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North Penn girls race to second at District 1-3A Championships

A ninth straight district title barely eluded the North Penn girls swim team on Friday out at the York YMCA’s Graham Aquatic Center, but the Knights battled through adversity and the thick of District 1-3A to rise to a second-place finish in the team standings.

“We are ecstatic,” North Penn coach Jeff Faikish said. “With all of the prestige that District One has to offer, and how fast a meet this really is, it was amazing to see the girls rise to the occasion.”

North Penn amassed 218.5 points, surpassing other top-five teams that included Upper Dublin (181), Downingtown East (158) and Unionville (156).

Conestoga was first in Class 3A with 226.5.

“To see it come down to the last relay was pretty awesome,” Faikish said.

That 400 free relay for North Penn was clutch to say the least, qualifying for districts at the last-chance meet less than two weeks ago and then racing to a bronze medal at the district championships.

The foursome of Charlotte Thamm, Kayla Stressman, Maddie Fritz and Kaelan Daly pushed hard to the wall, finishing in 3 minutes, 30.60 seconds. Amazingly, the foursome dropped eight seconds last week and then three more seconds at districts.

It was a big meet for Daly, who also raced to a silver in the 100 free in 51.13 and a fourth-place medal in the 200 IM, in 2:05.22.

“The season was so short and we got shut down (due to the pandemic) a couple times. This was just a great group of girls, and to see how we performed, I’m just really proud of the team,” Daly said. “Our team just had so much fun on the bus ride up and the way the medley began the meet, you could feed off the energy of the entire team.”

North Penn began the meet by racing to fourth in that 200 medley relay with a team of Thamm, Fritz, Stressman and Layla Robey.

The 200 free relay was fifth for NP, a team of Robey, Thamm, Stressman and Daly going 1:37.43.

Thamm had a tremendous meet for the Knights, racing to eighth in the 100 fly in 56.75.

And Fritz came through big with a fourth-place medal in the 100 breast.

Said Fritz of the social-distancing parameters: “It’s a shame my parents didn’t get to go but I know they were watching, screaming through the (computer) screen.

“This is an experience I’ll never forget,” Fritz said.

Also locally, Megan DiMartile of Upper Dublin pulled off a district title three-peat in the 100 backstroke, with a time of 54.94 seconds.

Alexa Fulton of Downingtown East was selected as the meet’s Outstanding Swimmer for her wins in the 50 free and 100 free, including a district-record time of 22.98 in the 50 free.

CLASS 2A GOLD >> Local squads brought home a hefty amount of hardware from the 2A Championships earlier in the day.

Sue Bin Park of Lower Moreland won the 100 breast in 1:07.01 and also swam to a gold in the 200 IM, in 2:12.30.

Also for Lower Moreland, Sam Becker earned the gold in the 500 free, racing to a 5:19.24.

Maura Fluehr of Springfield Montco captured both the 100 free (51.08) and 100 fly (55.28) titles and Springfield also took home the gold in the 200 medley relay, in 1:50.35.

It was also a big day for Gwynedd Mercy Academy, which capped the meet with a victory in the 400 free relay, in 3:42.64.

Ella Gross of the Monarchs captured an individual gold, winning the 200 free in 1:55.11.

UP NEXT >> The District One Boys Swim Championships will be held Saturday, back at the Graham Aquatic Center.

District 1-3A Girls Swim Championships
at Graham Aquatic Center, York
Top Five Teams: 1. Conestoga, 226.5; 2. North Penn, 218.5; 3. Upper Dublin, 181; 4. Downingtown East, 158; 5. Unionville, 156.
200 medley relay: Unionville, 1:45.45
200 free: Casey Cullen (Radnor) 1:50.65
200 IM: Katya Eruslanova (Haverford) 2:02.81
50 free: Alexa Fulton (Downingtown East) 22.98 (District Record)
100 fly: Katherine Weaverling (Garnet Valley) 55.64
200 free relay: Unionville, 1:35.77
100 free: Alexa Fulton (Downingtown East) 50.49
500 free: Sidney Bergstrom (Strath Haven) 4:58.67
100 back: Megan DiMartile (Upper Dublin) 54.94
100 breast: Sidney McCracken (Kennett) 1:03.64
400 free relay: Conestoga, 3:30.21

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