North Penn defends SOL Continental crown

WARRINGTON >> Bookending the meet with relay victories and earning gold in nine of the 11 events, North Penn put together an inspired performance Friday evening in racing away to another conference title.

“On the bus ride, everyone was in the zone,” described sophomore Sean Faikish. “Everyone was getting ready, getting focused. Every practice all year, we’ve been training our butts off for this moment and I’m glad that we can move on, get momentum for the postseason.”

The Knights piled up 608 team points, fending off strong performances by runner-up Souderton (350) and third-place Central Bucks South (319) to defend its Suburban One League Continental Conference crown.

“Good to keep the tradition alive,” said junior Ryley Fein.

A foursome of Aidan Daly, Faikish, Ryan Hartmann and Fein began the meet with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, going 1:36.12.

“It really set the tone for the rest of the meet,” Daly said. “I feel like after we finished that race, the meet just kinda took off. Some of the underclassmen were just throwing up some really fast times today.”

Daly won the 500 free and was a member of the winning medley and 400 free relays while Hartmann was also on the medley and 400 and edged teammate Noah Jamieson by 36 hundredths of a second to win the 100 fly, as NP went one and two.

Said Hartmann: “It’s a very friendly rivalry between the two of us. We don’t really care who wins, just that we go fast.”

Fein was the gold medalist in the 200 free and 100 free and was on the medley and 400 teams, and Faikish was also on the medley and 400, won the 100 breast, and set a pool record in the 200 IM with a 1:52.82, surpassing the 1:54.22 set by another North Penn great, Thanas Kountroubis in 2015.

“I had a great teammate swimming next to me,” Faikish said of Hartmann. “We push each other every day at practice, regardless of how we’re doing. But when I dove off the block, I felt great going into the water.

“When I touched the wall, I didn’t realize I broke a pool record until after, but it was a great feeling knowing I went 1:52, which is good right before districts.”

Hartmann, Daly, Faikish and Fein teamed up for a pool record in the 400 free relay to finish things off. It was the same foursome as last year’s record setter, this team going eight hundredths of a second faster with a 3:12.61.

Soon after, the Knights spoke down on the deck of dedicating this meet to Dan Trumpp, a big part of the team who could not be there Friday due to a family emergency.

Storm Krader led the way for Big Red, winning gold in the 100 back with a 53.34.

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