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Pottsgrove’s Agnew defends his 50 free crown at District One Championships

Last season, Patrick Agnew admittedly got a charge watching one of his senior teammates run his event a few minutes ahead of him.

This time around, he was on his own.

Agnew defended his crown with another gold-medal finish in the Class AA 50-yard freestyle during Day One of the District One Swimming Championships at La Salle University.

The Pottsgrove senior posted a 21.29, a new personal best putting him ahead of Bishop Shanahan’s Trevor Kern (21.98) and nearly a full second ahead of his own first-place finish from last season (22.22).

With his first-place finish, Agnew automatically qualifies for the PIAA Swimming Championships to be held later this month at Bucknell University.

“It really shows that all the hard work does pay off in the end,” said Agnew. “I’m proud to do it representing Pottsgrove. (I) couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches.”

Another driving force, he admits, were the ones who came before him.

Since his arrival at Pottsgrove as a freshman in 2015, Agnew has seen the likes of former Pottsgrove standouts Emily Glinecke (Arizona State), Kevin Basch (University of Delaware) and Mikey Prior (Ursinus College) all earn medals at the district level.

“They were truly special teammates and leaders,” he said. “I had great friendships with them so it was awesome to see them do well when they were here with ‘Grove. I just knew when I saw them succeed at the level they did that I would try to follow in their footsteps.”

For his scholastic career, Agnew now has three gold medals — claiming first in the 50 free each of the past two seasons and coming off a top finish in the 100 free last season. He’ll look to end his district career with a flourish on Sunday.

“All I can do now is try to get one more gold medal in the 100 (free) tomorrow,” he said.

Elsewhere around the Pioneer Athletic Conference, it was a strong day for Upper Perkiomen. The Tribe, also competing in Class AA, posted a 3-4 finish in the 200 individual medley to go along with a pair of relays in the top four. After Day One, Upper Perk sits in third place with 147 team points, behind Lower Moreland (296) and Springfield-Montco (167).

Junior Kyle Kovalenko posted a 2:03.91 in the 200 individual medley with senior Cameron Junk right in tow at 2:04.11. Although their finish doesn’t earn them an automatic qualification for states — only the winner advances in Class AA — it will put them each up for a state-wide time qualification. Upper Perk also finished third in the 200 medley (1:41.64) and fourth in the 200 free (1:38.71) relays. The 200 medley relay consisted of Dan Miller, Kovalenko, Joel Williams and Junk while the 200 free relay featured Miller, Sean Lynan, Joe McGillen and Trevor Cairns.

Perkiomen Valley senior Matt Marsh was the standout from the PAC in Class AAA action, where he finished sixth in the 50 free with a time of 21.51. With the top five finishers moving on to states in Class AAA, Marsh should sit right on the doorstep of a time qualification. Boyertown’s 200 medley relay placed seventh with a time of 1:37.35.

The boys will hit the water again Sunday morning when competition opens up at 10:30 a.m. The day will feature the 100 free, 500 free, 100 back, 100 breast and 400 free relay.



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