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Champion Conestoga paces Chesco teams at District 1 girls swim championships

Conestoga captured the PIAA District 1 3A girls swimming championship title Friday at the Graham Aquatic Center in the York YMCA with a dramatic finish.

The Pioneers were tied with North Penn 186.5-186.5 with one event remaining – the girls 400 free relay, an event in which Conestoga was seeded sixth, North Penn second.

The Pioneers, featuring a quartet of three sophomores and one junior, won the 400 free relay with a time of 3:30.21 to take home the top prize, finishing with 226.5 points to North Penn’s 218.5 (NP placed third in the final relay).

The girls 400 free relay was the only event Conestoga won Friday. The Pioneers won the district title with overall depth, scoring in 10 of 12 events. This is the first District 1 3A girls’ swimming title Conestoga has won since 2008.

“Our girls were really focused,” said Conestoga girls swimming head coach Rob Kirkby. “They were ready to rock and roll, and they really came through today.”

The Pioneers’ first-place girls 400 free relay team included junior Delaney Burns, sophomore Lily Robinson, sophomore Naomi Furman and sophomore Audrey Laganelli.

“Delaney took it out amazing fast,” said Kirkby. “Lily, going second, got us out to a two-second lead.”

Conestoga received a second-place finish from sophomore Naomi Furman in the girls 100 breast (1:05.14).

“Naomi’s performance [in the 100 breast] was a big key for us today,” said Kirkby. “She had an amazing finish.”

The Pioneers were third in the girls 200 medley relay, with a quartet of Kallie Whitaker, Naomi Furman, Delaney Burns and Lily Robinson (1:46.61).

Conestoga got a big boost from third-place finishes by Lily Robinson in both the girls 50 free (23.76) and the girls 100 free (52.06), with teammate Audrey Laganelli placing 11th in the girls 100 free (53.07).

The Pioneers received another third-place finish from Delaney Burns in the 500 free (5:05.11), with teammate Mackenzie Nagel finishing seventh (5:10.21) and Sarah Fox in 13th (5:16.58).

Conestoga got a sixth-place finish from Delaney Burns in the girls 200 free (1:54.39), while teammates Mackenzie Nagel tied for 11th (1:56.18) in the event and Audrey Laganelli finished 13th (1:56.86).

The Pioneers received a seventh-place finish from Naomi Furman in the girls 200 IM (2:09.02) and teammate Jena Nowoswiat placed 12th (2:12.75).

Conestoga was 10th in the 200 free relay, as the quartet of Audrey Laganelli, Jena Nowoswiat, Ava Collin and Kallie Whitaker clocked 1:39.56.

Earlier in the week, Conestoga’s Grace Gallagher placed fifth in the District 1 3A diving championships.

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Several Ches-Mont teams did particularly well at the PIAA 3A girls swimming championships Friday. Downingtown East finished fourth with 158 points, followed by Unionville (fifth, 156), Radnor and West Chester Henderson (seventh, 137 points). Other Ches-Mont teams at the meet included Downingtown West (16th), Kennett (19th), West Chester Rustin (20th), West Chester East (24th) and Great Valley (27th).

Here’s a look at how the Ches-Mont schools fared at the District 1 3A girls swimming championships:

 

Downingtown East, which finished fourth, had the Swimmer of the Meet in sophomore Alexa Fulton, who finished first in both the girls 50 free (with a district meet record 22.98) and girls 100 free (50.49).

“We had an unbelievable day,” said D-East swim coach Gigi Graesser. “We had so many swimmers posting PRs today.”

Grace Bousum finished second in the girls 200 free (1:50.76) and fourth in the girls 100 fly (56.24).

The Cougars finished second in the girls 400 free relay with a foursome of Alexa Fulton, Victoria Maki, Lindsay Blake and Grace Bousum, clocking 3:30.53 in the first heat.

D-East placed third in the girls 200 free relay (1:36.66) with a quartet of Alexa Fulton, Victoria Maki, Grace Noble and Grace Bousum, with a clocking of 1:36.66 in the first heat.

The Cougars finished 11th in the girls 200 medley relay, with a quartet of Lindsay Blake, Grace McElroy, Grace Noble and Cady Kiebort (1:50.42).

D-East got an 11th-place finish from Lindsay Blake in the 100 back (58.59), and Grace Noble was 15th in the girls 100 fly (59.48).

 

Unionville placed fifth at the District 1 3A girls swimming championships Friday, finishing first in two relays.

“We had amazing swims all around today,” said Unionville swimming head coach Elizabeth Smith.

In the girls 200 free relay, the top-seeded quartet of Emma McGovern, Madelyn Lowe, Molly Carson and Izzy Iwasyk finished first with a time of 1:35.77.

In the girls 200 medley relay, the second-seeded foursome of Molly Carson, Emma Shields, Madelyn Lowe and Izzy Iwasyk captured the top spot with a clocking of 1:45.45, and Iwasyk finished the relay with a 22.82 in her 50 free split.

Iwasyk, a freshman, placed second in the girls 50 free with a clocking of 23.42.

Molly Carson set a school record in the girls’ 100 back with a clocking of 55.67, finishing second in the event to Upper Dublin’s Meghan DiMartile (54.94).

