Four North Penn divers landed on the NISCA/Speedo Girls One Meter Diving All-America list, and for rising senior Paige Burrell, it’s become an annual tradition.
“It feels great,“ the two-time State Champion said. “I’m pretty proud of how I did this year and hoping to do much better next season. I’m really proud of the team.”
Burrell has earned All-America honors (top 100 nationwide) for the third straight year and teammate Meghan Wenzel, a rising junior, has now earned the distinction twice, along with teammate Madalyn Freece, another rising junior.
NP grad Rachael Fisher, who will be attending Boston University in the fall, received Academic All-American honors.
Said Knights diving coach Kyle Goldbacher: “Collectively, they are remarkable, but individually, these girls are spectacular. Year in and year out, they continue to rewrite the record boards, challenging one another to exceed their own limits, while adding volumes to the history book.
“Their achievements as young student-athletes are clear signs of their bright futures and tremendous potential.”
Quite a season >> Burrell and Wenzel shared the PIAA-3A State Title this past winter, finishing tied for first with 465.60 points each.
The duo went back and forth over 11 rounds of dives at Bucknell University, pushing each other to their best.
North Penn placed three divers in the top four that day, as Freece rose to the bronze medal with a 434.50. Their point production was key to helping the Knights capture their second state team title in three years.
For Burrell, it was her second state title in a row.
“It means a lot,” she said. “When I was a freshman, (NP grad and San Diego State diver) Marie Yacopino won the title and she was always like an older sister to me.”
Burrell now has a silver and two golds in PIAA competition.
Postseason glory >> At the District 1-3A Championships, Wenzel went from third as a freshman to gold medalist as a sophomore.
North Penn placed four divers in the top nine, giving the team a big boost in pursuit of its district-title defense. Fisher dove to ninth for the Knights with a 409.35, Freece got sixth with a 455.05, and defending district champ Burrell racked up 495.85 points, good for the silver.
The Knights went one and two at the Suburban One League Continental Conference Championships, with Fisher winning it all with a 451.10 and Maddie Zartman earning silver with a 399.95. It was the fifth straight year North Penn won the gold in the girls event. NP piled up 57 points on its way to capturing the team conference title.
Next up >> The Zone Championships await, down at Liberty University in Virginia later this month.
“Madalyn, Meghan and I are all going and, hopefull, we make it to nationals,” said Burrell, who is also starting to make her college visits.
Also from the area, Abington’s Sam Henninger, a silver medalist at PIAA-3A States, earned All-America honors from the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association on the boys side.
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