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Villa Maria wins another District 1 title; Burns, Jurcik, Pitt, Grenoble win individual gold

The Villa Maria swim team continued its dominance of District 1, while two new faces brought gold medals home to Chester County from the District 1 Swimming Championships, which concluded Sunday at La Salle University.

With a clean sweep of the podium in the 500 meters — Katherine Fronczak, Kaitlyn Agger and Alexa Turco went 1, 2, 3 — Villa Maria rolled to another Class 2A title on the girls side.

On the boys side, Conestoga’s Brendan Burns won gold in the Class 3A 100 backstroke (48.04), while West Chester Henderson’s Liam Pitt won the 100 free (45.81) and Kennett’s Emils Jurcik won the 500 free (4:31.28).

Villa’s clean sleep in the 500 free featured a tight race between teammates for first and second, as Fronczak (5:02.08) edged out Agger (5:02.36), with Turco coming in third behind them (5:11.95).

Villa’s Kira Buchler won the 100 backstroke (58.07), with freshman teammate Madeline Ladd sneaking in for a third-place finish (59.14).

The Villa 400 free relay of Buchler, Turco, Fronczak and Agger finished second (3:37.68) behind Gwynedd Mercy.

The Hurricanes totaled 430 points on the weekend, far outpacing Springfield-Montco, which was second with 319.5. Gwynedd was third at 294 points.

In Class 3A, Avon Grove finished second (190 points), well back of winner North Penn (296).

The lone Class 3A winner from Chesco was Downingtown West’s Madi Grenoble, who took the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.79. Avon Grove’s Olivia Paoletti (1:04.05) and Rabea Pfaff (1:04.48) finished third and fourth in the 100 breast.

Individual standouts in 3A girls included West Chester East’s Ann Carozza and Conestoga’s Madison Ledwith, who finished tied for third in the 100 free with matching times of 51.07.

Avon Grove’s Izzy Paoletti was third in the 500 meters (4:57.32), Conestoga’s Sophia Poeta was second in the 100 back (56.39),

On the boys Class 3A side, Pitt opened the day with a bang, winning the first individual event with a time of 46.88 in the 100 free. Unionville’s Harrison Bass (46.49) was sixth and Oxford’s Michael Fazio (46.58) was seventh.

In the 500 meters, it was Kennett’s Jurcik who stunned the crowd at La Salle. The Kennett senior swam exactly seven seconds faster than his seed time, edging out Abington’s Matt Bonnell and North Penn’s Aidan Daly. Unionville’s Liam Callahan was fourth (4:37.49) and Conestoga’s Kevin Ryle was fifth (4:39.41).

Conestoga’s Burns made it three straight wins for Chester County swimmers when he won his second gold of the weekend, this time taking the 100 backstroke with a time of 48.04. Bass was the next highest local finisher, coming in sixth with a time of 51.71.

Downingtown East’s Ben Doyle was third in the 100 breaststroke (57.13), and the Conestoga 400 free relay of Burns, Oliver Brown, Kevin Ryle and Arjun Rao was fourth (3:07.19).

Conestoga finished in a tie for third in the Class 3A team race, coming in even with Hatboro-Horsham at 197 points, behind North Penn and Upper Dublin.

Bishop Shanahan was fourth in Class 2A behind Lower Moreland, Upper Perkiomen and Springfield-Montco.

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