Neshannock High swimmer Conner McBeth made sure he closed his WPIAL career in style.
McBeth won two gold medals Saturday at Upper St. Clair High School in the WPIAL Class 2A Swimming Championships.
McBeth’s first gold medal of the day was accompanied by a WPIAL record. He shared first place with Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan in the 50 freestyle in 20.36. That time broke the old mark set by Mark Stepanian in 2009. It also secured the fourth WPIAL title in that event for McBeth.
“He really rises to the occasion for big meets,” said Karen McBeth, who is Conner’s mom and the Neshannock High swim coach. “It’s been an amazing ride to watch him excel.”
McBeth, a senior, swims independently because Neshannock doesn’t have a varsity team. Karen McBeth, though, serves as the coach for any Lancers swimmer.
In addition, McBeth’s 50 freestyle time surpasses the current PIAA meet record and also is an All-American High School time.
McBeth won his second gold medal of the day in the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 44.87. He finished his district swimming career with two gold and two silver medals in that event.
The 100 freestyle time also is an All-American High School time.
Ellwood City Lincoln brothers Alexander Roth and Joseph Roth swim for Riverside under a cooperative sponsorship agreement because Ellwood City doesn’t have a swim team. The Panthers won the 200- and 400-meter freestyle relay races. Riverside also placed second in the 200 medley relay. The Roth brothers competed on all three relay teams.
Joseph Roth, just a freshman, broke the WPIAL record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.92. Alexander Roth took second place in the 100 freestyle.
Shenango sophomore Connor Jeffcoat competed in his second consecutive WPIAL meet. Jeffcoat took fourth place in the 200 freestyle in 1:46.90.
Jeffcoat captured a silver medal in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:47.17. Last year, Jeffcoat claimed fifth place in the event.
Both times are Jeffcoat’s personal best. His performance could earn an at-large bid to the state competition in both events this year. The PIAA will announce the at-large bids and the final lineup early this week.
Mohawk junior Sidney Andrews recorded her best time in the 500 freestyle at 5:41.01 to finish 12th. Andrews claimed 16th place in the 100 backstroke in 1:06.20.
Conner McBeth, Jeffcoat and Andrews train under their YMCA swim coach, Anita Murphy, at the Lawrence County YMCA because their schools do not have a pool or a team to train with.
The PIAA Class 2A High School Swimming Championships will be held at Cumberland Valley High School on March 19.