It wasn’t the easiest of roads for Pittston Area’s Mia Nardone.
At the PIAA Swimming and Diving championships at Bucknell University, Nardone was dealt with a bit of adversity heading into her third career state championships.
But she swam well. Well enough to her liking.
Nardone posted a 1:00.03, which was her second fastest time of the season. In the finals, she posted a similar mark of 1:00.06, good enough to finished 16th in the state.
“It was a long day,” she said. “I swam early in the morning and didn’t swim until late at night and I’m not used to it.”
But she didn’t make any excuses. Each year at Bucknell, Nardone has improved her time, but she hasn’t improved her place.
The time between the two races was nearly eight hours. The Pittston Area team was used to swimming in the early morning hours to get ready for the postseason.
“Next year I’m going to swim later,” she said. “I’m going to ask my coach to have later practices. This year we started swimming early to get used to it. Your body isn’t used to going through that.”
Nardone finished in 13th place as a freshman and she said she expected her places to do down. Instead, her times got faster but her places went up. That’s a testament to the amount of high-quality swimmers in the state.
In the morning race at states, Nardone felt like she wasn’t going fast enough and she thought she’d be around the time she came in. In the night race, her goal was to get a faster split.
“I felt like I was fast,” she said. “So I was disappointed with that time.”
Nardone qualified for the state meet by winning her first PIAA District 2 gold medal after posting a time of 59.67 at the Wilkes-Barre CYC.
“When I broke the minute mark I was excited,” she said. “If I did a 59 at states, I would have made the finals instead of consys. Even though it wasn’t under a minute. It was my second and third best times.”
Last year, Nardone just missed heading to states, but locked up a silver with a time of 1:01.26.
Pittston Area posted a fourth straight unbeaten season with a win over WA in mid February
On a team that featured just two seniors, Pittston Area ran away with Division 3 of the Wyoming Valley Conference. They finished the season by dominating second-place Wyoming Area, 127-59, to lock up the perfect season.
“Even if we were doing this well and haven’t won the conference, it would have been fine,” she said. “Our team works really hard and (coach Amy Hazlet) pushes us hard.”
Nardone’s aspirations are to go to college at the Division 2 level. She’s been looking at a few schools. She also wants to be a swim coach and a math teacher.
But first, she’s looking forward to her senior year.