Malvern, Villa Maria continue to stay hot in the pool

Malvern — Malvern Prep and Villa Maria’s swimming programs have been on a roll this season and Wednesday afternoon proved to be no different as both teams picked up nonleague victories over visiting Conestoga. Villa Maria won by a score of 105-76, while Malvern Prep was victorious, 106-72.

The Friars (5-1) won six of the last 8 races to help them push past the Pioneers (5-2). No one did better than junior Billy Beard who won the 100-yard butterfly and was a part of the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.

While Beard played a key role for his relay teams, the 100 butterfly proved to be his most memorable race. The junior finished with a time of 49.71 which was a Malvern Prep pool record. The previous record was 51.76, set back in 2001.

“I wanted to take it out fast,’ Beard said. “Then I wanted to see how much I had left to bring it home and finish strong.’

After a strong day of racing, he believes that there are many things his team can take from this meet.

“I think our team morale is at an all-time high. I think we can carry this momentum with us as we get closer to the big meets at the end of the season,’ Beard said.

While Brian McKenrick’s name may not make it up on the wall of records, the second-place finisher from Conestoga also bettered the pool record in 100 butterfly. McKenrick also thrived in the 200 individual medley, winning in 1:56.92.

“Malvern is a very fast team, so a lot of it was just the adrenaline and having to get up and go because I knew I had such tough competition,’ McKenrick said. “Today was a good indicator to see that my times are going in the right direction.’

After coming off an emotional, close victory against Inter-Ac foe The Haverford School, coach Jay Schiller was extremely pleased to see his team continue to grow and get better as the season winds down.

“Conestoga is a really good team,’ Schiller said. “They have been excellent in the Central League. I think the momentum started back in Florida where we trained for eight days, and it continued when we beat a very tough Haverford School team last week. Our boys love swimming in our home pool and I thought they did a great job today.’

In the girls meet, the Hurricanes (6-0) kept their perfect record intact with the help of Maura McManus, and Kaitlyn Agger. McManus won the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, and was a part of the winning 200-medley relay team. Agger finished first in the 200 IM, and 500 freestyle.

“We work really hard at practice and that helps us a lot in our meets,’ Agger said. “You just try and keep positive energy and do your best.’

The girls also chalked up their success to the pre-meet energy generated by their teammates.

“I think it starts with all the hype before the meet. Everyone is excited and cheering each other on, it creates a great atmosphere for us. Before the race we have our meeting and prayer and I think it gets us all excited to race,’ McManus said.

It was a tough day for the Pioneers (4-3), but they did receive an excellent performance from Caroline Apathy. The sophomore went toe-to-toe with the defending PIAA Class AA champions, winning the 100 butterfly and anchored their winning 400 freestyle relay.

“It starts at practice,’ Apathy said. “I try to stay positive going into races. I always tell myself that I have a chance to win, and I try my hardest. Today gave our team an extra opportunity to race against a really good team and try and improve our times.’

Up next, the Friars visit Germantown Academy on Tuesday. Villa Maria will go on the road to face off against Nazareth on Tuesday, and the Pioneers host Haverford High on Friday.


Villa Maria 105, Conestoga 76

200-yard medley relay — Villa Maria (Cornell, Chick, Giamietro, McManus) 1:50.04; 200 freestyle — Dobson (VM) 2:01.34; 200 IM — Agger (VM) 2:16.20; 50 freestyle — McManus (VM) 24.98; diving — Dalton (VM) ; 100 butterfly — Apathy (C) 59.80; 100 freestyle — McManus (VM) 54.06; 500 freestyle — Agger (VM) 5:22.41; 200 freestyle relay — Villa Maria (Cornell, Chick, Dobson, O. Giampietro) 1:41.12; 100 backstroke — Reynolds (VM) 101.65; 100 breaststroke — Gillis (C) 1:16.52; 400 freestyle relay — Conestoga (Deihl, Ledwith, Ashmead, Apathy) 3:50.78.


Malvern Prep 106, Conestoga 72

200-yard medley relay — Malvern Prep (Schaffer, Salinas, Lanetti, Beard) 1:39.74; 200 freestyle — Sims (MP) 1:52.18; 200 IM — McKenrick (C) 1:56.92; 50 freestyle — Salinas (MP) 22.36; diving — K. Cullen (MP); 100 butterfly — Beard (MP) 49.71; 100 freestyle — Fronczak (MP) 49.41; 500 freestyle — Lanetti (MP) 5:03.42; 200 freestyle relay — Malvern Prep (Beard, Fronczak, Sims, Salinas) 1:29.82; 100 backstroke — Waterland (U) 58.51; 100 breaststroke — Jay (C) 1:06.36; 400 freestyle relay — Conestoga (Song, Wang, Jay, McKenrick) 3:23.16.

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