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Mercury Area Girls Swimming Preview

Boyertown

Coach: Bill Draves, first season.

Last year’s record: 4-3 PAC-10, 4-5 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors Olivia Savino (IM, breast); Paige Slowik (free, back). Juniors Cara Megill (free, back); Catherine Coates (all events); Delanie Davis (sprint free, back); Paige Campbell (fly, free); Paige Wrigley (free); Hannah Moser (IM, fly). Sophomores Josephine Benner (diver); Teresa Draves (IM, free); Julianna Glasner (fly, back); Jess Long (back); Emily Neeld (back, breast); Samantha Moser (free, back); Jessica Whittlemore (free, breast); Lauren Schmidt (free, back); Jordan Petscheldt (free, IM).

Outlook : After graduating state qualifier Laura Simpson this past season, the Bears will look to an array of sophomores who earned experience last season as they turn to first year head coach Bill Draves, taking over the program in replacement of Linda Jones. Megill, Savino and Coates each qualified for the District 1-AAA Championships last season.

 

Daniel Boone

Coach: Angela Owens, fourth year.

Last year’s record: Not applicable. (Blazers compete with ‘time only’ swims to qualify for districts).

Swimmers to watch: Juniors Marissa Stevenson, Mackenzie Myer. Sophomores Carlie Owens, Isabella Pizzo, Regina McCarter, Emily Vassallo.

Outlook: Although the Blazers don’t have their own pool, the swimmers will have a chance to compete alongside this year as opposed to years past where they were split up. “We have a large number of swimmers this year and are looking forward to swimming at meets together,” said Owens. “Our members are all members of club teams where they’ve been training, including the Boyertown YMCA, Pottstown YMCA, Reading YMCA and Albright Aquatic Club.”

 

Hill School

Coach: Jay Spencer, sixth year.

Last year’s record: 2-3 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors Maddy Lutwyche (diving); Payton Miles (sprint free, back); Hope Redmond (sprint free); Matylda Zaklicki (sprint free). Sophomores Paige Curcio (IM, back); Maddie McKean (fly, sprint free); Sarah Wentling (distance free).

Outlook: Coming off a ninth place finish at the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming Championships last season, the Blues have plenty of talent returning. The Hill returns Mercury-Area First Teamer in Miles, who took bronze in the 100 back at the Easterns. “With nearly all our Easterns point-winners returning, this could be one of the best years in the program’s history,” said Spencer. “The team is blessed with a combination of standout talent, leadership and depth like we’ve never seen. It’s going to be an exciting year to watch.”

 

Methacton

Coach: Ben Yoder, first year (10th overall).

Last year’s record: 6-1 PAC-10, 6-4 overall; PAC-10 runner-up.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors Sarah Lebold (back, 200 and 500 free); Jen Rees (50 and 100 free). Junior Emily Sykes (IM, breast).

Outlook: Methacton will have to replace state-qualifiers Kirsten Groff and Kristen Wang lost to graduation. The Warriors will have plenty of experience to fall back on this season. Sykes placed 10th in the 100 breast at the PIAA-AAA Championships last season and was named to the Mercury’s All-Area First Team. Lebold and Rees were both given Honorable Mention.

 

Owen J. Roberts

Co-coaches: Kevin Bott, 16th year; Jeni Umstead, fourth year.

Last year’s record: 7-0 PAC-10, 10-0 overall; defending PAC-10 champions.

Swimmers to watch: Senior Andrea Shade (breast, IM). Juniors Laurel Fink (free, IM); Morgan Hansen (fly, back); Ali Messigner (diving); Madison Gadzicki (fly, free); Lilly Kull (breast, IM); Riley Hansen (fly, free).

Outlook: Coming off a second-straight PAC-10 championship and winning it five of the past six seasons, the Wildcats graduated five seniors this past season. OJR will turn to state-qualifiers in Hansen and Fink, who were both selected to the Mercury’s All-Area First Team last season as sophomores. “The team lost a lot of talent to graduation,” said Bott, “but we are extremely happy with how the younger athletes have adjusted and how the new athletes are fitting into the program.”

 

Perkiomen School

Coaches: Erin Davidson Kellogg, Laura Jones.

Swimmers to watch: Senior Addy Glinski (free). Junior Momoka Yamashita (free, fly).

Outlook: Last season, Yamashita finished 27th in the 50 free at Easterns at LaSalle University and went on to earn Mercury-Area Honorable Mention honors. She and the Panthers will look to get even better this season, though they’ll be without Minuette Laessig and Hollie Force, four-year swimmers who graduated last season.

 

Perkiomen Valley

Coach: Brian Zeigler, second season.

Last year’s record: 5-2 PAC-10, 9-5 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors Elizabeth Ansel (breast, free); Bianca Chang (free); Emily Dean (free, diving); Megan Gray (free); Kayla King (fly); Maria Sariano (diving). Juniors Lexy Gallo (fly, back); Gabby Ridge (IM, back); Elle Thorneloe (free). Sophomores Kathryn  Baker (IM, breast); Grace Catlin (free); Caitlin Cunningham (distance, free); Ellie Min (breast); Bailey Newman (fly); Allison O’Donnell (back); Taylor Pappas (diving); Elizabeth Turner (free).

