I haven’t yet had the chance to post a Super 7 up here this season, so the Christmas break lull seems as good a time as any to stop and reflect on the first few weeks of the season. First up, the girls. (Team records through Dec. 29)
1. Episcopal Academy (2-0)
The Churchwomen have yet to be tested this season, but the depth certainly is there. Where most teams see that quality drop off after four or five swimmers, it’s closer to eight elite swimmers for EA, and they’ve boosted their depth this season for the crucial “B” relays in dual meets.
2. Haverford (4-0)
For the second straight year, the Fords appear to have brought in a game-changing freshman in Ilira Zherka. The expectations may not be quite as high as they were with Maddie Hart a season ago, but Zherka gives the Fords some valuable versatility.
3. Radnor (4-0)
The Raiders haven’t hit their stride yet this season in terms of times, but on paper, this is the most veteran team in the county. The medley relay already has states experience, and the arrival of freshman Sasha Smolyansky is a big addition.
4. Strath Haven (5-0)
I’ve got a feeling this ranking could quickly head north. On paper, the Panthers are daunting. You take Megan Burns and freshmen Summer Martin and Camille Jabolnski and add that to a strong core that includes Frances Resweber and Kate Willis, and you’ve really got something. Plus, Eleni Pappas is one of the best divers in the Central League this side of Lower Merion’s Carolyn Howard.
5. Penncrest (4-0)
The Lions aren’t the deepest squad in the league. But they’ve been able to collect four wins early this season, including tight decisions over Springfield, Garnet Valley and Marple Newtown.
6. Ridley (2-3)
The Green Raiders have losses to three teams above them – Haverford, Radnor and Strath Haven. But this is a good excuse to talk about what Gabrielle Rudy has done in a phenomenal start to her high school career, already rewriting the Ridley pool record board.
7. Springfield (1-3)
I’ll give the Cougars the benefit of the doubt because they lost to Penncrest by a smaller margin than Garnet Valley. Plus, since we’re on the subject of stellar freshmen, it gives me a chance to mention Georgia Apostolu and her fast start to the season.