Souderton boys, girls earn SOL Continental wins over Pennridge

FRANCONIA — Souderton Area was prepared for the tidal wave.

A Pennridge lineup that included Morgan Scott, Anna Beno, Hannah Zurmuhl and Brittany Weiss — all of whom were four-time winners on Thursday — presented quite an obstacle for Big Red to overcome.

But Souderton withstood the challenge, put its fastest and most experienced swimmers where they were needed most, and notched multiple season-best performances along the way to a 96-89 victory over the Rams in a classic Suburban One League Continental Conference battle Thursday afternoon.

The Big Red boys came through with a 118-66 win over Pennridge, completing a Souderton sweep at its home pool.

“We definitely had some different tactics for this meet,’ said fast and versatile senior Ricki Lee Hodges, who has district-qualifying times in five events for Big Red. “Some people did some different events, things they weren’t used to swimming, but it worked out in the end. We got really excited for this meet and it paid off, so I’m really proud of the team.

“Pennridge has so many talented girls and we didn’t know where they were gonna put them, so we kind of had to figure out which relays to worry about, which ones to split the girls up, and the 200 free was definitely one we were worried about.’

The Souderton foursome came through, as a team of Jennifer Rogers, Amber Rogers, Alison Kurlak and Hodges finished first in 1:43.09, helping to push this one in the win column for Big Red.

A pair of second-place finishes by Emily Hodges (200 IM/100 breast) and Ricki Lee Hodges (50 free/100 free), a one-two finish in the diving by Kayla Elliott and Tori Rest, and one heck of a game plan by coach Caitlin Warren helped propel the Indians to the conference victory.

“I made a couple of lineups, depending on who they were gonna put where, because (Pennridge) has a really great core of girls,’ Warren said. “I knew it was gonna be a strong meet on both sides. It’s definitely one of those meets I get really excited for — don’t really sleep well the night before.

“Both teams swam really well. The girls knew what they had to do to win the meet and I’m proud how they showed up.’

It was quite an afternoon for the Pennridge foursome of Beno, Weiss, Scott and Zurmuhl. They began the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay, finished it by taking the 400 free relay, and — sandwiched in between — they each won a pair of individual events to keep the pressure on right ‘˜til the end.

Pennridge is set up well for not only districts and states, but also the future, as Weiss and Zurmuhl are only juniors and Beno and Scott are freshmen.

“They’re a fast group, and also a talented and dedicated group,’ Rams coach Ryan Griffiths said. “They’re doing a great job.’

Meanwhile, Matt Holcombe, Brendon Loux, and Cristian Musterait each took a pair of individual events to lead the Souderton boys to their dual-meet win.

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