Swimming: Centrals Day One Odds and Ends

On a hectic night of high school sports, there was only room so much swimming (much to the dismay of the copydesk). So I figured I’d round up some more observations and put them up here.

For those interested in further reading, here’s a link to the girls story and the boys.

– I led the boys roundup with Connor Hart’s exploits in the 200 free. The other side of that was Anthony Richardson, who is looking for balance in his race. Richardson went out in 49.93, a very fast time. That left him to come home about 58 ticks. With a more controlled first 50, around 51 seconds, he may be in the 54 neighborhood coming home to put him in the states conversation.

Lauren Early is still the class of the Delco IMers. She delivered an outstanding swim, allowing Conestoga’s Nikki Bookwalter to take the initiative in backstroke before patiently and methodically hunting her down in the breaststroke leg. Seeing Early power after Bookwalter with a split over four seconds faster than her Pioneer counterpart was impressive. She clocked in at 2:10.29, which would’ve earned a trip to states last year.

– The Radnor boys medley relay team didn’t win Friday. But their time of 1:38.80 puts them in an interesting place for Districts. They are just under the 1:39.02 time that the earned the 16th at-large bid to states last year. It’s scary to think that their splits can get a bit faster. Ryan Freedman went 25.25 off the front, Mitchell Gartland turned in a 27.22 in breaststroke, Eli Avart was 23.98 in fly and Trip Caulfield brought it home with a 22.35. If Caulfield can get down to 21-high, Gartland can turn in a 27.0 and Avart can go 23-mid, they’re suddenly in the 1:37-low conversation.

– Speaking of the boys medley relay, Ridley’s third place finish was very impressive. The 22.13 free leg by Shane Dugan was the second fastest in the field.

– The boys IM was a haven for impressive swims. I discussed those of Ridley’s Joe Vannucci and Marple Newtown’s Johnny Truax in the notebook. But Iago Dall’Orto of Penncrest was almost the one who stole the show. Swimming in lane 1, he nearly chased down Conestoga’s Waylon Jin, clocking in second in 2:00.29. Just a half second behind was teammate Philip Nawn.

– I discussed the IM prowess of Erika Fimple in the paper, but it’s worth noting that Allison Cardow also picked up an auto district cut in the event Friday. She trimmed her seed time by 4.3 seconds. That’s impressive.

– It looks like the 100 fly just might be the second event for Maddie Hart this postseason. She finished second Friday, clocking in at 59.15 seconds. Backstroke is a given for her, but the other event is in doubt with the 200 free and IM also possibilities. A time just two tenths off state qualification a season ago, that’s not one to be easily dismissed.

Mary Kate Boylan went sub-25 in two flat-start 50s Friday. But the relay split of the day has to go to Samantha Campbell, who also got under 25 in finishing second in the 50 free. Her anchor leg of the 200 free relay in which the Royals took second: 24.26.

– Conestoga’s boys team didn’t have a dual meet season that was up to its usually high standards. That didn’t stop them from claiming a bevy of wins Friday. They took the aforementioned 200 medley relay title. Jin was first in the 200 IM, Michael Ashmead and Brian Jay were 1-2 in the 50 and Alex Schon was tops in the 200 free. Makes you shudder at how impressive the “good” years are.

– Speaking of Stoga, it’s worth pointing out the meet Laura McClintick had. She didn’t win an event, like teammates Kaitlin Benjamin in the 200 free and Abby Mack in the 100 fly, but she dropped 1.24 seconds in the 50 free to finish fifth and earn a district auto cut. It was also her split of 25.22 that helped Conestoga’s medley relay chase down Haverford for the win.

– I’m still waiting for the Delco sprint contingent to show me something. The fact that the fastest Delco finishes was Caulfield at 22.73 isn’t it (though a 22.64 lead-off leg on the 200 free relay is better).

– Speaking of sprinters, Garnet Valley had a good day in that department. Alex Schmitt dropped a half-second off his seed time to clock in at 22.74 in the 50. Andrew Woerth was also 23.46 off a flat start to begin what would become a victorious 200 free relay on which Schmitt (22.12) and Richardson (21.92) each turned in impressive splits.

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