Madelyn Lowe placed seventh in the girls 100 fly (56.66); Izzy Iwasyk finished 13th in the girls 100 back (59.15); Emma Shields placed 15th in the girls 500 free (5:18.38); and the girls 400 free relay team of Emma McGovern, Emily Albans, Madelyn Lowe and Molly Carson finished seventh (3:34.17).

 

West Chester Henderson, which finished seventh in the team standings, got a second-place finish in the girls 200 free relay from the quartet of Katie Simpson, Rylee Kelly, Shannon Gamble and Krista Marlin (1:36.30).

The Warriors got a couple of third-place individual finishes from Krista Marlin – in the girls 200 free (1:52.69) and in the girls 100 back (55.85).

Rylee Kelly finished fourth in the girls 500 free with a clocking of 5:05.73, and placed ninth in the girls 200 free (1:55.79).

Henderson finished fourth in the girls 400 free relay (3:30.82), with a quartet of Katie Simpson, Rylee Kelly, Shannon Gamble and Krista Marlin.

The Warriors got a sixth-place finish in the girls 50 free from Katie Simpson (24.09), who also placed 13th in the girls 100 free (53.21).

 

Downingtown West  senior Tori Howard finished sixth in the girls 100 back at the District 1 3A championships with a clocking of 56.66 (she had been seeded eighth) and the Whippets finished fifth in the girls 200 medley relay (1:47.88) with a quartet of Tori Howard, Alexa Houseknecht, Alicia Littler and Katie Toth.

Alicia Littler was 14th in the girls 200 free (1:57.06), and Alicia Houseknecht placed 14th in the girls 200 IM (2:13.27).

 

Kennett senior Sydney McCracken finished in first place in the girls 100 breast, clocking 1:03.64, ahead of second-place finisher Naomi Furman of Conestoga (1:05.14). McCracken also placed fifth in the girls 200 IM with a clocking of 2:06.33.

 

West Chester Rustin got a 10th-place finish in the girls 200 medley relay (1:50.30) from the quartet of Flynn Truskett, Sara Jackson, Lily Turco and Sofia Piccone.

Flynn Truskett finished 11th in the girls 50 free (24.42); Lily Turco placed 12th in the girls 100 fly (58.55); and Sara Jackson was 15th in the girls 100 breast (1:09.20).

 

West Chester East freshman Taiylor Tegler finished seventh in the girls 100 breast, clocking 1:05.99; and placed 15th in the girls 200 IM with a clocking of 2:13.28.

 

Great Valley senior McKaylie Sullivan finished fifth in the girls 100 fly with a clocking of 56.36.

 

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Villa Maria Academy, which had captured 18 consecutive PIAA District 1 2A swimming titles, was looking to make it 19 straight first-place finishes at the District 1 2A championships Friday at the Graham Aquatic Center in the York YMCA.

The Hurricanes’ streak was snapped, as they finished third, behind Springfield Montco (289.5 points) and Lower Moreland (238.5), recording 196 team points.

“Our girls swam very well,” said Villa Maria swimming coach Fritz Schumann. “Nearly all of our swimmers swam their best time of the season today, and this was a difficult season to do that since it was shorter than normal. I’m proud of our swimmers, and I’d like to congratulate Springfield – they’re a great representative as the new [District 1 2A] champion .

“The atmosphere was different today than in past years, with the 3A meet being held later in the day. It’s a very big pool at York, so instead of having the 3A swimmers alongside us in the pool area, the place seemed empty. And because there were no spectators allowed, the girls really had to reach down deep without the crowd noise to pump them up.”

One Villa Maria swimmer who stood out was senior Madeline Ladd, who captured her third consecutive District 1 2A title in the 100 back. She was clocked at a season-best 1:02.10, ahead of second-place finisher Callie Walker of Nazareth Academy (1:03.01).

“Coming into the third turn, it was pretty tight, I could feel [Walker] being close to me, but coming down the stretch I tried to kick in all that I had,” said Ladd. “I’m glad I was able to win points for our team.

“The atmosphere [at Districts] was definitely different than in past years, with no spectators and no 3A swimmers in the pool area, so we really had to push ourselves  individually, because there was no crowd noise. I was really focused since it was my last Districts meet.”

As a District 1 2A winner, Ladd qualifies for the PIAA 2A state championship meet.

Another Hurricane swimmer who will be headed to States is junior Hannah King, who finished first in the 50 free (24.77) and second in the 100 free (54.38). In the 50 free, she beat out second-place finisher Abby Steinbrook of Springfield (25.16).

Only the District 1 2A event winners qualify for States, along with eight at-large swimmers from across Pennsylvania for each event – there will be 16 swimmers for each event at Class 2A States. King and Ladd are the only two Hurricanes who are advancing to the PIAA 2A state championship meet.

Other Hurricanes who placed at Districts Friday included the girls 200 medley relay team of Madeline Ladd, Alexis Collison, Helena Slupianek and Maddie George (fourth, 1:58.34); Helena Slupianek in the girls 200 IM (seventh, 2:29.98) and the girls 100 fly (eighth, 1:06.13) ; Maddie George in the girls 50 free (fourth, 26.03); Christina Traficanti in the girls 100 breast (eighth, 1:16.99); and the girls 400 free relay team of Hannah King, Maddie George, Graciella Schofield and Madeline Ladd (third, 3:49.90).

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