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North Penn wins SOL Continental opener over Pennridge

EAST ROCKHILL >> Pennridge knew it had quite a challenge in its conference opener.
“It’s going up against a mountain, man,” Rams coach Jacob Grant said with a smile, speaking of defending champ North Penn. “It’s hard. But the kids had a good attitude coming into today and they swam hard.
“Even though you’re swimming against super fast kids, it pushes you a lot harder.”
Fast swims and pool records by both squads marked this Suburban One League Continental Conference opener, with North Penn pulling away to impressive victories on both sides — 104-60 for the boys and 103-66 for the girls.
After tough winter training followed by a week of bad weather, everyone was eager to race.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said a happy Claudia Thamm, who took home the 100-yard freestyle for the Knights. “It’s fun to get back to racing, not just being stuck in the pool, having four-hour practices and going home to sleep.
“(Pennridge) is a fun team to race against because we know some of their faces and it’s a good time to get up and race.”
The Knights came out firing, taking the 200 medley relay on both sides.
Sean Faikish won the 500 free and was part of the record-setting 200 free relay, and William Klein (200 free), Evan Meiers (diving), Ben Ahlmark (100 fly), Ryley Fein (100 free) and Derek Friday (100 back) all won their respective events to put North Penn firmly in front.
Maddie Fritz (200 IM), Madeleine Voss (50 free), Meghan Wenzel (diving) and Lizzy Koerper (100 fly) all earned wins for the NP girls.
“It was a good competition,” said Knights coach Jeff Faikish, who has North Penn off to a 3-0 start. “We know these guys from summer club and from water polo, and that’s what makes this area so unique is that you look across the pool, and you know every kid that you’re looking at and you know every kid that you’re swimming against.
“It makes it fun because it’s not like they’re mortal enemies — you walk over, shake their hand, and at the end they shake hands again. They turn into enemies only once the horn goes off.”
The Knights’ 200 free foursome powered to a 1:29.36 finish, good for the pool record.
The Rams’ Morgan Scott outdid herself, breaking one of her pool records while Joseph Hong set a new mark for the Pennridge boys.
The busy month of January has officially begun for both squads.
“In warmup, I felt pretty good compared to how I had been feeling the past few days,” Thamm said. “During my races, I just really tried to work on what we worked on over break and I felt pretty confident in it.
“It’s gonna be a long few months but I’m ready for it.”

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