Stokes, Herrle gear up for WPIALs in swimming, diving

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Alli Schroeder

Two members of the swim and diving team qualified for the WPIAL championship.

Carson Chapel and Paul Kercher

Senior Dylan Stokes is one of two members of the Baldwin swim and dive team who has made WPIALs, with his clinching effort coming down to a slim margin. 

“It was a very close call,” Stokes said. “I made the 50 freestyle by .09 seconds. I was about .40 seconds off of the 100 freestyle, but since I was in the top 16 I can swim the 50 and 100 freestyle at the WPIALs.”

Junior Abigail Herrle has made the WPIALs for diving. Herrle has put in a lot of hard work during practice and has seen improvements in her diving. 

“My practice has improved through the season and I’m hoping to impress the judges at WPIALs,” Herrle said. 

Stokes said qualifying this year took even more effort than usual, since the WPIAL qualifying times were reduced. That was done so fewer athletes would qualify, improving social distancing at the playoffs.

“It was quite difficult trying to make it into the WPIALs since they dropped the cut (time), so I had to put in a lot of work to make the times,” Stokes said. 

Stokes has high hopes and is excited to swim in the playoffs. 

“The energy there is always so high and everyone is so fast that it’s easy to get up on the block and have a good swim,” Stokes said. 

Herrle also has high hopes. 

“I hope I place better than 23rd like last year, and I want to try to qualify for the second round,” Herrle said. 

The WPIALs for diving will be this Saturday. The swimming WPIALs will be next weekend, March 6-7.