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Mercury-Area Team-by-Team Girls Swimming Preview

Boyertown

Head coach: Bill Draves, second season.

Last year’s record: 6-3 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 7-3 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Juniors: Emily Drabick (IM, breast), Grace McKee (free, back); Freshmen: Gabbie McKee (fly, IM), Angie Nelson (breast, IM).

Outlook: The Bears’ roster looks plenty deep as they’ve got 30 swimmers listed on this year’s card, despite the loss of standout Cara Megill to graduation. Boyertown returns three District 1-3A qualifiers including juniors Teresa Draves, Grace McKee and Drabick in addition to 14 total upperclassmen on the roster. “Solid numbers, deep on talent,” said Draves. “We’re looking to repeat last year’s record.”

Daniel Boone

Head coach: Chris Breedy, second season.

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

Swimmers to watch: Senior: Carlie Owens (IM, breast); Juniors: Olivia Fiorani (fly, back, IM), Madi Griffin (back, IM), Shanyn Kirk (free sprints),NoElle Sprenkle (free, IM), Rachel Woomer (fly); Sophomore: Tori Pastor (free).

Outlook: The Blazers’ transition into Berks County’s Central Penn League will be aided by the return of several experienced upper-classmen from last year’s squad, which swam time only events. Boone’s card is littered with juniors as well as senior Owens along with three promising freshmen in Erin Goudie, Kayla Malone and Maggie O’Keefe. Breedy hopes the team’s new challenges will prove worthwhile: “We are looking to validate our entry into a very strong high school swim league.” That will include, of course, difficult meets against perennial powers Gov. Mifflin, Wilson and Schuylkill Valley.

Hill School

Head coach: Amy Agnew, second season.

Last year’s record: 4-4 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors: Maddie McKean (sprint free), Paige Curcio (sprint free, back, IM), Paige Swartz (breast, sprint free), Sarah Wentling (distance free), Bridget Tommey (diving); Juniors: Brigid Donnelly (free); Lauren Mitchell (diving); Calla Booth-Genthe (diving); Natasha Kathuria (diving).

Outlook: The Blues closed out the season on a high note last season with a strong showing at the Eastern Interscholastic Championships at Germantown Academy. The Hill returns All-Area Honorable Mention Wentling and all but two members from last year’s squad. “Our sophomore and freshman girls will be solid contributors especially in the butterfly and backstroke,” said Agnew. “Our diving team is now up to eight, with four returning girls — Toomey, Mitchell, Booth-Genthe and Kathuria.”

Methacton

Head coach: Stephanie Saucy, third season.

Last year’s record: 7-2 PAC, 9-2 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Senior: Anna Price; Juniors: Victoria Zang, Sara Fleck, Erin Valle.

Outlook: The Warriors will have a mighty void to fill following the departure of seven seniors — most noteworthy All-Area Swimmer of the Year Emily Sykes (Tennessee) — from last year’s team. Price, Zang and Fleck all have experience swimming at districts, which should go a long way as Methacton looks to build its way back up. “We have five promising freshman and look forward to seeing how they will contribute to increasing the teams depth,” said Saucy. “The girl’s swim team is primed for a good season and we are welcoming the chance to work more closely with the boy’s team this year with some of our practices together, allowing the swimmers to better challenge themselves.”

Owen J. Roberts

Head coach: Kevin Bott, 18th season.

Last year’s record: 9-0 PAC, 9-0 overall (defending Conference champions).

Swimmers to watch: Seniors: Madison Gadzicki (butterfly, free); Juniors: Lilia Crew (breast, IM), Jennifer Dinnocenti (free); Sophomores: Meredith Mutter (breast, IM), Mikayla Niness (free, butterfly).

Outlook: The Wildcats certainly have the depth to make a push and continue their run at the top of the PAC. It will be about building up chemistry and making progress throughout the year. Departed are a pair of cornerstones to the program in All-Area First Team selections Laurel Fink and Morgan Hansen, both lost to graduation. “(We are) in the process of developing a new chemistry, especially with many new athletes to the team,” said Bott. “Most of the girls are off to a great start, as they seem motivated, supportive, and are working hard. We are excited to see the progression, both individually and as a team moving forward.”

