TOWAMENCIN — With impressive victories over their longtime rival, the North Penn boys and girls swim teams not only capped off undefeated regular seasons, but pushed themselves towards a very promising postseason with a tremendous amount of momentum.
“In a way, it was a benefit to us having Emmaus as our last dual meet of the season,’ Knights coach Jeff Faikish said after his team swam and dove to a 99-79 win over the Green Hornets while the Maidens also improved to 12-0, winning 104-73. “It totally sets us up for a perfect postseason. The kids swam great, and the cool thing is, they feed off of each other.’
It was a feast for North Penn.
The Knights and Maidens placed first in every event, with Mike Kern, Thanas Kountroubis, Kailyn Evans and Olivia DiStefano all swimming multiple first-place times. The divers were equally in command, as Marie Yacopino scored a 300.7 to take the girls event while Quinn Mitchell, scoring a 333.5, came incredibly close to surpassing the North Penn boys team record (333.9, Steve Bohner, 1998).
“Coming in as a junior last year, and being part of such a great program, with such outstanding divers — Geoff Gagnon (University of Florida) was a great diver, it set the bar,’ Mitchell said. “I’ve always wanted to become better and strive for the best, and today I got very close, but there’s always next time.’
Mitchell helped lead the Knights to a 1-2-3 finish in the boys diving, as Bryce Hoch scored a 312.85 for second and Ian Boland Bintner was third with a 284.4.
Their 13-point effort put NP up 57-21, and well on its way to a perfect 12-0 finish.
“I feel like hard work doesn’t beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard,’ Mitchell said. “Our team works hard every day.
“Swimmers and divers, it’s a great team to be a part of, and we’re thankful to be 12-0.’
DiStefano had quite a day for the Maidens, as the senior swam first-place times in the 50 free and 100 back while also contributing on the winning 200 free and 400 free relays.
The Maidens’ performance was further enhanced by freshman Megan Zartman, who led off the winning 200 medley relay, won the 200 IM, swam the second leg of the first-place 400 free relay, and notched second in the 100 back (59.54) behind DiStefano (59.44), the defending District One champion.
“The best thing about Megan is her versatility,’ North Penn coach Matt Weiser said. “She’s just so versatile, she can swim anything. Any event we’ve put her in this year, she’s just done fantastic. And she doesn’t shy away from any kind of competition.
“(In the 100 back), she probably thought hey, there’s the girl that won districts last year and finished in the top eight in the state in the 100 back, and she went right at her.’