Instead of competing in dual meets this winter, Ches-Mont swimming teams are participating in a different type of competition – a series of Ches-Mont League Virtual Invitationals. Team points are not recorded, but top times for each of the 24 events are posted on a rolling basis for District consideration. Many of the Ches-Mont swimming teams have posted times for these 24 events as of Jan. 31, but West Chester East, West Chester Henderson and West Chester Rustin will not be competing in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitationals until Feb. 4. Oxford also has not begun competing.
Here’s a look at how Ches-Mont swimmers fared through the Ches-Mont League Virtual Invitational #2 (Jan. 24-30):
Avon Grove’s Liam Perrin, a District 1 qualifier last year, posted the best times in both the boys 200 free (1:48.26) and the 500 free (4:55.98) in the Ches-Mont League Virtual Invitational #2. Teammate Alex Whitton ranked second in both events (1:53.04 in 200 free, 5:04.77 in 500 free).
In the girls’ 200 IM, Red Devil swimmer Ava Pfaff recorded the top time for the week in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2 with a clocking of 2:21.52.
In the girls’ 200 free relay, the Avon Grove quartet of Ava Pfaff, Catie Weingarten, Annika Pfaff and Sophia Paglia recorded the second-fastest time (1:46.74) in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2.
Bishop Shanahan opened its season with a virtual meet Jan. 29, and Eagles head coach Ray Lease said, “It was a nice swim for the first meet, and after they had been in the water for only eight days.”
Top performances for Shanahan included Nick Scott (boys 100 fly, 53.14, third place in Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2) and the boys 200 medley relay of Nick Scott, Brady Hendrickson, Patrick Taylor and Matthew Carpenter (1:47.63, second).
Lease also praised the performances of Julia Pagnotto (girls 100 back, 1.05.12, eighth); Isabella Kane (girls 100 fly, 1:06 .16, eighth); and Brady Hendrickson (boys 100 breast, 1:11.02, seventh).
Coatesville diver Sarah McManamon posted the top girls’ 1-meter diving score (210.65) in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational for the week ending Jan. 30.
Also for Coatesville, Jordyn DiCamillo posted the fastest time in the girls 500 free (5:55.44) in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2.
Jacob Vannoy had the second-fastest time in the boys’ 50 free (22.78), and in the girls’ 200 medley relay, the quartet of Lauren Wolstenholme, Macey Speakman, Mackenzie Yosko and Jordyn DiCamillo were second in the in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2 with a clocking of 1:58.43.
Downingtown East senior DJ Fechtman, the 2020 Daily Local News Boys Swimmer of the Year, who posted Top 8 finishes at States last year in the 100 back (50.25), 100 fly (50.33), and 200 medley relay, posted a time of 52.39 in the 100 fly and a clocking of 53.23 in the 100 back in the Cougars’ invitational meet Jan. 29.
Fechtman’s clocking of 52.39 was the fastest time in the boys 100 fly in the Ches-Mont League Virtual Invitational #2, and his time of 53.23 in the boys 100 back ranked second in that event.
Aidan McIlroy posted a time of 22.47 in the 50 free, the fastest time in the Ches-Mont League Virtual Invitational #2, and Mitch Goldman posted the top score in boys’ 1-meter diving (212.92).
In the boys’ 200 free relay, the D-East quartet of Fechtman, Aiden Carroll, Owen Wright and McIlroy posted the fastest time (1:33.19) in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2.
Other top Cougar boys included Luke Sperling (100 free, 54.35, fifth place) and Will Thompson (100 breast, 1:05.41, second).
For the D-East girls, sophomore Alexa Fulton, who finished in the top four at the PIAA Class AAA state championships last year in both the 50 free and 100 free, timed 23.91 in the 50 free (first place at Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2) and 1:00.49 in the 100 fly (third place) at Friday’s invitational.
D-East senior Grace Bousum, who finished 11th in the girls 100 fly at the PIAA Class AAA state championships last year, recorded a clocking of 56.79 at Friday’s invitational, which was the top time in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2.
Lindsay Blake was tops among Cougar girls in the 100 free (56.09, third place in Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2) and the 100 back (1:00.66, second place).
The Cougars’ quartet of Fulton, Bousum, Grace Noble and Victoria Maki posted a time of 1:39.83 in the 200 free relay Friday, the top clocking in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2.
Downingtown West’s Tori Howard posted the fastest time in the girls 100 back (59.69) in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2. She also recorded the second-fastest time in the girls 50 free (25.14). Both times are District 1 qualifying times.
The Whippets’ Brandon Z Ye posted a District 1 qualifying time of 1:05.13 in the boys’ 100 breast, which ranked first in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2. Ye’s time of 52.95 in the boys’ 100 fly ranked second first in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2.
Another standout for D-West was Alicia Littler (girls 100 free, 56.02). The only swimmer with a faster time in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2 was Solanco’s Addie Scott (54.33).
In the boys’ 100 free, Whippet swimmers Asa Ernest (52.29) and Steven West (53.31) ranked third and fourth, respectively.
In the girls’ 100 breast, Alexa Houseknecht posted a time of 1:09.90, which ranked second in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2.
Great Valley’s Mac Sullivan posted the second-fastest time in the 100 fly (57.86) in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational for the week ending Jan. 30.
Kennett held its opening virtual meet Jan. 23 and senior Sydney McCracken achieved district qualification times in the girls 200 IM (2:07.85) and girls 100 breast (1:05.78). Kennett junior Liam Simmons achieved district qualification times in the boys’ 200 IM (1:57.67) and boys 100 back (52.33).
Six days later, Simmons posted a faster time of 50.79 in the boys 100 back, and McCracken recorded a faster time of 1:04.72 in the girls 100 breast. Both clockings were the fastest in their respective events in the Ches-Mont League Virtual Invitational #2.
In the boys’ 200 medley relay, the Kennett quartet of Liam Simmons, Luke Silverstein, Joshua McQueen and Carter Elliott posted the best time (1:46.39) in the Ches-Mont League Virtual Invitational #2.
In the boys’ 200 free relay, the quartet of Elliott, Alexander Fialkowski, Charlie Lesher and Silverstein ranked second (1:41.27).
Unionville swimmers Max Braithwaite and Ernesto Solano (a new addition to UHS) both swam well at the Longhorns’ virtual invitational meet Jan. 30. Braithwaite posted the fastest time in the Ches-Mont Virtual Invitational #2 in the 100 free (51.64), followed closely by Solano (51.64). Braithwaite had the third-best time in the Ches-Mont League Virtual Invitational #2 in the 50 free (23.21).
In the girls’ 200 medley relay, the Longhorns quartet of Molly Carson, Emma Shields, Izzy Iwasyk and Emma McGovern posted the best time for the week (1:54.40) in the Ches-Mont League Virtual Invitational #2.
In other local high school swimming action:
Conestoga (boys) relied on fine performances by their younger swimmers in a 100-66 win against Upper Darby Jan. 29.
Conestoga boys head coach Mark Tirone said, “Upper Darby is a young team so I left all seniors and most of the juniors at home. We have limitations on how many swimmers we can have at the meet so I brought our younger swimmers.”
Top Pioneer performances included freshman John Yeniay in the 100 fly (55.40), Noel Park in the 200 free (1:50.41) and Stanley Kim in the 500 free (5:06.60).
Malvern Prep’s next meet is scheduled for Feb. 4, against Episcopal Academy and Haverford School. No score is being kept for this meet – only swimmers’ times will be recorded, and those times will be submitted to the Eastern Preps Virtual Leaderboard.