Strength in Numbers: Tyrone Swim Team Growing and Improving

Tyrone, Bellwood and Bishop Guilfoyle student-athletes all compete together as Golden Eagles in varsity boys and girls swimming


Row 1( Left to Right): Taylor Hoover, Allison Hosko, Brooke Snyder, Sarafina Miobara, Sarah Knisley Row 2: Emma Hoover, Emily Beam, Hannah Gampe, Kayla Bilger, Gwen Dougherty,Olivia Thomas, Madison Bransetter, Mikayla Diebold, Molly Fadgen Row 3: Carter Maceno, Sergio Slobodnik, Blake Slobodnik, Matt Beam, Collin Rhoades, Austin Quinn, Bryce Bauer, Chase Maceno

After a few years of struggling with low numbers, the Tyrone High School boys and girls swim teams are looking forward to a more competitive 2015-2016 year.  Both teams open their season this Thursday night at Bellefonte.

The boys will put at least nine swimmers in the water and the girls will field a team of 19, two of the largest Tyrone teams in recent memory.

Like soccer and tennis, swimming is a cooperative sport with Bellwood.  However, the team also has members from Bishop Guilfoyle as well, making it the only three school sport at Tyrone.

We have some strong boys and better numbers. I’m pretty excited to see what they can do”

— Head Coach Tom Getz

According to assistant coach Justin Brown, the team is about 60% Tyrone athletes and 40% Bellwood and Bishop Guilfoyle athletes. Three schools competing together makes it fun for the athletes, according to Brown, as they get to know students from other schools and compete with them as Golden Eagles.

“We have some strong boys and better numbers. I’m pretty excited to see what they can do,” said Tyrone Head Coach Tom Getz.

Having at least eight swimmers on the boys side will make the team much more competitive because they will be able to two teams in relay events and will be able to compete for more points in individual events.

“We definitely have higher numbers and more fresh faces this year,” said assistant coach Justin Brown, “and a lot of times you don’t need to win events to win meets.  Second through fifth place finishes are sometimes more important than first because you are scoring points.”

“Right now, we have a handful of very strong swimmers,” said Getz, who is entering his eighth season at the helm of the Tyrone swim teams.  “We have a lot of young swimmers that will need to step it up if we really want to win meets.”

Numbers for the swim team have always been lower, especially for the boy’s team.

“We’ll do better than we did last year because we have more boys on the team,” said sophomore swimmer Matthew Beam.

It’s nice to see more people on not only the boys team, but also for the girls team.

“The girl’s team is about the same size as last year,” said senior returning letter winner Kayla Bilger, “There are a lot of good swimmers this year.”

“We have a couple of returning girls, but we do have a lot of girls, so we should be able to pull off some wins,” said junior swimmer Allison Hosko.

It’s too early to tell how the increased numbers will effect the win-loss record for both teams.

“My early impressions are that [the girls] should be more competitive too,” said Getz.

“The more people, the more points!” agreed Austin Quinn and Hosko.

“I think this year will have a stronger district team and possibly even states,” said Brown.

It’s hard to say how many people will go to Districts or States because it all depends on how hard people work”

— Assistant Coach Justin Brown

Last year eight Tyrone, two Bellwood, and three Bishop Guilfoyle swimmers competed at Districts. Three swimmers placed, but none went on to states.

For the girls, senior Emily Beam is a returning District place winner, while the boys have returning senior standout Ben McConnell.

“It’s hard to say how many people will go to Districts or States because it all depends on how hard people work,” said Brown.

Many returning swimmers are excited to try and beat their personal times from previous years.

“I hope to get and stay in good shape,” said Sarah Knisely, a junior Bellwood swimmer.

“I hope to beat my score and score more points for the team,” said Quinn.

“I’m looking forward to finishing the swim season strong and getting a hug from Coach Tom on Senior Night,” said Bilger.

2015-2016 Boys and Girls Swimming Schedule

Thursday 12/10/15  – Bellefonte –  Away  – 6:45 PM

Tuesday 12/15/15  – Clearfield – Home  – 6:00 PM

Friday 12/18/15  – Ligonier Valley – Home  – 6:00 PM

Monday 01/04/16 – Central Cambria – Away – 5:00 PM

Thursday 01/07/16 – Cambria Heights – Home – 6:00 PM

Monday 01/11/16 – Hollidaysburg – Away – 7:00 PM

Wednesday 01/13/16 – Marion Center – Home –  6:00 PM

Friday 01/15/16 – Mifflin County – Home – 6:00 PM

Monday 01/18/16 – Huntingdon – Away – 6:00 PM

Thursday 02/04/16 – Northern Cambria – Home – 6:00 PM

Monday 02/08/16 – Altoona – Away – 6:00 PM