Outlook: Brian Zeigler wasn’t too shabby in his first season after talking the helm for longtime head coach Jack Graham last season. The Vikings welcome a handful of newcomers and return an array of swimmers, only losing two key members from last year’s team. Mercury-Area Second Teamers Gray and King return for the senior seasons. “We are looking forward to seeing how our new faces fir in with our returning swimmers,” said Zeigler. “We are looking to our veteran girls to help pass on the tradition of PV swimming to our younger athletes. It should be a very exciting year.”

 

Phoenixville

Phoenixville junior Maddie Cooke looks to put together another strong season. (Mercury file photo)

Phoenixville junior Maddie Cooke looks to put together another strong season. (Mercury file photo)

Coach: Dan Weinstein, fourth year.

Last year’s record: 4-4 PAC-10, 6-4 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Juniors Kathryn Bland (back, free); Maddie Cooke (breast, free); Emily Fabius (fly, free); Anna Florio (distance); Enola Hihi (fly); Emily Holmberg (fly); Liz Hussin (back, IM); Grace Kiernan (free, IM); Kelly Kopera (breast); Kaleigh Quinnan (breast); Emily Ritter (free); Erica Sposato (free). Sophomores Sarah Baker (breast); Jess Dauphinais (free, IM); Caroline Turner (diving).

Outlook: The Phantoms returned the crux of their roster, especially a stacked junior class including Mercury-Area First Teamer in Cooke, who won bronze in the PIAA-AAA 50 free. Cooke also anchored the Phantoms’ 12th place 200 free relay which also included now-juniors Bland, Kiernan and Fabius. Phoenixville has also added a handful of talented freshmen to the roster. “The Lady Phantoms have only added to their depth with a nice crop of freshmen,” said Weinstein. “After being bumped from AA to AAA before last season, the Phantoms look to show they belong in AAA with more dual meet victories against a strong PAC-10.”

 

Pottsgrove

Coach: Alex Diehl, first year.

Last year’s record: 1-6 PAC-10, 2-8 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors Emily Glinecke (breast, free); Courtney Sheffer (back, IM). Junior Lizzy Galamba.

Outlook: Glinecke made quite a splash in her first season with the Falcons, capturing silver medals in the 200 free and 100 breast at the PIAA-AA championships and the Mercury’s All-Area Girls Swimmer of the Year last season. Making the transition from Pottstown, Diehl will look to make a similar mark with the Falcons this upcoming season. “I am expecting a good season with a similar record as last year,” he said. “We expect to take a good group of swimmers to districts and hopefully have them continue onto states.”

 

Pottstown

Coach: Kevin Krause, first year.

Last year’s record: Not applicable. (Trojans compete with ‘time only’ swims to qualify for districts).

Swimmers to watch: Freshmen Abigail Krause (IM, breast, distance free); London Aquino (breast, IM, sprint free).

Outlook: The Trojan’s roster consists of just two freshmen as Kevin Krause takes over for Alex Diehl this season. Although the numbers are small, Krause expects the girls to be just as competitive throughout the season. “With only two freshmen, I want both girls to experience high school swimming and improve each race,” he said. “Abie and London are working hard in practices and I am looking forward to their success through their high school careers.”

 

Spring-Ford

Rebecca Cubbler and the Rams look to compete in the PAC-10 this season. (Mercury file photo)

Rebecca Cubbler and the Rams look to compete in the PAC-10 this season. (Mercury file photo)

Coach: Alex Agnew, second year.

Last year’s record: 2-5 PAC-10, 2-9 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors Rebecca Cubbler (distance free); Grace Cieri (free, fly). Junior Shannon Reape (back, free, diving).

Outlook: With the loss of district qualifiers Kelley Darlington and Jess Zajac — both to graduation — as well as Julia Pavlov (transfer), the Rams will turn to their upperclassmen to guide the younger swimmers. Reape, a district qua lifer last season, returns for her junior season. “We’re looking forward to a strong season and to build on last year’s successes,” said Agnew.

 

Upper Perkiomen

Coach: Brien Kalnoski, third year.

Last year’s record: 0-7 PAC-10; 1-10 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors Kirsten Siwy (IM, breast); Melissa Kilroy (back). Sophomores Maddie Cairns (back); Julia Cupitt (free); Lexi Swoyer (back). Freshmen Erin Dunphy (breast); Faith Killbride (free); Maddie Madugno (free); Bailey McCausland (breast, free); Ashley Schwab (free, fly).

Outlook: Relatively young team, with a roster consisting of mainly underclassmen. Siwy will return for her senior season after earning her first trip to the PIAA-AA Championship last season. “We have a relatively young and small team,” said Kalnoski. “We have doubled the size of the girls’ team from last year with the addition of five freshman. This provides a little more depth for the dual meets this year.”

 

 

 

 

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