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North Penn races to non-league wins over Methacton

North Penn’s Megan Zartman competes during the 200 Medley Relay during the Knights' meet against Methacton on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

TOWAMENCIN >> North Penn was competing in its third race in as many days.

“January’s definitely one of the tougher months,” the Knights’ Megan Zartman said with a smile, “because it’s cold outside, there’s lots of practice, and it’s basically our last time to train hard before we start the end of the season.

“So it’s definitely difficult mentally,” the senior said. “But having meets like this, where we can have fun and let loose a little bit really helps.”

In a non-league matchup with Methacton, Zartman and the Knights were impressive on Thursday evening, racing and diving to a pair of victories — 98-77 for the NP girls, 101-76 for the boys.

After nine meets, North Penn is unbeaten, untied, but unsatisfied. The Knights continue to push through the burn.

North Penn’s Paige Burrell performs a dive during the Knights’ meet against Methacton on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

“This is our third meet in a row, and that’s a huge burden on the body,” said Knights coach Jeff Faikish, who saw his team respond with wins over Quakertown, Council Rock North (makeup) and Methacton. “A lot of these kids are feeling it. They’re talking about how things they weren’t expecting to be sore are sore.”

North Penn powered its way to wins in the 200 medley relay to establish the pace. The girls received first-place finishes from Claudia Thamm (200 free), Parker Schulz (200 IM), Paige Burrell (diving), Zartman (100 fly), Rosalinda Rivera (100 free) and Caroline Dunigan (500 free).

“It was pretty good. It’s a good chance to race against different people, different competition,” said Zartman, who churned out a 500 free and 200 IM on Wednesday, a 100 fly on Thursday. “Plus we know a lot of their people from other teams we’re on so it’s nice to see them again.”

The North Penn boys also touched first in several events. Noah Jamieson (200 free), Andrew Dunigan (200 IM), Max Bachman (100 fly), Sean Faikish (100 free) and Ryan Hartmann (500 free) all outraced their competition. Two different Evans won for NP: Evan Mancini in the 50 free and Evan Meiers in the diving.

There was a sweep of the 200 free relay and 30-second time drops in the 500.

Methacton’s Michael Palumbo in the 200 freestyle during the Warriors’ meet against North Penn on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

“You’re asking your body to compete at the highest level possible three days in a row,” Faikish said. “We train our athletes to do that, and the training is hard because it’s preparing your body to deal with the stress and the burden and the demand that you are asking of it in competition.

“That being said, I was super excited to see some of the swims today.”

Methacton could head to the busses feeling good about what it saw. The Warriors had some solid swims, including Anna Price’s win in the 50 free.

Asked if she likes where the team is at, with the end of January approaching, Warrior girls coach Stephanie Saucy said: “I do now. I was getting a little worried the past couple meets because they were just getting in and swimming. And now I think they’re psyched up, they’re relieved midterms are over.

“I do like where we’re at right now. The few that are gonna qualify for districts, we’re getting close.”

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