1. Haverford School (5-1)
This year was a vulnerable one for the Fords. They still managed to finish fifth at Easterns, and their only dual meet blemish came courtesy of Inter-Ac champs Malvern Prep. Though the Friars don’t lose much, neither do the Fords (save swimmer of the year Dan McGrath). With All-Delco Matt Haigh returning, and contributors like Alex Boratto not even in high school yet, the Fords could take significant steps forward next year.
2. Radnor (10-1)
Only two Delco boys relays competed at states this year, and both belonged to the Raiders. In proving how endemic the success is to the squad, it wasn’t just four guys but six that comprised those relays, with Ryan Freedman and sprinter Brian McKeon the holdovers between the 200 medley and 200 freestyle. Though Freedman and fellow All-Delco Mitchell Gartland move on to college waters, the Raiders retain a solid portion of the contributors that bested all Central League foes save for Conestoga this year.
3. Haverford (10-3)
The Fords’ only losses are to the two teams in front of them plus Conestoga, none too shabby. This season signals the end for a heralded senior class, featuring Brendan Ryan, Steve Kassel, Rob Keehn and two-time All-Delco Connor Hart. Replacing those contributions is a daunting prospect for the underclassmen.
4. Strath Haven (8-3-1)
The tie with Penncrest seems a bit of an outlier for the season, but otherwise, the Panthers took care of business this season. Getting Clay Resweber to states is a nice accolade for the program, and there are lots of bodies waiting in the wings for next year’s team.
5. Ridley (11-4)
I’ve written just a bit about the significance of this team in Kurt Slenn’s final season after two decades on the deck as the head coach. But it’s worth repeating that a core of 12 seniors, led by states qualifier Joe Vannucci, comprised the heart of this character-laden group. I don’t think a single team in the county spread the wins around as liberally as the Green Raiders, sharing some of the glory with the seniors and grooming underclassmen like freshman Donnie Taziole.
6. Penncrest (6-4-1)
Daniel Rosenberger took some big steps forward this season for Penncrest, but Philip Nawn was by and large unable to replicate his All-Delco performance of a season ago. The good news for the Lions is that some of the depth guys made some notable strides this season, which bodes well for the future.
7. Episcopal Academy (4-3)
It’s been a couple of years since the Churchmen have put together a big team effort in an Inter-Ac where each team seems to have at least one stud, no matter the team’s depth. This year, glimmers of youthful talent – junior Waylon Jin, All-Delco Ben Baturka who is somehow just a sophomore, seventh-grader Ivan Puskovitch – have shined through.