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Quaker Valley grad McGranahan to sail at Boston College

August 8, 2018
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Quaker Valley graduate Declan McGranahan and his younger brother Lachlain placed third at the U.S. Youth Sailing Championships in the Doublehanded Dinghy-International 420 event in June in Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

Quaker Valley graduate Declan McGranahan will continue his athletic career in a sport under the radar of many Western Pennsylvanians.

McGranahan committed to the Boston College varsity sailing team for the 2018-19 season.

McGranahan began sailing with his father as a 4-year-old. A veteran of national and international competitions, he teamed with his younger brother, Lachlain, to place third at the U.S. Youth Sailing Championships in the Doublehanded Dinghy-International 420 event in June in Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

He has traveled out of state on weekends to train.

McGranahan will join a Boston College team that placed sixth of 16 teams at the LaserPerformance Team Race National Championship. The Eagles finished 15th of 18 squads at the Gill Coed National Championships after coming in first in the semifinals.

Both regattas were part of the Inter-collegiate Sailing Association nationals in May and June at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va.

“I chose Boston College for a couple of reasons,” McGranahan said. “One was the fact that they have one of the best (undergrad) business schools in the country.

“They are also an up-and-coming sailing team, and I am very excited to join a team that has a ton of potential.”

Boston College coach Greg Wilkinson said McGranahan has the ability to contribute both as skipper, or driver, and crew.

“The boats we sail are small and generally require lightweight crews,” Wilkinson said. “His contributions as crew will likely have the most impact in windy conditions when heavier, stronger sailors are required.

“Declan’s former coaches report he is the consummate team player. His youth sailing record proves his talent, but his reputation on and off the water in terms of his interactions with teammates made him a sought-after recruit.”

McGranahan, who is 5-foot-10, was on the Quaker Valley boys swimming team that placed second at the WPIAL Class AA championship meet over the winter.

“Though swimming wasn’t Declan’s main sport, he still treated it with the same level of commitment and dedication that you’d expect from a high caliber athlete,” Quaker Valley swimming coach Erin Cawley said. “As a senior, he really took the leadership role.

“He was really team-oriented.”

McGrananan, who hopes to start his own business one day, also considered Dartmouth, Penn and Georgetown.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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