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Fast start and finish for Upper Dublin at Cardinal Classic

Upper Dublin's Max Hubbard swims butterfly in Boys 200 yard Individual Medley during the Upper Dublin Swim Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. Debby High for Digital First Media (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

UPPER DUBLIN >> It was quite an impressive performance by the Upper Dublin girls at Saturday’s annual Cardinal Classic, and setting a pool record in the 400-yard freestyle relay, as Abbie Amdor put it, was “the finishing touch.”

“We wanted to get that record,” she said of a foursome comprised of freshman Molly Braun, Elle Braun and Aly Breslin, with Amdor swimming anchor leg. “We wanted to get a good seed for districts and hopefully we’ll see what states brings.”

Winter has come early at Upper Dublin.

“It was a great day,” coach Pat Redican said. “This is one of those meets we point to. And we’d like to get some fast times in before the holidays, when we start beating everybody up (with training), and that’s what happened today.

“We achieved pretty much all of our goals. So I’m happy with that. And the girls are happy.”

Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Nile’s Rankin swims breast in Boys 200 yard Individual Medley during the Upper Dublin Swim Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

There were plenty of fast swims for the standing-room-only crowd, as Pennridge’s Morgan Scott broke pool records in the 50 free and the 100 back and the Haverford boys rolled in from Havertown, winning six of the 11 events.

The Upper Dublin girls took first in six events, including the 200 IM, where Amdor flirted with the school record — her winning time of 2 minutes, 5.84 seconds was less than two tenths of a second off the record 2:05.65 set in 2013.

“Coming off of Juniors last week (in Tennessee), it was good,” Amdor said. “It was a lot of fun down there. I enjoyed it, and it just brought great swims here.

“I was really excited for (the 200 IM). I wanted to see what I could go because I haven’t swam that since freshman year. I dropped a lot of time so I’m really happy. I usually do the 100 and 200 free so I wanted to mix it up this meet.”

Not long after breakfast the Cardinals raced to victory in the 200 medley relay, as a foursome of Elle Braun, Lia Wilmoth, Rebecca Pendleton and Laura Pendleton went 1:50.64. Aly Breslin took the 200 free for the Cardinals, Amdor got the 200 IM, and Molly Braun, Breslin, Rebecca Pendleton and Amdor combined their efforts for a victory in the 200 free relay.

Upper Dublin’s Saemmi Yoon swims the girls 200 Yard Individual Medley at the Upper Dublin Swim Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

Laura Pendleton was fastest in the 100 free for Upper Dublin, and then the hosts capped things off with a time of 3:28.93 in the 400 free relay, surpassing the pool record of 3:29.66, set by Hatboro-Horsham in 2014.

The execution was there.

“Everyone hit their turns, hit their starts,” Amdor said.

“The record was in the back of our head,” Redican said. “We knew we were gonna be close. This is a team that, three out of the four of them were up states last year (winning the gold medal).

“I said to them, ‘well, look, these are the guys that own the state record (3:21.34, 2014),’” Redican said of Hershey, which made the trip Saturday, “‘so you wanna come after them and get that done.’ And that’s what they did.”

Upper Dublin was up to the task, racing past Hershey and winning the event by over six seconds.

“I’m so proud of them,” Amdor said of the Cards. “We have good freshmen and we have a lot of returners. Overall, I think we’re better than last year which is great because we’re just improving.”

William Tennent’s Allen Berenshteyn swims in the Boys 200 yard Individual Medley during the Upper Dublin Swim Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. Debby High/For Digital First Media)

Success came in several areas.

“Some nice surprises,” Redican said. “Some people swimming out of their comfort zones a little bit. Aly never swims the two and the five and she had real nice swims. And that’s what we like to do.

“Some of the more skilled swimmers, we like them to try things and the girls that are that next level, they’re working towards those district times, and some of them got pretty close and some of them got the considerations.”

Upper Dublin swept the relays and had a top-seven finish in every event.

Said Amdor: “I’m excited for this season. We don’t know what it’s gonna bring but it’s gonna bring something good.”

Challenges Ahead

Taylor Draganoski raced home to victory in the 100 breast for Mount St. Joe’s. The Cardinals and Magic will see each other again very soon.

“We know we have two good meets coming up,” Redican said. “We have Mount on Tuesday and North Penn on Thursday, and North Penn is tough.

“They’re tough. And deep. But we’d like to be able to compete with them. We’d like to be able to say, ‘we have a shot at it.’ So that’s what we’re hoping.”

Pennridge’s Joseph Hong swims in the Boys 200 yard Individual Medley of Upper Dublin Swim Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

Making Waves

In addition to Scott’s two pool records, Pennridge also got a first-place finish from Erin Shema in the 100 fly.

On the boys side, Upper Dublin’s Jake DiMartile won both the 200 IM and the 100 back, and the Cardinal 200 free foursome of Matt Jensen, Joe Gewartowski, Kyle Pro and Alex Flynn took the top spot in 1:27.63.

Jensen also touched first in the 200 free for Upper Dublin and teammate Kornel Pesti was a winner in the 500 free.

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