Senior Day at Pittston Area was a good time to celebrate four years of accomplishments in the girls swimming program, it was also a day that provided a reminder that there are also good times ahead.
“The future is bright,” Pittston Area coach Amy Hazlet said after a team that featured just two seniors wrapped up its fourth straight perfect season in Division 3 of the Wyoming Valley Conference by dominating second-place Wyoming Area, 127-59, Wednesday.
After winning three straight championships from 2008 to 2010, Wyoming Area has finished second in two of the last four seasons. But despite going 8-0 against the rest of the division, the Lady Warriors were no match for the Lady Patriots.
Antoinette Antonacci, one of two senior co-captains, was part of her fourth straight championship team. She won the 100-yard breaststroke, was part of two winning relays and added a third-place finish in the 200 individual medley.
Antonacci said she will miss being part of the team.
“It’s really a bittersweet day,” Antonacci said. “I love my team.”
Irene Magdon, the other senior co-captain, won the 100 backstroke and 500 freestyle and also contributed a leg to the closing 400 freestyle relay win.
“For me, it was really overwhelming,” Magdon said of clinching another championship in the last home meet of her career. “Amy is like a second Mom to me and the team is like a second family.
“Competing with them for the last time here is really rough, but it was a really good meet and W.A. has a lot of good swimmers, so it was fun.”
Magdon and junior Mia Nardone, who led the way with two individual and two relay wins, have each been on three championship teams.
Nardone, Antonacci and Magdon piled up the points at the top of the lineup, but the fourth straight championship season required the help of a group of new swimmers.
“We lost quite a few girls from last year, which was our depth,” Hazlet said. “I was very concerned at the start of this year. I knew we had our horses like Mia, and Antoinette in the breaststroke.
“However, we didn’t have a lot of depth. We had about 20 kids this year who were new or swam very limited roles in the past.”
The team’s veterans led with their performance and their guidance.
“A lot of them came out for swimming for the first time – some freshmen and some sophomores,” said Nardone, who established a 100 butterfly school record as a freshman and added a school record in her new event, the 100 backstroke, this season.
“In the beginning of the season, it was all of our goals to help them out and get them started.
“A lot of them are doing really well and have a shot at making districts this year.”
Nardone won the 100 butterfly and 200 IM Wednesday. She also was part of the opening 200 medley relay win and anchored the winning 200 freestyle relay win.
Freshmen Arianna Boccardi and Katrina Dillon finished 1-2 in the 200 freestyle, the first individual event of the meet.
Sophomores Kate Musto and Loran Garnett followed Magdon for a sweep of the top three spots in the 100 backstroke then freshman Jordan Zlegner and sophomore Adison Hazlet followed Antonacci for a sweep of the 100 breaststroke.
Boccadi, Dillon and Erin Senese were on two winning relays each while Musto and Kassidy Roche were on one.
Wyoming Area’s two swimming wins were produced by Amy Alder in the 50 and 100 free.
“She went from being a distance swimmer the past two years,” coach Lauren Shovlin said. “She’s very versatile. She can swim anything.”
Keirsten Lasher added a diving win.
Wyoming Area finished second in the division.
“After last year finishing 5-5 and bringing it up three wins to 8-2, I couldn’t be happier,” Shovlin said. “It was phenomenal. It was all I could ask for.”