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PIAA Championships: Pennridge’s Scott three-peats in 200 free, NP girls lead pack

LEWISBURG >> Morgan Scott is saying goodbye to the PIAA Championships the only way she knows how.

In her final Class 3A 200-yard freestyle, Scott won her third consecutive state gold, racing away to a winning time of
1 minute, 46.34 seconds in front of a packed natatorium of impressed spectators at Bucknell University Wednesday

“It wasn’t the time I wanted but I’m really grateful for the time I’ve had here,” Scott said after pulling off a rare
state-title three-peat in the event. “I think this meet’s treated me very well and the environment is just so amazing.
I’ll truly miss it, but hopefully there’s bigger and better things to come.”

Scott will look to add another gold in the 100 free on Thursday. The Indiana University commit added a lot to the
festivities on Day One at Kinney Natatorium.

The North Penn girls are pointed towards their second team title in three years, as the Knights sit poised atop the
team standings with 134 points. Governor Mifflin is closest with 114.

The Knights’ 200 medley relay foursome of Megan Zartman, Haley Muth, Claudia Thamm and Rosalinda Rivera emerged highest in a stacked field, combining their efforts for a winning time of 1:43.95. The free relay of Carolina Dunigan, Kaelan Daly, Nicole Chiappa and Rivera capped the evening, taking bronze in 1:34.15.

Thamm earned silver in the 200 IM (2:00.87) and fourth in the 100 fly (55.35), and Zartman was fifth in the IM
(2:03.03), helping to put the Knights in position for a very meaningful Day Two.

Scott was able to pull away from another area standout, Upper Dublin’s Abbie Amdor (1:49.04), for her third straight
gold in the 200 free.

“I’m usually not a beginning speed kind of person. I usually focus on the back half,” Scott said. “But most recently
I’ve been focusing on the front half, keeping in mind I’ll be swimming the 100 (on Thursday).

“I just try to keep the pace and make sure I don’t drop my elbows and all that kind of technical stuff, but mostly
when you’re swimming, it’s hard to think about those things because you’re just worried about touching the wall.”

Of winning back-to-back-to-back, Scott said: “I think it’s really an in-the-moment kind of thinking. You think about
the race before you get up on the blocks but nothing before that matters. All you’re thinking is you want to touch the
wall first.”

Knights’ tale

It was also a medal-filled start for the North Penn boys, who piled up 113 points on Day One to climb to the runner-up spot in the team scoring (North Allegheny, 165).

The Knights’ 200 medley relay team of senior Ryan Hartmann, sophomore Sean Faikish, senior Noah Jamieson and junior Ryley Fein clocked a 1:31.51 to take home the silver medal.

“That really set the tone,” Faikish said. “That was great. You put four fast swimmers together and that makes one good relay. Noah, Ryan and Ryley, they’ve all had my back all year. It’s the last time all four of us will swim together so it was great to go out with that accomplishment.”

Faikish went on to crack the top three in the 200 IM for the second straight year, swimming his second fastest ever
time to capture the bronze in 1:49.11.

“It was a great race. Ricky (Mihm of North Allegheny, 1:46.09), I’ve swam against the past year and a half. We’ve
split the head-to-head a couple times and Emils (Jurcik of Kennett, 1:47.91), I’ve swam against him forever. It was
whoever wanted it more and Ricky and Emils got it.

“I’ll start focusing on (Thursday), get ready for the 100 breaststroke. (Two medals on Day One) is a confidence
builder. I wanted to do better in the IM but you move on, lesson learned. Two medals is great and you head into
(Thursday) with a lot of confidence.”

Also for NP, Hartmann went on to grab the bronze in the 100 fly with a 49.41, helping to push the Knights to second in the standings. Hatboro-Horsham and Upper Dublin are tied for fourth with 70 points, La Salle is seventh with 59, and Souderton Area has pushed to 11th with 43.

The Hatters piled up the points behind Andy Thomas’ silver-medal kick in the 200 free (1:35.89), and Thomas teamed up with John Scully, Luke Emig and anchor Stuart Sumner to record a 1:22.59 in the 200 free relay, good for the silver.

Stopping by the medal stand

Upper Dublin’s 200 medley relay team of Jake DiMartile, Matt Jensen, Alex Flynn and Joe Gewartowski swam to fourth with a time of 1:32.37.

In the same race, La Salle’s foursome of Sam Grossi, Kevin O’Dare, Matt Szekely and Matt Lewis medaled in sixth with a 1:34.24.

Liam Smith of the Explorers raced to fifth in the 200 free in 1:40.04, with North Penn’s Ryley Fein medaling in eighth with a 1:41.26.

James McErlean of La Salle raced to sixth in the 200 IM for the Explorers with a medal time of 1:51.83, and Hatboro-Horsham’s John Scully touched in seventh place in the 50 free, cranking out a 20.93.

Upper Dublin bunched two medalists together in the 100 fly, as Matt Jensen and Alex Flynn finished seventh and eighth, going 50.05 and 50.26.

La Salle met some misfortune in the 200 free relay, as Matt Lewis, Sam Grossi, Liam Smith and Andrew Pave were DQ’d.

Earlier in the day, Abington’s Sam Henninger rose to a silver-medal finish in the boys diving with a score of 497.80.

Souderton Area’s Wesley Ahart also found his way to the medal stand, scoring a 455.10 for fourth.

Closing strong

Carly Zlotnikoff of Wissahickon earned herself a seventh-place medal in the 200 free, touching in 1:51.33. Aly Breslin
of Upper Dublin was also a seventh-place finisher, going 2:04.48 in the 200 IM.

Fast freestyle foursomes

Upper Dublin powered to silver in the girls free relay, a team of Abbie Amdor, Aly Breslin, Laura Pendleton and Molly Braun racing to 1:34.02.

Souderton Area also reached the medal stand, as Hailey Freed, Frankie Ferlick, Alexa Crossgrove and Jenny Rogers were seventh-place finishers in 1:36.66.



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