North Penn’s 400 freestyle relay earns silver
the event, going 3:00.23. The hnights earned ninth place in the team standings with 83 points. La Salle took the title, racking up 290 points.
Also of local interest, former hnights swimmer and coach Bill Bartle was one of three inducted into the Pennsylvania Swimming Hall of Fame Saturday night, in a ceremony held before the boys VZLP finDOV. BDUWOH LV FuUUHnWly the District One Swimming co-chairman and has coached the hnights swim team, as well as the girls water polo squad, to multiple state titles.
As the lone freshman in Friday’s PIAA Class AAA Girls Diving Championships, North Penn’s Marie vacopino said she did not expect to place in the top 10.
Her performance was so sensational, however, that vacopino was actually in the lead for the gold medal going LnWR WKH 11WK DnG finDO URunG of dives Friday afternoon.
“I was just excited because I made it there,” she said with a big smile. “I was so nervous too.”
The ninth-grader’s nerves did not show.
YDFRSLnR nDLOHG KHU finDO dive of the afternoon at Bucknell rniversity’s hinney Natatorium, evoking a loud roar of cheers from the strong collection of North Penn fans in attendance and earning a cumulative score of 48 from the judges. As vacopino emerged from the pool for the last time, she could look up at the scorebard and see she had pushed her total to 443.35 for the day.
Chartiers Valley’s Maria Lohman was able to pass vaFRSLnR Ln WKH finDO URunG, finishing with a 446.20, but North Penn’s impressive freshman put on a show, earning herself D VLOYHU PHGDO Ln KHU YHUy fiUVW appearance at states.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” she said.
North Penn would begin and end the day with silver medals, as the 200 freestyle relay team earned second Ln WKH finDO HYHnW RI WKH swim portion, propelling the Maidens into third place in the team scoring heading into Day Two.
vacopino was able to outdive Lower Merion’s Carolyn Howard, who earned the bronze with a 438.50, for runner-up honors. Central Bucks West’s Rachel Saunders medaled for the third year in a row with a fourthSODFH finLVK (431.50).
YDFRSLnR, ZKR finLVKHG third at the Suburban One League’s Continental Conference Championships and sixth at the District One Championships, had her best performance of the season when it mattered most.
“I’m so excited...It gives PH PRUH FRnfiGHnFH IRU nHxW year,” she said.
Saunders made it back to Bucknell for the fourth year in a row, and she was able to rally from ninth after WKH SUHOLPV WR fiIWK DIWHU WKH semis and then to a fourth- SODFH finLVK DnG DnRWKHU WULS to the medal stand.
“I loved high school diving. It was a good time,” she said, looking back on her FDUHHU. “7KH IRuU yHDUV flHZ by. My advice to others is to enjoy every moment.”
Saunders, who will dive at Pitt next year, earned her third WRS-IRuU finLVK. 6KH SODFHG fourth as a sophomore and earned the bronze as a junior.
Also from the area, Wissahickon’s Megan Berardelli UHDFKHG WKH finDOV uS Rn WKH board, placing 16th with a 357.85, and vacopino’s teammate, Madison Tanis, placed 29th with a 136.40.
Later in the evening, North Penn’s 200 freestyle relay team of Eve hosten, Tara Rogers, Olivia DiStefano, and Emily hosten earned the silver in 1 minute, 34.19 seconds. Only Hershey, which set a state record in 1:33.48, was faster than the Maidens.
North Penn dropped two seconds off its fastest time of the season to out-race North AOOHJKHny (1:35.96), 2DNODnG CDWKROLF (1:36.96), 3DUNODnG (1:37.02), 0RunW LHEDnRn (1:37.07), :HVW CKHVWHU HHnGHUVRn (1:37.11) DnG CRunFLO 5RFN 1RUWK (1:37.75) Ln WKH championship event.
“We were really hoping for a win, but to drop two seconds off our best time, I think that’s crazy - we did really well,” Emily hosten said. “I’m really proud of all of us.”
The 200 freestyle medal stand was crowded with swimmers from the SOL Continental. North Penn’s EPLOy .RVWHn (1:50.39) DnG 7DUD 5RJHUV (1:51.13) finLVKHG IRuUWK DnG VLxWK WR earn the Maidens 28 points in the event, and CB West’s 4uLnn 0DF0LOODn (1:50.48) and Souderton’s Laureana ZUDGD (1:52.66) SODFHG fiIWK and seventh.
Pennridge’s Hannah wurmuhl, a freshman, swam a 23.48 to place fourth in the 50 freestyle while Souderton’s 200 medley relay team of Alyssa Santangelo, Rickilee Hodges, Megan Furey and wrada placed seventh in 1:50.34.
In the second half of the swim portion, North Penn’s Jack Morris was busy earning fourth place in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:40.19 and the hnights’ senior also took second in the consolation race and 10th RYHUDOO Ln WKH 100 EuWWHUfly with a 50.91.
He capped things off by swimming the anchor leg of the 200 freestyle relay, joining Brandon Anders, Liam helly and Thanas hountroubis to go 1:25.92 and place second in the consolation race and 10th overall.
In his 200 freestyle, Morris improved upon his 1:41.13 seed time to go 1:40.54 in prelims, then hammered out KLV 1:40.19 Ln WKH finDOV. ,W was an extremely fast race, with rpper Dublin’s Robert Bantley coming close to the VWDWH UHFRUG (1:36.05) Ln SUHOLPV (1:36.93) DnG WKHn WKH senior went 1:37.12 to get the gold.