Sewickley Valley YMCA swimmers compete at state meet
Sewickley Valley YMCA swimmer Hannah Fetterolf went into the Pennsylvania YMCA State championship meet March 23-25 at Penn State hoping to make the podium.
Fetterolf, 12, of Sewickley, achieved her goal, placing sixth in the girls 11-12 50-yard butterfly (28.28 seconds) and securing the final medal.
Fetterolf — the West District runner-up — improved her seed time of 28.57.
Sewickley Valley YMCA coach Amber Miller said Fetterolf is one of the hardest-working young athletes she has coached.
“She’s always looking for feedback and things she can improve,” Miller said. “She’s not afraid to go the extra mile in practice or face the competition at big meets.”
Fetterolf, a Quaker Valley sixth-grader, also had hoped to reach the podium as part of the 200 medley relay team, but she, Ellie Cain, Kirsten Have and Ella Fuener fell short.
On the boys side, Thomas Fuener placed seventh in the boys 10-and-under 50 butterfly (32.54), missing a medal by one place. He garnered ribbons in that event and the 100 butterfly (one minute, 17.79 seconds), in which he came in 11th.
Miller said Fuener, 11, of Sewickley, had a breakout performance at the district meet, where he finished second in the 50 butterfly and fourth in the 100 butterfly. “Not many 9-10 boys like to swim the 100 fly, but Thomas does not back down from a challenge,” Miller said.
Fuener, a Quaker Valley fifth-grader, looks forward to going back to states next season “to beat (the) kids who beat me.”
Abby Suhayda, Ruby Olliffe, Lucy Roig, Katherine Linge, Kieran Cain, Deven Tomey and Tyler Bell also competed at the state championship.
Suhayda, in the girls 10-and-under 50 butterfly, qualified individually. Miller said many of her charges were making their first trips to districts and states.
“We are so proud of these young swimmers,” she said. “They have been training hard day in and day out since October, and it’s been really cool to watch them get stronger and faster.”
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.