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Spring-Ford boys, Owen J. Roberts girls shine at PAC Championships

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The Pioneer Athletic Conference kicked off the postseason with the first installment of the PAC Championships this weekend at Perkiomen Valley High School.

And with the raised competition, of course, came some impressive results as the teams utilized final tune-up before next month’s District One Championships.

Spring-Ford senior Carson Huff was a four-time medalist at the result of Saturday’s boys meet, leading Spring-Ford (39) to the most team points. On the girls side Friday night, Owen J. Roberts’s depth shined through as the Wildcats posted 57 team points for a top finish.

Huff took a pair of individual first-place medals — claiming the 200-yard individual medley (2:00.44) and 100 back (52.93) Saturday. He also swam legs of the Rams’ golden 400 free relay (3:17.25) as well as the 200 free relay (1:30.32), which took silver. Classmate Carson Hilliard was part of both relays, and took his own individual first with a 1:45.61 in the 200 free. Teammate Matt Skilton finished right behind with a 2:03.82.

“This meet was a step in the right direction for the whole team,” said Huff, “and I think our district team is really in a good position to do great things at the end of the season. I know the whole district is ready to swim fast.”

Boyertown finished second overall in team points with 33 while Upper Merion took third with 27.

For the Bears, Nolan Benner claimed a pair of individual firsts and swam a leg in a top-finishing relay. The sophomore claimed the 100 free in 49.41, just edging Methacton’s Michael Palumbo (49.47) to go along with a 1:01.22 finish in the 100 breast. Benner swam the second leg of the meet’s opening 200 medley relay, which finished up at 1:40.40.

Justin Ardamoy grabbed a pair of silver medals for Upper Merion, with second-place finishes in the 50 free (22.05) and a 1:02.66 in the 100 breast.

With an unbeaten regular season record, Owen J. Roberts (9-0) still reigns as the conference champ, the Wildcats picking up their fourth straight title this winter.

Matt Snyder took third overall in the 100 breast (1:03.09) and also swam a leg of the Wildcats’ silver 200 medley relay (1:41.56). Simon Crew finished third in the 100 free (49.85).

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On the girls side, two-time defending conference champ OJR was led Mikayla Niness, who picked up three first-place medals to go along with a second-place finish Friday.

The sophomore Niness posted individual firsts in the 50 free (24.34) and 100 free (53.39) and also anchored the Wildcats’ top-finishing 200 free relay. Niness also anchored OJR’s 200 medley relay, which claimed second with a time of 1:50.65. Teammate Abbey Malmstrom was part of both OJR relays. The freshman also claimed first in the 500 free (5:22.16) and third in the 100 fly (1:00.51).

Behind OJR, Boyertown stacked up 46 team points while Phoenixville took third with 30.

For the Bears, Grace and Gabrielle McKee set the tone.

The junior-freshman sisters each swam legs of Boyertown’s 200 free relay, which took second at 1:40.86 while Gabrielle McKee anchored the Bears’ golden 400 free relay (3:43.01). Individually, freshman Gabrielle McKee claimed second in both the 100 free (54.03) and the 100 breast (1:10.53). Junior Grace McKee captured the 200 free (1:57.72) and took second in the 200 IM (2:13.60).

Phoenixville’s Erini Pappas left Perk Valley with four medals Friday night. She claimed first in the 200 IM (2:09.08) and 100 fly (57.19) to go along with a first-place finish on the Phantoms’ 200 medley relay (1:50.61). Phoenixville also took third in the 200 free relay (1:41.29).

Next up for the area swimmers will be the District One Swimming Championships to be held at La Salle University the weekend of March 2nd.

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