Perkiomen Valley

Head coach: Mitchell Zackowski, first season.

Last year’s record: 5-4 PAC, 6-6 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors: Kathryn Baker (breast), Caitlin Cunningham (distance free), Bailey Newman (fly), Colleen O’Brien (free), Allison O’Donnell (back), Elizabeth Turner (sprint free, back); Juniors: Macy Gray (distance free), Maddie Krentz (distance free), Mary Kate Lyons (fly), Alyssa Marano (sprint free), Maddalena Naples (breast), Sarah Straub (free).

Outlook: The Vikings will have no shortage of depth this season despite the departure of El Thorneloe and Gabby Ridge. Marano and Turner are coming off strong seasons where they went on to swim at the District 1-3A Championships while the team will welcome plenty of promising young talent. “This year is very exciting for the Girls PV Swim Team, with a strong force of seniors returning this year who bring a tremendous amount of leadership, enthusiasm and spirit to the program,” said Zackowski. “We are looking forward to some great performances this year.”

Phoenixville

Head coach: Dan Weinstein, sixth season.

Last year’s record: 8-1 PAC, 9-2 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors: Claire Casaday (fly), Jess Dauphinais (free, fly), Caroline Turner (diving); Juniors: Hannah Cooke (breast), Katya Hayward (free, back), Julia Hihi (distance free), Mary McNamara (diving), Hayden Semisch (free, IM), Kaitlyn Tran (free, breast); Sophomores: Katie Baker (breast), Bella Bland (free, back), Chloe Sindaco (free, back).

Outlook: The Lady Phantoms will have their work cut out for them this season as they graduated 10 seniors and will be without 3/4 of their state qualifying relay teams including two-time All-American Maddie Cooke (Penn State). “A strong crop of talented freshman is ready to fill their shoes and live up to the standard of strong Lady Phantom swimming,” said Weinstein.

Pope John Paul II

Head coach: Emily Thomas, first season.

Last year’s record: N/A.

Outlook: The Golden Panthers will be a blend of club swimmers and others completely new to the sport in their inaugural season. “Collectively each one will work together to impact how the team does this season,” Thomas said. “I look forward to working with a large range of swimmer from individuals who are new to the sport of swimming to those who’s club experience swimming will make an amazing mark.”

Pottsgrove

Head coach: Alex Diehl, third season.

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

Swimmers to watch: Sophomore: Victoria Keener (distance free, breast).

Outlook: Keener returns as the Falcons’ lone representative at last season’s District 1-AA Championships. Now a sophomore, Keener will likely become a leader for some of the newcomers to the team. “A strong, hardworking group of new comers also join all of our returners this season and will help to fill out some relays that we have high hopes for,” said Diehl.

Spring-Ford

Head coach: Mark Agnew, fourth season.

Last year’s record: 4-5 PAC, 4-6 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Seniors: Emma Kotes, Alicia Fenske, Morgan Stone, Ariel Sigal, Maya Pergine, Molly Martin; Junior: Katie Parker; Sophomores: Meredith Ruckelshaus, Emma Thomas.

Outlook: Depth clearly won’t be an issue for the Rams, who boast a roster peppered with seniors. The only question that lies is experience, as only one returner — Parker — brings with her the experience of swimming at the District 1-AAA championships. “We’ve got a large girls team with good senior leadership and exciting young talent,” said Agnew. “We’re looking to move up in PAC standing over the next few years.”

Upper Perkiomen

Head coach: Brien Kalnoski, fifth season.

Last year’s record: 2-7 PAC, 2-10 overall.

Swimmers to watch: Juniors: Bailey McCausland (breast, distance free), Maddie Modugno (free sprints); Sophomores: Jayme Fisher (distance free), Noal Fresa (back, distance free).

Outlook: Don’t be fooled by their record from last season. The Tribe turned in a solid postseason last March as they sent four individual qualifiers to districts as well as a pair of relays. All four individual qualifiers return this winter in addition to some up-and-coming freshmen. “Our goal is to get the girls qualified for Districts and all three relays as well,” said Kalnoski. “We have some additional depth this year with the addition of four freshmen.”

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