I always hate it when I’m out of the office on a big swimming night; it leaves about 80 pages of meet printouts to sort through to tease out a handful of nuggets of wisdom. (Though it did provide a chance to update top times, which you can find here.)
But since we didn’t have a lot of room for the swimming roundup, here’s a few of the important points that warrant highlighting.
– First off, congrats to the Radnor boys swimming team. Their win over Penncrest Wednesday night clinches a Central League title. Their last meet is against Marple Newtown, so an undefeated season seems merely a formality. It’s the first Central League title for the Red Raiders since 2009 – the year before a senior class that includes Trip Caulfield, Declan Evans, Scotty Nye and Kevin Cox rolled into town.
– While we’re on the subject of Radnor, let’s highlight a couple of notable races from that meet. First, there’s the 200 medley relay. The Radnor team of Ryan Freedman, Mitchell Gartland, Eli Avart and Caulfield set a pool record of 1:41.26. It took down the mark set by Upper Darby eight days prior by 1.74 seconds, a massive margin. The strength of the middle of that squad – Gartland splitting 27.74 seconds and Avart at 24.96 – makes them a states challenger.
– I’d venture to guess that very few dual-meet races this season, in the Central League and District One at large, featured an event with three automatic district cuts. That’s what happened in the 200 individual medley between Penncrest and Radnor Wednesday. Penncrest’s Philip Nawn came from behind to win in 2:01.88, barely outtouching Gartland (2:01.96) thanks to a freestyle split that was over a second quicker (26.89 to 27.96). Gartland had gotten out to a lead with a breaststroke split (33.33) over two seconds faster than third-place finisher and fellow breaststroke specialist Iago Dall’Orto (also a D1-A cut in 2:02.24) and four seconds faster than Nawn. We’ll see if Nawn chooses the event over the 200 free at districts, but it looks like Gartland and Dall’Orto will battle again.
– As a freshman, Frances Resweber probably doesn’t know any better. But someone should clue her in: You’re not supposed to cut 1.5 seconds off your best high school time in the dog days of the season. Resweber absolutely blasted her 200 free swim Wednesday against Haverford, stopping the clock in 1 minute, 57.48 seconds. That’s a major drop from her previous best of 1:59.14, sets a school record and is faster than the county’s top time a season ago. It’s scary to think what she could do with a full taper at districts.
– Speaking of records, it’s not every day that a standard set by Shane Ryan goes by the boards; you’ll see the three-time Daily Times swimmer of the year’s records enduring into the next decade in some pools. So it’s a big deal for Garnet Valley’s Anthony Richardson to have gotten .01 under Ryan’s mark in the 200 free at Garnet Valley Wednesday. Richardson, who also lowered the 400-meter free record in his home pool for the umpteenth time this season, finally completed the distance double with his time of 1:51.90.
– You have to be impressed with the way Episcopal Academy rebounded from its drubbing by Germantown Academy Monday to sweep out Hill School. The girls won 103-73 in a tough situation, a nonleague meet away from home after an emotional early-week loss. The Churchmen were led by Emily Rhodes’ pool record in the 100 fly. The time of 58.14 is the second instance this week in which the Delco record-holder has lowered her season-best, an encouraging sign for districts. The boys also squeezed out a win, 95-91. If you’re looking for a highlight, there’s Josh Owsiany’s pool-record diving score of 293.15 or Ben Baturka, who won the 50 and 100 free, splitting a 49.2 off the end of the 400 free relay to nearly close down a three-second gap.
– Since I tooted my own horn over the EA-GA predictions, time to admit my mistakes as well. Looks like I’ll have to change next week’s Super 7 on the boys side after Strath Haven downed Haverford 100-84. Big swim for Robert Boorum to cut almost a half-second in the 100 fly en route to a district cut and a win in 55.11.