North Penn swims past Pennridge

TOWAMENCIN >> North Penn began January’s long grind with plenty of kick.

“We’re definitely in the thick of it now,” Knights coach Jeff Faikish said after Tuesday’s meet with rival Pennridge. “This part of the season’s gonna be interesting because it’s just bus ride after bus ride, swim meet after swim meet.

“(The way they raced today) is good for them, good for their psyche. The competition is how you can judge yourself so as a result of being able to do that, you now know what to work on at practice.”

The Knights got first-place efforts from several individuals, including two each by Ryley Fein and Kailyn Evans, and pulled away to a 97-80 victory in the boys event and 105-70 on the girls side, as both squads raised their record to a perfect 3-0, including an impressive 1-0 start to their Suburban One League Continental Conference schedule.

“Pennridge is a team we know pretty well,” Faikish said. “So looking across the pool, the kids were trying to figure out who was swimming what events from their team and I’m sure Pennridge was doing that with us as well.

“It was another good meet for us. It’s good for these kids getting an opportunity to race.”

North Penn’s Claudia Thamm battles Pennridge’s Morgan Scott in the girls 100 yard butterfly on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

One performer who was especially glad to be back in the pool racing was Fein, a sophomore whose season got off to a rather herky-jerky start, but looks to be right back on schedule.

“I started off with a concussion, then I got sick, so I missed the first two meets of the season,” he said with a smile. “It’s nice to get back, really nice. My times are starting to getting better.”

Fein sprinted to a victory in the 200-yard free and outlasted everyone in the 500 free, breaking five minutes with a 4:56.38.

He reached districts last year in both the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, and on Tuesday he tackled both the 200 and 500 free as he tries “to make district cuts in every event.” He’s already notched five at this point in the season.

Holly Files dives for Pennridge during the Rams’ meet at North Penn on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

Evans was a double winner in the 200 IM and 100 back for the Knights and also helped the 200 medley and 200 free relays swim to victory. North Penn won all but one event on the boys side and all but two in the girls events, with the Rams’ Morgan Scott touching first in both the 100 fly and the 500 free.

“I would say about a week ago I was getting nervous because I wasn’t seeing the practice results paying off,” Pennridge coach Jacob Grant said. “I was getting nervous that they were getting tired and burned out and then we go to Bucknell University (last weekend) and I see a lot of good results and a lot of things pay off.”

Pennridge now has a stretch of five home meets, beginning with a Tuesday battle against Central Bucks East next week. North Penn hits the road to take on CB West — at CB South — on Thursday.

Top Photo:  North Penn’s Sean Fakish competes in the boys 100 yard butterfly at North Penn on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

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