Rosenberger’s win seals Penncrest victory

CONCORD — Daniel Rosenberger wasn’t doing the math as he stepped up to the blocks Wednesday afternoon.

He wasn’t looking at the four-point cushion that his Penncrest team had on the scoreboard. He wasn’t adding up that six points from finishing second and third in the meet-culminating 400 freestyle relay would get the Lions to the required 94-point threshold. And he wasn’t concerned with noticing that the Penncrest B relay had ample cushion for third place to hold up their end of the bargain.

Rosenberger’s mindset was simpler: A win in the relay would mean a win on the scoreboard.

“I’m not thinking, ‘˜Oh, I can take it easy and we can finish second,” Rosenberger said. “I’m definitely going for the win.’

Rosenberger did just that, overturning a deficit of two bodylengths to win the race in three minutes, 46.94 seconds, and the meet with Garnet Valley by a score of 98-88.

The Garnet Valley girls notched a win over the Lions with ease, 101-83.

Rosenberger’s come-from-behind triumph in the relay was a fitting ending for a meet the Lions trailed until after the 200 free relay. After going into the diving break even, Garnet Valley assembled a 1-2-3 finish on the board, led by Gray McKee’s score of 190.10.

Things got worse for the visitors, thanks to Andrew Woerth’s win in the 100 butterfly and a 1-2 finish by Alex Mitchell and Mike Burns in the 100 free that put the Garnet Valley lead at 62-48.

But the meet was turned on its head by the 400 freestyle, a 1-2-3 finish led by Philip Nawn, Teva Holinger and Liam Nawn that carved 10 points out of the lead and shifted the momentum squarely to Penncrest’s side of the deck.

“It was really good to get the momentum going again,’ Philip Nawn said. “Especially going right into the relays afterward, we knew that if we did really well in the relays we’d be able to catch right back up and be back in it again.’

“We were definitely really excited after diving because we were up,’ said Woerth, who also won the 50 free in convincing fashion. “We were hoping to keep the lead. And after the 100 fly, we thought we had it for sure. I guess it just slipped away.’

By the time the 200 free relay ended, one where Penncrest split up its strength to take first and second place, the deficit had been transformed into a 73-67 edge for Penncrest. The Lions’ depth held serve, and even though Ivan Michalovic (also the winner of the 200 individual medley in a compelling duel with Philip Nawn) and Mitchell rattled off wins in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke, respectively, the Jaguars faced the prospect of needing to finish first and second in the final relay to get the win.

There was no such drama in the girls meet, which the Jaguars had wrapped up by the end of the backstroke. The comfort wasn’t a guarantee in the first half of the meet, though, thanks to the fight of Penncrest’s two solid freshmen. Lauren Isaacs, who would return to win the 100 breast, won the 200 IM in comfortable fashion, while Shannon Jackson did a stellar job of racing by getting her hand to the wall first in the 50 free, edging the favorite Skyler Berardi by .13 seconds and sending the teams to the diving break separated by six points.

This time, Garnet Valley’s marked edge in diving proved decisive, with sisters Morgan and Ashley Kovatch claiming a 1-2 finish from which the Jaguars never looked back. Berardi rallied to claim the 100 free over Jackson, while Jordan Stansfield doubled up on her 200 free win by besting the field in the 400 as well.

Freshman Lucy Townend added wins in the 100 fly and 100 back after the break to help seal the win.

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