GRATERFORD >> Nolan Benner and the Boyertown Bears led the way in boys swimming in the Pioneer Athletic Conference this year.
So it figured the Bears would continue their solid showings during the PAC Individual Championships Saturday at Perkiomen Valley High School.
And Boyertown did just that with quality races from start to finish, along with good performances and time drops across the board in the intense battles from all the schools as their swimmers prepare for the upcoming District 1 Championships. And for some, this was their last chance to post qualifying times for that district competition.
Benner recorded a personal-best 58.86 seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke to establish a school record. Benner also won the 100 free in 46.38 seconds.
He also began the day by anchoring the victorious 200-yard medley relay team for the Bears, who went 10-0 in the PAC dual meet season. That Boyertown unit of Justin Morris, Noah Vivian, Owen Miller and Benner finished first with a time of 1:37.96.
“Most of our kids dropped (times) and had a really good meet,” said Benner, a Bear senior. “I actually started here since I was 6. So I really wanted to get record swims here. I swam half my life here. Perk Valley was close to my home, and Boyertown did not have a program (at that time).”
Benner stayed with the Perkiomen Valley Aquatic Club until four years ago, when he switched to the TOPS program. Benner anchored the 400 free relay that won in 3:15.55, joining forces with Owen Miller, Noah Vivian, Conner Stoudt in the event.
Boyertown’s Miller won the 100 fly in 51.92.
Boyertown took first in the team standings with 41 points, followed by Spring-Ford (36), Upper Merion (27), Owen J. Roberts (24) and Perkiomen Valley (18) in the top 5.
Spring-Ford’s Brendan Baganski was another standout from the circuit, winning the 50 free. The Rams got another shining race from distance swimmer Luke McKenna in the 500 freestyle.
Baganski won the 50 freestyle in 21.51 seconds, with Owen J. Roberts’ Dalton Fink finishing in second place at 21.92. Upper Merion’s Cody Nguyen was third at 22.32.8.
Baganski placed second to Benner in the 100 free with a time of 48.63. Phoenixville’s Jack Hussin took third at 49.14.
“That was a good swim for him (Baganski),” said Spring-Ford coach Greg Huff. “In the dual meet against Boyertown, he also got that race. It was the same first and second. He (Baganski) swam very well. We are looking forward to districts.”
McKenna was a repeat winner in the 500 free with a swim of 4:47.06.
“Luke swam a very controlled race,” said Huff. “It is hard to train (for distance events). Luke was the last one out last year from districts to states. They take 24 and he was 25th so he is ready to go this year.”
McKenna has committed to Gettysburg for college.
“It was a good opportunity to show the depth of our team,” said Huff. “The boys work really hard at what they do. Usually, they swim against one team. Here they swim against the 10 other teams in the conference. There is a lot of spirit to this meet, too.”
Perkiomen Valley’s Jacob Replogle won the 200 free in 1:45.16. Viking teammate Dylan Alexander finished second at 1:46.13.
Upper Merion’s Michael Lemishko won the 200 IM in 1:58.47. McKenna took second at 2:02.16.
Owen J. Roberts’ Dalton Fink was the champion of the 100 back in 52.89.
The Spring-Ford 200 free relay team won in 1:30.52. Andrew Cubbler, Sean Laing, Cory Laing and Baganski combined on the victory.
PAC BOYS SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, Feb. 15
At Perkiomen Valley
200 medley relay
1 Boyertown (Justin Morris, Noah Vivian, Owen Miller, Nolan Benner) 1:37.96
2 Spring-Ford (Andrew Cubbler, Nick Tufillaro, Sean Laing, Brendan Baganski) 1:39.23
3 Upper Merion (Andrew Hoy, Justin Wang, Michael Lemishko, Cody Nguyen) 1:39.39
1 Jacob Replogle (PV) 1:45.16
2 Dylan Alexander (PV) 1:46.13
3 Owen Miller (Bt) 1:47.39
4 Jonah Kasznay (OJR) 1:48.93
5 Jack Larkin (UM) 1:49.75
1 Michael Lemishko (UM) 1:58.47
2 Luke McKenna (SF) 2:02.16
3 Jack Hussin (Phx) 2:02.63
4 Tommy Gibbs (Meth) 2:04.39
5 Paul Florio (Phx) 2:07.30
1 Brendan Baganski (SF) 21.51
2 Dalton Fink (OJR) 21.92
3 Cody Nguyen (UM) 22.32
4 Nathan VanNatter (OJR) 22.64
5 Devon Carpenter (Nt) 22.84
1 Owen Miller (Bt) 5.92
2 Michael Lemishko (UM) 52.71
3 Tommy Gibbs (Meth) 53.03
4 Sean Laing (SF) 54.36
5 Matt Tsai (Meth) 54.39
200 free relay
1 Spring-Ford (Cubbler, Sean Laing, Cory Laing, Baganski) 1:30.52
2 Phoenixville (George Pappas, Florio, Ryan Harth, Jack Hussin) 1:32.15
3 OJR (Kasznay, Will Cano, John-Robert Venza, Fink) 1:32.35
1 Nolan Benner (Bt) 46.38
2 Brendan Baganski (SF) 48.63
3 Jack Hussin (Phx) 49.14
4 Nathan VanNatter (OJR) 49.67
5 Ethan Hinz (PV) 50.39
1 Luke McKenna (SF) 4:47.06
2 Dylan Alexander (PV) 4:52.01
3 Jack Larkin (UM) 4:54.68
4 Logan Richards (OJR) 4:59.67
5 Harry Tye (Bt) 5:14.69
1 Dalton Fink (OJR) 52.89
2 George Pappas (Phx) 54.34
3 Jacob Replogle (PV) 54.53
4 Andrew Cubbler (SF) 54.70
5 Andrew Hoy (UM) 54.86
1 Nolan Benner (Bt) 58.86
2 Joe Feiser (OJR) 1:01.49
3 Conner Stoudt (Bt) 1:03.37
4 Cody Nguyen (UM) 1:03.61
5 Noah Vivian (Bt) 1:03.78
400 free relay
1 Boyertown (Miller, Vivian, Stoudt, Benner) 3:15.55
2 Upper Merion (Lemishko, Larkin, Hoy, Nguyen) 3:20.98
3 Methacton (Jan Perez-Bonilla, Ryan Valle, Christopher Groff, Tommy Gibbs) 3:21.38
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