Wissahickon relay team accomplishes mission, breaks pool record

LOWER GWYNEDD — It was the last event of the last swim meet of the season and Wissahickon’s quartet of Doug Boehme, Luke Waechter, Jake Berring and Danny Knoll was determined to go out in style.

The Trojans’ 400-yard freestyle relay foursome had serious designs on breaking the pool record — a time of 3:21.59 set by Wissahickon back in 1994. They accomplished their mission when all four swam fast splits and the team finished with a clocking of 3:19.

Wissahickon’s boys also came through with a team victory when they outscored the hatters 88-84. In the girls’ meet, Hatboro-Horsham logged a 97-71 win.

“We were a little uncertain whether we could break the record,’ said Waechter. “But, we knew that we had the potential to do it.’

Berring, who swam the third leg on the 400 free relay, said, “I was really happy with my race in the 400 free relay. We were all really happy with that relay and with getting the record. I was trying to keep the lead and give Danny a little extra at the end.’

Knoll had a small lead when he went in for the anchor leg and added to it in the first 100. He then closed strong and made certain that Hatboro-Horsham didn’t catch up — and that the record didn’t get away.

Earlier in the meet, Knoll followed his coach’s orders to a “T.’

“Coach (John) High told us to swim out of our suits and that’s what I did in the 200 freestyle,’ said Knoll. “My suit wasn’t tight enough and it came down a little when I dove in. Then, it slid down even more at the turn — halfway down my butt. I had to take time to pull it back up and then finish the race.’

Knoll finished second in the 200 freestyle and then came back later — with his suit better secured — to take first in the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.28.

“I could have done a faster time in the 100 but I was exhausted,’ said Knoll. “And, we had the big relay coming up later in the meet.’

All four of the members of the record-setting relay were also individual winners in Thursday’s meet at the Trojans’ Wissahickon Middle School Pool. Berring placed first in the 100 breaststroke and the 50 freestyle, Waechter touched first in the 100 butterfly and Boehme was the fastest swimmer in the 200 IM.

“I didn’t do my best time in breast but I was just racing for place — and saving it for the relay,’ said Berring. “My time in the 50 free was really good — close to my personal best. So, I was happy about that.’

Boehme, who was also second in the 500 free, said, “My IM was all right. I added a little to my best. But, we’re in the middle of heavy training so my times aren’t as fast as usual. In the 500, I added seven seconds. I was saving it for the last two relalsy — the 200 free and the 400 free.’

In the girls’ meet, Amanda Zlotnikoff carried the banner for the Trojans with a pair of individual first-place finishes. She started by touching first in the 50 freestyle and then followed with a win in the 100 backstroke.

“The 50 was O.K.,’ said Zlotnikoff. “The 50 is a race where everything has to be perfect. My start was good but I got a little caught up on the wall. Backstroke was a little rough. I’m tired — just tired. We’re doing a lot of yardage with my club team and that can be really tiring.’

Even though there is still another dual meet, the conference championships and the district championships still on the schedule, it was the final meet of the season for Kelly Wild.

The speedy freshman, who was second in the 200 IM with a personal best time and second in the 100 freestyle, swam her last races on Thursday and then faced surgery on Friday.

“I have multidirectional instability in my left shoulder,’ said Wild, who had a three-second drop in the IM. “It’s a hereditary thing and it keeps getting worse. My shoulder pops out of its socket. In the surgery, they’re going to put bumpers around it so it doesn’t move.’

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