OJR boys, girls win PAC-10 title for first time since 2008

POTTSTOWN — With both Owen J. Roberts’ boys and girls swim teams competing as a perennial powerhouse, the Wildcats have won their share of Pioneer Athletic Conference titles over the years.

But it has been quite a few years since both the OJR boys and girls won it in the same year, the last time coming during the 2007/2008 season.

They pulled it off again Tuesday, this time capturing the PAC-10 title by sweeping their final dual meet against host Pottsgrove at the Pottstown YMCA pool.

The OJR boys (6-0-1 PAC-10) beat Pottsgrove, 88-77, while the defending-champion girls (7-0 PAC-10) defeated the Falcons, 86-68.

With most of the Wildcats boys consisting of underclassmen, Owen J. senior Weston Lickfeld may have treasured that win most.

“It feels good,’ Lickfeld said. “We all swam really well this season, came together as a team. The freshmen stepped up a lot. And our upperclassmen kept doing well. We all have our personal goals on our team, and we just try to do the best we can every meet.’

Lickfeld shrugged off the suggestion that the OJR boys were determined to win the PAC-10 title this year.

“We try not to talk about any specific goals, just try to do our best every meet,’ he said.

Lickfeld swam on the Wildcats’ winning 200-yard medley (1:47.10) and 200 freestyle relay (1:37.65) teams. Andrew Kull led the Wildcats with three wins, touching first in the 100 free, and also swam on the winning medley and 200 free relays.

Kevin Basch and Michael Prior led Pottsgrove with three wins each, with Basch touching first in the 200 free (1:52.91) and the 500 free (4:58.03), while Prior finished first in the 200 IM (2:10.16) and the 100 backstroke (58.01). Both also swam on the winning 400 free relay (3:39.55).

The Wildcat girls were led by Devon Niness, Morgan Hansen, Allison Drohosky and Taylor Davis with two wins each. Niness won the 200 free (2:08.59), Hanson the 50 free (27.59), Drohosky took the 100 free (1:00.07) and Davis placed first in the 500 free (5:40.37). All four were also a part of a first-place OJR relay.

Emily Glinecke led Pottsgrove with two wins, touching first in the 200 IM (2:11.01) and the 100 breaststroke (1:08.32).

Contrary to the OJR boys, the Wildcat girls are loaded with sixseniors including Niness, Drohosky, Davis, Sami Terrell, Eva Gerhart and Gabby Yuhas.

“We are all really excited that we won PAC-10’s again,’ Drohosky said. “We all worked hard this season, came together as a team and did our best. And it paid off. It’s really cool that both of us won it.’

“It feels really good to win PAC-10 again this year and second year in a row,’ Yuhas said. “It’s just good to finish out my senior year with another win. And I think it’s awesome that the boys won it too. We always say we’re two separate teams, but we’re not.’

For Terrell, winning the PAC-10 title again is another notch to add to the family legacy.

“I’m really excited for my team, all of our girls performed their best this season,’ said Terrell. “And I’m really proud of a lot of the incoming freshmen. Very happy for everybody.’

She is the last of the Terrells at OJR, with older brother Matt, a former Wildcats boys standout, graduating two years ago.

“There wasn’t really competition between us,’ Terrell said of her older brother. “I always looked up to him because he was a fantastic swimmer. But I always wanted to achieve as well as he did.’

And Sami did.

“It’s really exciting for all of us because we worked so hard this season,’ Yuhas said. “We knew that we had some really hard meets this year. It was a toss-up between us and a couple of other teams. But we all worked together as a team and it paid off. It’s been fun.’

Davis will also be the last in her family to leave her mark at Owen J. Roberts.

“It’s really exciting,’ Davis said. “We won last year, so we wanted to win again and worked really hard. We knew there was going to be a lot of hard competition this year. Methacton is really good this year, so it was kind of exciting to win the meet against them. All we wanted to do was swim hard and work together and it paid off.’

Her older sister, Danielle was a part of the Owen J. girls team that won the PAC-10 girls title four years straight, half a dozen years ago.

“It was sad my freshman and sophomore year not keeping up the repeat,’ Davis said. “But to do it again my junior and senior year is really exciting.’

For OJR veteran coach Kevin Bott it is as always—enjoy the moment, but then begin to prepare and concentrate on the next meet.

“Obviously it’s a great accomplishment for both teams,’ Bott said. “Both the boys and girls put a lot of hard work into the season. They had to keep themselves mentally prepared throughout the course of the year for each and every competition. Both groups should be proud of themselves. And we’re extremely proud of the coaching staff. Now there are some future meets the athletes are getting focused for. We’re excited about those future meets and we’re looking forward to it.’

That would be the District 1 meet next at La Salle later on this month.

This wasn’t just a special meet only for visiting OJR.

For Pottsgrove, it was Senior Night. For Owen Agnew, it was a special meet. He has been swimming in this Pottstown Y pool since he was waist-high. And suddenly here he was, swimming his very last meet as a Pottsgrove student.

“It’s really surreal,’ Agnew said. “It sneaks up on you. You’re just kind of going through the year thinking it’s one more year, and then you realize, this is my last meet. I was sitting there right before doing the free relay. When it was about to start, Kevin Basch said, ‘ Hey, how does it feel to do your last dual meet race?’ And right there it hit me, ‘ Whoa, it’s over!”

Agnew will move on to Kent State University, where he hopes to continue his swimming career. But nothing will ever match his years in the Pottstown YMCA pool.

For the Falcons girls’ standout Glinecke, a junior, there will be another year… And this was just another dual meet against the best competition in the league where she wasn’t about to be beat.

“I know they are a strong team and have a lot of strong girls, so I just race my hardest, and hope for the best.’ Glinecke said. “We knew they were going for the PAC-10 title, but we just swim for fun and our best times. We know we’re strong and we just focus on swimming fast.’

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