Coming off resounding wins at the Suburban One League Continental Conference Championships last weekend, the North Penn boys and girls each now focus in on capturing the District One Class AAA crown.
And that focus is tightening.
“Our concept for the entire season has been details,” Knights coach Jeff Faikish said. “Pay attention to the details and that will help you succeed at the end.”
Those details — anything from the approach to your turn to how you’re coming off the wall — dominated practice this week.
“When you get to the big meets, those things make all the difference,” Faikish said.
The Knights are going for their fifth consecutive district title in the girls competition while the boys aim to dethrone archrival Upper Dublin on the boys side.
The diving gets its all started, with the boys competing Friday night at 5:30 and the girls set for a 10:30 a.m. start on Saturday — both competitions are at North Penn.
The swimming then shifts to La Salle University next week, on Thursday and Friday.
North Penn goes into districts with plenty of steam.
“Some of the kids who are automatic qualifiers for districts already had a good meet (at SOL Continental’s) and a bunch of our kids that are rested swam very well,” Faikish said. “A couple more kids made district cuts so it’s a very positive feeling moving forward.
“There are a lot of great things that came out of this meet,” Faikish said, “but looking forward to districts, there are still a lot of things that we still need to clean up.”
Fast swims — and possibly some records — could be the result.
“Taper’s the best time of year because you get to feel yourself get much faster, less yardage, training yourself to get ready for those races,” said freshman Sean Faikish, winner of both the 100 breast and 200 IM as well as a member of the 200 medley relay and record-setting 400 free relay at the conference meet.
“We had a great meet here (at the SOL Continentals) and we’re looking forward to districts.”
The North Penn boys have a pair of divers looking for their second gold medal at districts, as defending champion Bryce Hoch and Ian Boland Bintner — the 2015 champ — will be in the mix for the Knights.
Hoch is also coming off a first-place finish at the SOL Continental Meet.
“I’m ahead of where I thought I’d be,” Hoch said after a record-setting effort at the conference meet. “Just gotta practice my 11-dive list, hit my back two and a half, gainer two and a half — those are my big dives.”
The girls will have a new champion this year in District One — North Penn grad Marie Yacopino (San Diego State) had won the event back-to-back seasons.
The Knights have a pretty solid trio in Paige Burrell, Madalyn Freece and Meghan Wenzel — they went one, two, three at the conference championships.
Top Photo: Kailyn Evans swims the 100 yard breaststroke for North Penn at the Suburban One League Continental Conference Championships on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)