Perkiomen Valley sweeps Phoenixville; boys extend streak to 43

GRATERFORD — Perkiomen Valley’s boys swimmers have reached levels that other schools view with awe.

The Vikings, under head coach Jack Graham for 18 years and his assistant coach, Ryan Zeigler, have captured three straight Pioneer Athletic Conference championships as well as two Ches-Mont League titles in a row heading into this winter season. And the way it looks, Perkiomen Valley could very well continue those winning streaks.

On Thursday afternoon at their home pool, the Vikings defeated Phoenixville, 95-78, in a PAC-10 meet that included exhibitions in the final four events.

Perkiomen Valley, which used a different lineup than its customary one throughout the day, upped its PAC-10 record to 4-0 (8-0 overall) and made it 43 straight duals without a defeat.

The Vikings also took the girls’ meet, 107-76, to move to 2-2 in league action (5-3 overall).

Phoenixville (3-1, 5-1) dropped its first girls’ meet of the season despite some outstanding individual showings. The Phantom boys dropped to 1-3 in the PAC-10 and 1-5 overall.

It was a day in which PV got double individual victories from Logan Thorneloe in the 50-yard freestyle (23.42) and 100 freestyle (50.74) and another double from Quentin Altemose in the 200 individual medley (2:15.62) and 100 butterfly (58.58).

It also marked a day in which Graham was especially pleased with wins by star Kyle Dix in the 500 freestyle (4:49.71) as well as a personal best in 1-meter diving by senior Alex Jones, who accumulated 192.80 points. Junior Nate Kell was also solid with a 1:12.17 clocking in the 100 breaststroke.”We wanted to mix them up,’ Graham said of his entries. “I let my assistant (Zeigler) make the lineup. I get a pattern and I wanted something different. We collaborated on it.’

The Vikings opened the boys’ portion of the meet with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay and rolled from there. Dix, a junior, sophomore Wyatt Amdor, Thorneloe, another junior, and senior Anthony Crane combined for a 1:43.98, and PV rolled from there.

That included Jones’ performance in diving.”Alex Jones did a terrific job in diving,’ said Graham. “He came close to districts.'”I didn’t really have a mindset for districts or coming close,’ said Jones. “It wasn’t until my first dive. After my first dive, I knew it was there today.’

Jones has taken a serious approach to diving for the past three years of his scholastic career.”The key to good dives is practice long and practice repeatedly,’ he said. “Keep doing the same dive. The biggest part is nailing your spot and the time that you come out of the dive.’

Phoenixville junior Josh Ziev won the 100 breast (1:08.60) and came in second in the 200 free to PV junior Bryce Groshardt (1:54.62).

On the girls’ side, Perkiomen Valley was paced by triple winner Elle Thorneloe, a freshman, in the 200 free (2:04.14), 500 free (5:37.80) and the third leg of the winning 400 free relay that was timed in 3:59.70. She was joined in that event by senior Samantha Schroeder, sophomore Kayla King and sophomore Megan Gray on the anchor.”The best event I prefer is the 200 freestyle,’ said Thorneloe, who has been swimming for five years. “It is not too long and also not short. It is the perfect distance.’

The Vikings won with their depth throughout the lineup against the smaller field of the Phantoms. But Thorneloe was still impressed by the Phoenixville girls’ effort.”They’ve got a lot of really good swimmers,’ she said.

Senior Shawna Moore and freshman Maddie Cooke each notched four-win days for the Phantoms. Moore won the 50 free (25.87) and 100 butterfly (1:03.92) and also swam the third legs on the winning 200 medley relay and 200 free relay. Cooke won the 200 IM (2:13.76) and 100 breast (1:08.60), swam the second leg on the winning 200 medley relay and anchored the winning 200 free relay.

Phantom freshmen Kathryn Bland and Emily Fabius swam the leadoff and anchor legs, respectively, on the 200 medley relay that opened the card with a total time of 1:54.80.

Bland and Fabius also swam the first two legs of the 200 free relay (1:42.54). Bland also won the 100 backstroke (1:06.54).”It was a great day for everyone,’ said Moore. “We have a very young team this year. The freshmen give us depth and will be great coming up when I am off to college since I am a senior. They are really dedicated and very talented swimmers. I was on the state championship relay we had that went to the state championships the last three years. Now, being a senior, I am with three freshmen and it is awesome. They will grow and develop and we should be very competitive moving forward.’

Phoenixville coach Dan Weinstein was impressed with his own girls’ performance as well as that of the winning Vikings.”Perkiomen Valley has a great team and a great coach,’ said Weinstein. “There are just so many teams in the PAC-10 that we look up to. But I am really proud of our girls. They did a really nice job tonight. It is tough for us with no diving to score enough points. Still, we hang in there. We had some kids who knocked on some personal bests. We have some great attitudes. Some are not doing their best event, but doing what is best for the team. It is a real classy program, Perk Valley.’

Graham said he knew his PV girls would have their hands full with the Phantoms following their showing against Boyertown. He applauded Weinstein with the job he is doing with the young Phantoms and predicted that Phoenixville will again do well when the small school goes against similar small schools at the District 1 level and on to the PIAA state level as well.

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