One of Zoey Wilson’s desires for this season become to comply with her brother’s footsteps, but her season was plagued with the aid of injuries.
Zoey Wilson, a senior at the Hempfield ladies swimming crew, specializes inside the 2 hundred-backyard freestyle. Her brother, Zane, had a adorned swimming profession for the Spartans from 2013-17.
Zane holds the team file in the hundred backstrokes, changed into twice named all-state honorable mention in one hundred lower back and 2 hundred IM, and turned into an All-American in the 200 medley relay and four hundred freestyle relay.
“He’s a exceptional brother and role version,” Zoey stated. “He has outstanding morals, stuck up for himself, and showed wonderful sportsmanship. He has taught me so many life instructions, and I am grateful to be his little sister.”
Zane does not swim competitively, but he remains near the water as a midshipman and mechanical engineering principal at the U.S. Naval Academy. He changed into inspired to enroll in the military by his grandfathers, who served within the armed offerings.
“When (Zane) left for Plebe Summer, it turned into a tough adjustment for me,” Zoey stated. “I changed into so used to having him through my side. I found out I can’t continually rely upon him. However, I understand he always has my return.
“I wanted to retain the Wilson legacy. Zane became a fantastic chief. He made every swimmer feel protected. I wanted to hold that alive and make an impact. I desired to ensure absolutely everyone knows they’re essential. I wish the Wilson call by no means dies out years down the street.”
While Zane opted for the army, Zoey plans to retain her research and swimming at St. Francis (Pa.) as exercise physiology foremost. Then, she will cross for her doctorate in bodily therapy.
“Making my university selection turned into very hard,” she stated. “I had splendid faculties with wonderful reputations, coaches, and swim groups. After that, academics become the determining thing. St. Francis is thought for its physical therapy program, and they have the complete exercise physiology and physical therapy application right on campus.
“Also, my adolescence dream has continually been to come to be a D-I swimmer. Coach Kyle (Almoney) and the ladies left a outstanding influence on my visit. They’re now not just targeted inside the pool but in their academics as properly. The swim crew had the highest GPA inside the whole NCAA final spring. I recognize that is wherein I’m presupposed to be, and I am unbelievably excited.”
Zoey, like her brother, changed into a four-year competitor at Hempfield. But, unfortunately, it changed into a damage-riddled time for her.
“It has been a tough four years,” Zoey said. “We reached a factor where we idea I may additionally never swim again. I had concussions in eighth grade, and their outcomes lasted until the summertime earlier than 11th grade.
“I went from being a quite first-rate age organization swimmer to barely being able to swim a 50-backyard event without getting a headache. I’ve put in a ton of labor in the pool and weight room to make up for time lost. It’s crazy to peer how a way I’ve come.”
Zoey certified for WPIALs four times and states as a junior and senior. She has been a WPIAL and Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association medalist and become an 8-time WPIAL medalist.
This season, Zoey suffered a thoracic sprain and a again sprain at her group’s first meet and was in recovery mode thereafter.
“Going into WPIALs, I sincerely didn’t have any particular goals,” she said.
Zoey placed fourth in the 200 freestyle and eighth inside the 100 freestyle on the WPIAL finals.
Other WPIAL medalists for Hempfield were senior Gavin Mayo, a North Carolina recruit who won the lads 50 freestyle and took 0.33 within the 100 backstrokes; and sophomore Brian Wilson, who tied for seventh within the 50 freestyle.
The Spartans’ 200 freestyle relay (Mayo, Will Falcon, Todd Wilson, Brian Wilson) additionally took 0.33 area. The two hundred medley relay (Mayo, Todd Wilson, Nolan Steeley, Anthony Peila) placed fourth.
Mayo is an All-American inside the 50 freestyle.