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Owen J. Roberts teams top Spring-Ford in battle of unbeatens; Gutshall sets Ursinus pool record

Owen J. Roberts' Logan Richards swims the 200-yard freestyle in a meet against Spring-Ford at Ursinus College on Monday. (Evan Wheaton - MediaNews Group)

COLLEGEVILLE >> The marquee matchup between Owen J. Roberts and Spring-Ford has become a staple for the Pioneer Athletic Conference swim scene.

The annual clash of the titans — both unbeaten at 9-0, boys and girls alike — took place at Ursinus College on Monday. The Wildcats took the meet, 95-75 for the girls and 91-79 for the boys, to hand the Rams their first losses of the season in a winner-take-all for the PAC crown.

“This was our one really competitive meet. This is the meet that could’ve come down to a coin flip,” Owen J. Roberts senior Logan Richards said. “It came down to that last relay. That last relay is what sold it.”

Up 87-75 in team score entering the final event, Richards — a Penn State commit — along with Colin Davis, Eskander Bierman and Patrick Bowker, won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:15.60 to grab the last eight points of the meet and clinch the win on the boys side.

Richards — who holds the District 1 record in the 500-yard freestyle at 4:28.76 and took state gold in the event last season — won the 500-yard free in 4:42.17. He also took first in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:44.68.

Colin Davis also won two events, the 50- and 100-yard freestyles in 21.39 and 47.10, respectively.

“We have a wonderful, amazing group of guys. Everyone is able to do their part and it’s just amazing,” Richards said. “Shout out to all of them, they work (hard) in the pool every day and that’s what really brought us all here.”

Owen J. Roberts’ Eliana Crew swims the 200-yard IM in a meet against Spring-Ford at Ursinus College on Monday. (Evan Wheaton – MediaNews Group)

UMBC-bound Ashley Gutshall highlighted a night of numerous broken records for Spring-Ford. The senior swam the 50-yard freestyle in 23.83, setting not only a new school record for the Rams, but a pool record at Ursinus College.

The previous record was 24 seconds, set by Division III All-American Sophie Lear in 2020.

“I’ve been working on that record since freshman year. For it to happen my last possible chance my senior year is really beautiful and amazing,” Gutshall said.

Gutshall, a two-time state medalist, also won the 100-yard freestyle in 52.92. Spring-Ford saw team records broken in the boys 200-yard medley relay (Patrick Baganski, Blaise Sadowski, Dylan Dayrit, Nate Reagan) at 1:37.24, the girls’ 100-yard backstroke (Maris Sadowski) at 59.68 and the girls 100-yard breaststroke (Sydney Koehler) at 1:07.02.

The Rams have retained a studded group of seven swimmers who broke school records last year, as well as all five members of their state relay teams. Giving Owen J. Roberts a tight meet at the tail end of the season and breaking more records in the process was a mark of positive trajectory for the group ahead of the District 1 meet.

“It definitely felt like a movie the whole time that this was going on,” Gutshall said. “I feel like the stress is definitely gonna build from here, but we’re all getting there. We’re definitely preparing for (districts) in our own ways.”

Spring-Ford’s Ashley Gutshall swims the 100-yard freestyle in a meet against Owen J. Roberts at Ursinus College on Monday. (Evan Wheaton – MediaNews Group)

Owen J. Roberts has seven returning district qualifiers on the boys side as well as six for the girls. In his 23rd year at the helm of the programs, Kevin Bott’s 23rd season resulted in another 10-0 run through the PAC.

The Wildcats had individual wins from Eliana Crew (200 IM, 2:12.47), Natalie Spencer (100-yard freestyle, 1:00.39) and Audrey Schroeder (500-yard freestyle, 5:18.47).

“I think both teams should be extremely thrilled with how the swimmers swam today. There were a lot of exciting races and both teams brought out the best in each other,” Wildcats coach Kevin Bott said. “Coach (Jack) Graham and his staff are always prepared and we told our swimmers today that they would have to be at their very best to be competitive in this meet.”

Spring-Ford’s Cameron Wilson swims the 200-yard IM in a meet against Owen J. Roberts at Ursinus College on Monday. (Evan Wheaton – MediaNews Group)

Sadowski took a pair of events for the Rams. He finished the 200-yard IM in 2:01.96 and the 100-yard breast in 1:01.79.

“We swam really, really well. Both boys and girls, we’re really good. Owen J. Roberts is really, really, really good and they swam well. There wasn’t a part I wasn’t happy about,” Graham said. “We took some chances and had some really great swims. It wasn’t just the records, it was across the boards, the entire team. It’s a tough league to win, they’re the defending champions for a reason.”

Owen J. Roberts swims Methacton Tuesday with designs on finishing its undefeated PAC season.


Owen J. Roberts 91, Spring-Ford 79

200 medley relay: Spring-Ford (Patrick Baganski, Blaise Sadowski, Dylan Dayrit, Nate Reagan), 1:37.24
200 free: Logan Richards (OJR), 1:44.68
200 IM: Blaise Sadowski (SF), 2:01.96
50 free: Colin Davis (OJR), 21.39
100 fly: Ethan Suessmuth (OJR), 52.92
100 free: Colin Davis (OJR), 47.10
500 free: Logan Richards (OJR), 4:42.17
200 free relay: Spring-Ford (Patrick Baganski, Dylan Dayrit, Kyle Kruppa, Nate Reagan), 1:30.13
100 back: Patrick Baganski (SF), 56.42
100 breast: Blaise Sadowski (SF), 1:01.79
400 free relay: Owen J. Roberts (Colin Davis, Eskander Bierman, Patrick Bowker, Logan Richards), 3:15.60


Owen J. Roberts 95, Spring-Ford 75

200 medley relay: Owen J. Roberts (Mackenzie Gorman, Eliana Crew, Natalie Spencer, Kaitlyn McGuire), 1:49.64
200 free: Maris Sadowski (SF), 1:57.38
200 IM: Eliana Crew (OJR), 2:12.47
50 free: Ashley Gutshall (SF), 23.83
100 fly: Natalie Spencer (OJR), 1:00.39
100 free: Ashley Gutshall (SF), 52.92
500 free: Audrey Schroeder (OJR), 5:18.47
200 free relay: Spring-Ford (Abby Koehler, Chloe Fennimore, Maris Sadowski, Ashley Gutshall), 1:41.62
100 back: Maris Sadowski (SF), 59.68
100 breast: Sydney Koehler (SF), 1:07.02
400 free relay: Spring-Ford (Abby Koehler, Ashley Gutshall, Maris Sadowski, Sydney Koehler), 3:39.38

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