Garnet Valley’s Kolessar breaks record from familiar face in 200 IM

RADNOR >> During a practice with her club this week, Madison Kolessar was perusing the psych sheets for the Central League Championships when she happened upon a familiar name under the pool record in the 200 individual medley for host Radnor.

The Garnet Valley freshman also noted that her seed time was two seconds faster than said record. So she made mention of it to her Suburban Swim Club coach, Danielle Mackey, owner of one of the oldest marks on the board at Radnor.

“I mentioned it to her in the beginning of the week,” Kolessar said Friday, “and she thought it would be a pretty cool thing if I took down one of her records.”

Members of Garnet Valley’s winning 200 freestyle relay — clockwise from top right, Madison Kolessar, Noelle DiClemente, Anastasia Erley and Alexa Hipp — pose with their plaque for winning the Central League title Friday.

Job done, with room to spare.

The freshman glided away from the field, clocking in at 2 minutes, 6.11 seconds to wipe Mackey’s 32-year-old standard off the board and win the league title with ease.

Kolessar’s time was a season-best, .82 quicker than her seed time. It established a meet record, beating the record set by Ridley senior Gab Rudy back in her freshman year of 2014 at 2:09.25. And it also smashed Mackey’s pool mark of 2:08.85, which the Marple Newtown grad set in 1985.

Breaking records isn’t a new sensation for Kolessar. But holding such a close connection to the previous holder, with whom Kolessar has worked for two years at Suburban, adds something special.

“It has more of a meaning since she’s a special person, because of how much time I spend with her,” she said.

The unassuming freshman came within a second of her lifetime best, a monumental statement for the opening foray of her first scholastic postseason. She capped the afternoon by anchoring the 200 freestyle relay to victory, the squad of Anastasia Erley, Alex Hipp and Noelle DiClemente securing gold in 1:40.18, a second quicker than the host, Radnor.

“I really love spending time with my teammates,” Kolessar said. “It’s such a fun meet, especially with this atmosphere with all the teams together. To finish it with a win and a district time, it kind of tops it off for the first day.”

DiClemente took second in the 200 free, two spots ahead of teammate Amy Townend, while Erley was sixth in the 50 free and Jordan Stansfield seventh in the 100 butterfly. The Jags, who finished third in the dual meet standings, sit second behind Conestoga in team scoring after Day 1 of the meet.

Kolessar is seeded third in the 100 backstroke Saturday and has a leg of the 400 free relay forthcoming. But she has another moment to look forward to, when she gets to tell Mackey about downing her mark.

“I let my head coach know tonight to tell her, so I’m excited to see what her reaction will be,” Kolessar said.

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