The North Penn girls head to Bucknell University as defending State Champions while the boys squad is aiming to bring home its first team trophy since 2004.
Individual efforts could add up to a lot of big things for the Knights.
“It’s a special meet and these kids are finally setting their goals for it,” coach Jeff Faikish said after guiding the NP boys and girls to District 1-3A titles two weeks ago at La Salle University. “They don’t just wanna make it there but do something with their opportunity. We’re excited for their potential.”
The PIAA-3A State Championships get underway Friday morning at Bucknell and wrap up on Saturday.
On Day One, the girls diving championship will be held from 1-3:45 p.m. and then the girls swim consolations and finals take place from 4:35-6:10 p.m. followed by the boys from 7:05-8:40.
On Day Two, the boys diving championship will be held from 12:55-3:35 p.m. and then the girls swim consolations and finals take place from 5:05-6:45 followed by the boys from 7:35-9:15.
“I am looking forward to Bucknell,” said Faikish, who has competed there as both a swimmer and coach for NP. “The State Championship for Pennsylvania is a special experience. When I was a swimmer, growing up through the program, it started when I was a kid in the bleachers. I was a kid in the bleachers watching my brothers swim.
“That’s what North Penn is about. Sitting in the bleachers today, there are younger brothers and sisters and friends watching this happen.”
High seeds for the North Penn girls include Claudia Thamm in both the 200 IM (third) and 100 fly (second); Caroline Dunigan in the 50 free (third) and 100 free (eighth); and the 200 medley (sixth), 200 free (third) and 400 free relays (second).
The Knights are also sending four divers to states: Paige Burrell, Madalyn Freece, Meghan Wenzel and Kianna Yancey will all be up on the board.
Upper Dublin will also be in the hunt for the team title, coming off its runner-up spot at districts.
The Cardinals’ Abbie Amdor is seeded first in the 200 free and second in the 100 free; Elle Braun is seeded second in the 200 free and first in the 500 free; Aly Breslin is seventh in the 200 IM; Molly Braun is fifth in the 100 fly; Meghan DiMartile is second in the 100 back; and the 200 medley (first), 200 free (sixth) and 400 free relays (first) are all seeded high.
Also from the area, Wissahickon has Carly Zlotnikoff seeded fifth in the 100 free and the Trojans also have diver Tess Klugherz competing.
The North Penn boys are well-represented, led by Ryley Fein in the 200 free (seeded fourth) and 100 free (sixth); Sean Faikish in the 200 IM (first) and 100 back (third); Max Bachman in the 200 free (fifth); Evan Mancini in the 200 IM (eighth); and the 200 medley (third), 200 free (third) and 400 free relays (first).
The Knights also have diver Evan Meiers competing against other locals like Abington’s Conor Gesing and Sam Henninger, Upper Dublin’s Michael Burke and La Salle’s Will Beely.
The La Salle boys are led by Liam Smith in the 200 free (third) and 50 free (sixth); Evan Parkhill (fourth) and Kevin O’Dare (eighth) in the 100 breast; Matt Szekely in the 50 free (seventh); and the 200 medley (sixth) and 400 free relays (sixth).
Upper Dublin’s Kyle Pro is seeded eighth in the 200 free, Matt Jensen is fourth in the 100 fly and fifth in the 100 free, and Jake DiMartile is a six seed in the 100 back. The Cardinals’ 200 medley (fourth) and 400 free relays (second) are also expected to medal.
Also from the area, Abington’s Matt Bonnell is seeded third in the 50 free and sixth in the 200 free, and Hatboro-Horsham’s 200 free relay is seeded eighth.
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