Switching up roles works for Keelan
Butler swimmers sweep Penn Hills
By Derek Pyda
Eagle Staff Writer
BUTLER TWP — As the only senior on the Butler girls swimming and diving team, Morgan Keelan's responsibilities exceed scoring points in freestyle and relay events.
“In the past, we had captains on a meet-by-meet basis,” said Golden Tornado coach Dave Bocci. “This is the first time in my five years here that we've had designated captains for the whole season and I thought before the year started that Morgan would make a good leader. She's done a great job of bringing the girls together.”
Keelan also took on a new role in the water this year. Previously competing in the 100-yard breaststroke, she switched to the 50 and 100 freestyles.
“I swam those two events in YMCA meets before, but rarely in high school,” said Keelan. “We had a really good girl in those events the last few years, Jillian McElhaney. She graduated and a spot opened up for me.”
Keelan won both the 50 and 100 Tuesday night with times of 26.56 seconds and 58.49, respectively, to help the Golden Tornado defeat Penn Hills 91-78.
Butler improved to 4-3 with the victory.
“I'm very happy with how I've done so far this year,” Keelan said. “My times are better than I thought they'd be.”
Bocci said Keelan's best event is the 50 freestyle.
“She's only about eight-tenths of a second from reaching the qualifying time (25.8) for WPIALs,” he said. “I'm very confident she can make it.”
Keelan is no stranger to the WPIAL meet. She made it the last three years.
“I will be swimming in relays at WPIALs, but making the individual cut to get there, no matter where I place, would mean a lot to me.
“I'm going to Pitt and may swim on a club team, but it's definitely going to be different, not getting up for morning practices and going to ones in the afternoon. I've been swimming competitively since I was 5-years-old.”
Butler's other individual to win two events was Laura Goettler, who captured the 200 IM and breaststroke.
Paige Williams won the diving event with a score of 212.2.
Boys Butler 85, Penn Hills 73
Alex Deemer (200 IM, 500 freestyle) and Nathan Callithen (backstroke, breaststroke) both won two events as the Tornado pushed their season record to 5-2.
Bocci said leadership on the boys team is in good hands.
“We have four seniors (Trai Kish, Nathan Callithen, Joe Deemer and Luke Puchnick),” he said.
“Aside from our top swimmers, Simon Diehl and Zach Callithen have provided depth, adding points where we need them with second and third-place finishes.”
Jon Hansotte earned six points toward Butler's team total with a win in diving. His score was 224.35.
Butler 91, Penn Hills 78
200 medley relay: 1-Butler (Rachel Ledford, Laura Goettler, Emma Weiss, Morgan Keelan) 1:55.01
200 freestyle: 1-Stephanie Sipple (PH) 2:01.27
200 individual medley: 1-Laura Goettler (B) 2:10.74
50 freestyle: 1-Morgan Keelan (B) 26.56
1-meter diving: 1-Paige Williams (B) 212.2
100 butterfly: 1-Emma Weiss (B) 1:04.24
100 freestyle: 1-Morgan Keelan (B) 58.49
500 freestyle: 1-Ellie Weiss (B) 5:48.79
200 freestyle relay: 1-Penn Hills 1:49.93
100 backstroke: 1-Rachel Ledford (B) 1:03.73
100 breaststroke: 1-Laura Goettler (B) 1:09.08
400 freestyle relay: 1-Penn Hills 4:18.21
Butler 85, Penn Hills 73
200 medley relay: 1-Penn Hills 1:52.48
200 freestyle: 1-Joe Deemer (B) 1:50.0
200 individual medley: 1-Alex Deemer (B) 2:04.01
50 freestyle: 1-Glenn Hanna (PH) 23.23
1-meter diving: 1-Jon Hansotte (B) 224.35
100 butterfly: 1-Isaiah Gregory (PH) 54.34
100 freestyle: 1-Glenn Hanna (PH) 53.38
500 freestyle: 1-Alex Deemer (B) 5:09.39
200 freestyle relay: 1-Penn Hills 1:40.93
100 backstroke: 1-Nathan Callithen (B) 56.97
100 breaststroke: 1-Nathan Callithen (B) 1:10.82
400 freestyle relay: 1-Penn Hills 3:28.5