year around this time I think I was wrapping up soccer so this year I definitely had more time to focus on swimming and training for swimming instead of soccer.¨ 


Bell has aspirations of continuing her athletic career as a swimmer in college at the Division One level. Bell said, ¨I have been in communication with coaches from Marshall, Ohio, Buffalo, and East Carolina.¨ 


Bell is ready to finish the season on a high and is continuing her hard work to do that. Currently, Bell is the top-seeded swimmer in the 100 butterfly in the WPIAL 3A. She is excited to see what she can accomplish. 


Chris Heese, a sophomore on the boy’s team, also had a successful meet at counties. Heese said,  ¨I was expecting a good race for the 2A team winner between us and Mount Pleasant.¨ Mount Pleasant has been a tough competitor on both the boys’ and girls’ sides for the last couple of years. The Latrobe boys’ team was prepared for the competition they brought to the table. Heese said, “We have been working hard all season and having fun in the water with each other. Our coach has really ramped up practice this year to make us faster.¨ 


Heese is a very versatile athlete. His individual events at the meet included the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke. These two events are right next to each other which leaves time for little rest. Even with these hurdles Heese was still able to get on the podium and put up a competitive time for both events. 


Heese is looking forward to WPIALs and is hoping to get a record himself. Heese said, ¨I am looking forward to seeing how close I can get to the 100 breaststroke record in these last remaining dual meets before I finally go all out and hopefully grab it at WPIALs.¨ 


During the meet, the boys´ 200 free relay broke the school record. The relay included Charlie Thomson, Chris Heese, Patrick Cratty, and Heinrich van der Westhuizen. 

Thomson said, ¨It was a big surprise breaking the record but I think it shows that we are preparing ourselves correctly for WPIALs.¨ The boys are excited to see what times they can go later this season. Heese said,¨We like to push each other in practice to help us all become the best swimmers we can be.¨ 


The lady cats also found success in the 200 freestyle relay striking gold in the event. The team included Maggie Elder, Destini Homan, McKayla Golden, and Lauren Bell.

One of the team’s goals moving forward is to qualify as many team members as possible for the WPIAL meet. The team has been successful in qualifying the majority of both teams but is still in search of adding more names as they reach the end of their regular season. 


The coaching staff has played a crucial role in preparing the swimmers for the big meet.

With head coach Grey Arrigonie and assistant coach Hannah Brewer, the teams have been unstoppable. Brewer said, ¨It’s been enriching getting to coach this year. They´re all very funny and just bring so much energy and life to practice.¨ 


 The cats are preparing for WPIALs and are eager to end their season on a high note.

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About the Contributor
Maggie Elder, Staff Writer
Maggie Elder is ecstatic to be writing for The High Post as a junior this year! The 2023-2024 school year will be her first year on the High Post. She had the incredible pleasure of having Mrs. Stallings for English her sophomore year and got to see some of the beautiful things the High Post did last year. Maggie is a member of the Greater Latrobe girls varsity swim team. She also swims for the Greater Latrobe Aqua Club and Allegheny Mountain Swimming. Her main event is the 100 breaststroke, but this past year she was one of the four people in the state qualifying 400 free relay. While she has many athletic achievements, she has also had many academic accomplishments. Maggie is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the French National Honors Society, Interact Club, Key Club, Link Crew, and Environmental Club. Maggie’s favorite place to be is in Ocean City, New Jersey with her family. As a High Post member, she volunteered at the Banana Split Festival and Trooper Iwaniec Race. Maggie decided to take Multimedia Journalism because she enjoys covering events happening around the school and enjoys spending time with her friends who are also taking the class.   

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