[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”33″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]CALN >> Coatesville and Avon Grove swimmers opened their shortened season Tuesday not with a dual meet, but with a Ches-Mont League virtual invitational.
This winter, instead of competing in dual meets, many Ches-Mont teams are participating in a series of virtual invitationals. Team points are not recorded, and there are no team win/loss records, but top times for each of the 24 events are posted on a rolling basis for District 1 consideration.
“This [invitational] format makes it easier for kids to focus on their own events and not be thinking about team strategy,” said Coatesville head coach Dave Morris. “It gives everyone a chance to swim.”
Avon Grove junior captain Sophia Paglia, who competed at districts and states last year, said, “I like the format, it’s relaxed and there’s not too much pressure. … I was glad to get back in the water with my team today.”
The Ches-Mont virtual invitational format allows a team to compete in a pool with no other squads present, although Tuesday’s event at the Coatesville High School pool included two teams in Coatesville and Avon Grove.
“It worked well for us today because we’re a couple of small teams,” said Morris. “Our boys’ team only has five swimmers.”
Coatesville senior Jacob Vannoy, a district qualifier the past two years, noted, “It was fun having another team next to us racing today.”
Both Coatesville and Avon Grove swimmers posted some solid times in their first invitational of the season. Vannoy clocked 22.78 in the boys 50 free and 54.67 in the boys 100 fly, finishing in first place in both events.
“Jacob was really pumped up today,” said Morris.
Avon Grove senior co-captain Liam Perrin, a District 1 qualifier in the boys 200 free and boys 500 free last year, finished first in both events Tuesday with times of 1:48.26 and 4:55.98, respectively.
“Liam’s only been in the water for the past two weeks, with the various shutdowns we’ve had, and for him to do this today is fantastic,” said Avon Grove head coach Kelly Burk.
Other first-place finishers for Avon Grove Tuesday in the individual events included freshman Ava Pfaff (girls 200 IM – 2:21.52; girls 100 fly – 1:02.34), Paglia (girls 50 free – 26.23), Jason Reuter (boys 100 free – 55.05) and Jacob Texter (boys 100 back – 1:01.09).
For Coatesville, other individual first-place finishers were Sarah McManamon (girls 1 meter diving – 210.65), Jordyn DiCamillo (girls 500 free – 5:55.44), Mackenzie Yosko (girls 100 back – 1:04.17), Macey Speakman (100 breast – 1:12.79) and Joey Wayne (boys 100 breast – 1:18.69).
In the girls 200 medley relay, the Coatesville quartet of Lauren Wolstenholme, Speakman, Yosko and DiCamillo finished first with a time of 1:58.43. Wolstenholme, DiCamillo and Yosko qualified for districts in individual events the past three years, and DiCamillo was a PIAA state meet relay qualifier in 2018 and 2019.
In the girls 200 free relay, Avon Grove’s foursome of Ava Pfaff, Catie Weingarten, Annika Pfaff and Paglia claimed first place with a clocking of 1:46.74.
In the boys 200 free relay, the Coatesville quartet of Jacob Vannoy, James Layden, Joey Wayne and Philip Clinton finished first (1:44.87).
Avon Grove finished first in the girls 400 free relay (Marissa Civatte, Lily Perrin, Keira Giacometti and Catie Weingarten, 4:17.79) and the boys 400 free relay (Liam Perrin, Reuter, Texter and Alex Whitton, 3:56.29).