by Paul Nielsen
CHARLOTTE – Providence High head swimming coach Bill Davis has his hands full when it comes time to practice.
But that is a good thing.
Providence has more than 60 boys and girls’ swimmers out this season, including a strong senior class of 32 swimmers.
Those numbers helped Providence finish second in both the boys and girls’ divisions at the SoMeck7 Conference Swimming and Dive Meet and 40 swimmers have posted times to be considered for the upcoming regional swim meet. Schools are limited to 30 entries and athletes are limited to two individual events.
The 4A Western Regional Swimming and Dive Meet is Feb. 2 at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. The Class 4A meet is Feb. 10 at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary.
“We have had a tremendous season and I am really proud of the kids,” Davis said. “It’s by far the biggest senior class that we have had. They are an energetic, an enthusiastic and team-spirited group. We are deeper at some positions than the number of kids that I can enter. It’s been a very successful year.”
Senior Teddy Perelli has been solid all
season and the senior is one of the school’s swimmers that will advance to the regional. Perelli finished second in 100 back (52.87) and the 200 IM (1:55.18) at the conference meet.
Perelli is headed to Penn State, where he will swim for the Nittany Lions and study architectural engineering.
“Perelli can swim anything,” Davis said. “He has the fastest stroke of anybody we have.”
Perelli, who is also an accomplished artist, said he is excited about the opportunity to swim at Penn State.
“I thought this year has been great so far,” Perelli said. “This has been the best year for me so far. The key this year is that I have had more fun. My junior year, I took it more seriously and it made me more nervous before races. Penn State is a great school for me. When I looked at colleges I would I ask myself, ‘Would I go here if I wasn’t swimming.’ I said yes. They have a great team there.”
Thomas Svane-From took first in the 50 free (22.34) at conference and finished second in the 100 free (48.88).
“Thomas hasn’t committed anywhere yet,” Davis said. “He is a U.S. citizen and a Danish citizen, so he is trying to decide to stay here and swim or go to Denmark and swim.”
Junior Rhiannon Wozny and freshman Laura Davis will both compete in the 500 free at regional. Both are contenders to advance to the state swimming meet next month. Davis won the 500 free at the conference meet in a time of 5:22.44 while Wozny was second in 5:26.79.
Lily Siemasko, Lily Sanocki, Sarah DiPangrazio and Felicia Li have also posted solid times heading to the regionals. DiPangrazio finished first in the 100 fly (59.40) at the conference meet.
“On the girls’ side, I like to think we are six deep,” Davis said. “That has been a huge plus. It’s also great to have a freshman to come in and contribute at this level. We have had tremendous input from all the girls.”
Wozny moved from Chicago to Charlotte before her junior season and she said competing against Davis in practice and in meets has helped her get better.
“Laura is pretty good competition,” Wozny said.
Davis said she is putting in extra work ahead of the regional swim meet with a goal of qualifying for the state meet in the 500 free and the 200 IM.
“It’s been a lot of fun, we practice with each other and we compete against each other,” Davis said. “We push each other, and that helps the both of us. I think I am in a good position to make state, but I am going to have to work really hard.”