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Haverford’s Reed surges to victory in 100 breast

RADNOR — The conspicuous absence of defending champion Gab Rudy threw the doors to the girls 100 breaststroke wide open at the Central League Championship Saturday.

The race that ensued did not disappoint, with Cassandra Reed of Haverford notching a come-from-behind victory.

Sans Rudy, who won last year by three seconds, the field this year figured to be open. And for most of the race, it looked like Radnor’s Julia Condran was poised to seize the opportunity, leading for the first 75 yards. But Reed, who entered with the fastest time in the county this season as the top seed, surged to the finish to win in 1:07.89, just over four tenths off her season best.

“When I did my turns, I could see that the other girls were ahead of me,’ Reed said. “… I knew I had to swim a good race.’

Condran held on for second in 1:08.72, while her Radnor teammate Grace Wakiyama was third in 1:08.97.

For Reed, the win is nice early-postseason coup.

“I think it’s exciting because I put a lot of effort into this season,’ the sophomore said. “It’s great to know that I have so many swimmers supporting me.’

It also came on the heels of a customarily strong showing from teammate Maddie Hart, who won the 100 backstroke in emphatic fashion, setting a meet and Radnor pool record at 58.16 seconds. She pulled away from runner-up Sasha Smolyansky (59.65) down the stretch.

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Strath Haven’s Frances Resweber made the second half of her distance double look easy, putting lots of water between her and the field in winning the 500 freestyle in 5:09.90.

For Resweber, the time isn’t what’s important, a fact she knew coming in. Still under heavy training before the pre-districts taper, anything under the 5:10 mark would’ve been satisfactory. But the focus Saturday was on the process — of getting her mind and race plan right for the postseason.

“(Coach) Dina (Dormer) was saying to me before that I can swim my race — obviously I’m not going to go a 4:58, but try to get into a good pace and into a good rhythm and be consistent with my splits,’ Resweber said. “I wanted to go into districts with a better seed than a 5:14, so I did that.’

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NOTES: The Julia Cullen show doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. A night after getting the better of Hart in the 100 butterfly, the Radnor freshman outsprinted Strath Haven’s Summer Martin to win the 100 free. Cullen clocked in at 52.96 seconds, defending champ Martin at 53.21 … Martin injected a little extra excitement into a taut 400 freestyle relay, which was won in a meet record 3:36.22 by the Conestoga squad of Madison Ledwith, Linda Ashmead, Caroline Apathy and Amber Zimmerman, the Pioneers first event win of the meet. Martin’s Panthers finished fourth, but the sophomore split a 51.90 on the anchor leg, the fastest of the race. Radnor was second, while Haverford was third … An under-the-radar candidate for swim of the meet has to be Penncrest’s Brooke Dresden, who shaved 20 seconds (yes, two-zero) off her time in the 500 free. Her time of 5:32.84 was good for eighth and a District One consideration cut.

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