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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pitt-Bradford Swim Teams Ready for AMCC Championships

by Scott Elliott
BRADFORD, Pa. - The Pitt-Bradford men's and women's swimming teams will travel to Erie Wednesday for the start of the 2017 AMCC Championships.

It marks the first time in league history the conference will host a stand-alone championship meet. In previous years, it was held in conjunction with the President's Athletic Conference meet in Grove City.

"These championships are going to be very exciting as this is our first stand-alone championships for the AMCC," head coach Doug Alban said. "This is a very special opportunity our athletes have of setting a high standard in the AMCC.

"The conference championship is unlike any other competition we have in that it is a four-day meet."

The Panthers have excelled under Alban in his first season at the helm despite smaller numbers, and their results from December's three-day meet at Fredonia have him believing the teams are in for a special weekend.

"We had a plethora of life-time bests on both the men's and women's team at our mid-season invitational, which makes me very excited to see what this group can do with a full taper, shave-down, and tech suit," Alban said.

The Pitt-Bradford men will led by the quartet of Carey Behm, Nicholas Boyd, Lucas Cerchiaro and Corey Koss. All four have posted top-five times among AMCC swimmers in their respective disciplines this year, and together they set a new Pitt-Bradford pool record in the 400-yard free relay (3:22.49) on Jan. 21.

Behm is the reigning 1,650-yard free AMCC champion, and Koss was victorious in the 100-yard back in 2016. Cerchiaro finished runner-up in the 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard butterfly and 200-yard individual medley a year ago and is arguably the Panthers' top all-around swimmer. Boyd is among the conference's best sprinters.

Other Panthers to keep a close watch on include Noah Frederick and Mitchell Smith. Frederick has posted top-10 times in the breaststroke events, and Smith is a threat in the long-distance races.

On the women's side, the Panthers will be led by the duo of Elizabeth Prager and Jillian Wright.

Prager will look to finish her Pitt-Bradford career in style. She already holds 13 program records and a pair of AMCC records and is a threat in the backstroke and mid-distance races.

Wright, who had a pair of top-five finishes at last year's championships, stars in the 200-yard individual medley and breaststroke swims.

Rebecca Avery, Abbie Bradshaw and Wenjing Miao will contribute in the relays and short-distance swims.

Alban has stressed the importance of leaning on teammates to combat the rigorous schedule of the championships and feels the team's unity will serve it well.

"The full team aspect comes in to play as each swimmer relies on one another as we get deeper into the meet," Alban said. "We have done an amazing job this year, and especially this semester, of bonding and becoming very tight-knit.

"I look forward to seeing each of the student-athletes succeed with the support of their teammates."

For more information regarding the 2017 AMCC Championships, including ticket details, schedule, live video and results, visit http://pittbradford.athletics.org.

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