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North Penn starts season in record-breaking form, tops St. Joseph’s Prep, Mount St. Joseph

Bob Raines--Digital First Media North Penn's Aidan Daly swims backstroke in the 200 medley relay against St. Joseph's Prep on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)
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TOWAMENCIN >> The Christmas tree was up, St. Joe’s Prep was in the building, and North Penn was already setting pool records.

The Knights were impressive in their annual home opener with St. Joe’s Prep and Mount St. Joe’s Tuesday evening, as the boys swam to a 113-52 victory over the Hawks and the NP girls were 109-74 victors over the visiting Magic.

“It’s a great way to start,” North Penn coach Jeff Faikish said. “It kinda sets the tone for the rest of the season and paves the way for where we need to go in the future.”

Down went three pool records off the board, as the North Penn boys 200 medley (Aidan Daly, Sean Faikish, Noah Jamieson, Ryley Fien), 200 free (Fein, Ryan Hartmann, Faikish and Daly) and the 400 free relays (Fien, Jamieson, Daly, Faikish) all set new standards in their events.

North Penn’s Charlotte Thamm gets a shout as she swims the 200 individual medley against Mt. St. Joseph Academy on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

“We were really hyped for our first meet,” Sean Faikish said. “The guys on my relay, we came back from (Speedo Nationals in) Tennessee, and we wanted to beat the time that we had there. It was a great first meet for us.

“That was our goal,” he said of the relay records of 1:34.99 (medley), 1:26.11 (200 free) and 3:07.58 (400 free). “Our goal by the end of the year is to have broken every single team record. But to get the pool records the first meet, that’s a great experience. My teammates are amazing.”

Added Sean Faikish: “Our captains are amazing. They’re putting us on the right track. And my relay meets, we’ve been swimming together for seven or eight years. I know them like brothers.”

The Knights surpassed the 1:36.53 mark in the medley set by the North Penn Aquatic Club, the 1:26.84 in the 200 free relay set by NP, and the 3:11.37 in the 400 free relay set by rival Upper Dublin.

Even through tough early-season practices, the Knights had plenty of life.

North Penn’s Luke Schwar wins the 200 freestyle during a home meet against St. Joseph’s Prep on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

“I’m kind of shocked that we were able to go so fast so early,” coach Jeff Faikish said. “Some of the kids were coming back from Nationals so they were rested on Sunday and I beat ‘em up good yesterday. So apparently they were able to hold on.

“It certainly opens our eyes for the potential for this team — both boys and girls.”

Maddie Koerper already got her automatic district cut in the 100 back — she won the event Tuesday with a time of 1:00.69. Testament to what a start it was for North Penn, Koerper snagged her district cut in the final meet last year and this winter got it on opening night.

Pre-meet huddle

The Knights came into this one both ready and determined.

“The history and the tradition of this program is what we talked about before the meet started,” coach Jeff Faikish said. “I said to the kids, ‘it’s time for them to put their page in the history of the program here. And how are we gonna start the season off? What are we looking to do?’

“And I left it up to the captains to take the meeting over from there. Between the practices over the past few weeks and the kids getting their opportunities to swim in those suburban meets, and then knowing they had teammates that were competing at the highest level, they were very motivated today.”

North Penn’s Maureen Boland Bintner swims the 200 individual medley against Mt. St. Joseph Academy on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

Back from Tennessee

The Knights enjoyed their time in the Volunteer State.

“Tennessee was a lot of fun — cold,” Sean Faikish said smiling. “It snowed, but apparantly it snowed here while we were down there. The atmosphere was amazing.

“Kids were double our size, double our speed, but getting the experience out of the way, going there and proving ourselves that we belong there — it’s just a great experience.”

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