The Boyertown Area Times

District gold for Upper Perk’s Santos, PJP’s Phillips, Methacton’s Groff

- By Dennis Weller dweller@medianewsg­ @dwellerspo­rtz on Twitter

The Upper Perkiomen swim team had quite a weekend at the District 1 championsh­ips at York County YMCA’s Graham Aquatic Center. Freshman Beatriz Santos won gold and bronze medals and 18 of the 20 boys entries set new best times while garnering six top-three medals in Class 2A competiton.

Other highlights for Pioneer Athletic Conference swimmers during the two-day event included gold and silver medals for Pope John Paul II’s Henry Phillips in 2A and a first-place finish in the 100 back for Methacton’s Christophe­r Groff in 3A.

Santos finished first in the 100 butterfly on Friday with a time of 1:00.54 and followed that up with a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke on Saturday with a 1:00.71 mark.

“She has a tremendous amount of talent, which helps,” said Upper Perk coach Brien Kalnoski. “For a freshman, it takes a little bit of transition because we do things a little bit differentl­y than their club programs. She has really, really good technique and there’s things we can do to improve even before states. She has a great personalit­y. She’s smart. I think she’s excited to get to states. She’s just a quality swimmer.”

Also in 2A competitio­n, PJP’s Phillips won the gold medal in the 500 free with a time of 4:48.65 and silver in the 200 free in 1:43.89 and Pottsgrove’s Declan Keener claimed a bronze medal in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:07.91.

In Class 3A boys action, Groff placed first in the 100 back with a time of 50.13. Also, two Owen J. Roberts boys earned bronze medals – Colin Davis in the 100 free with a time of 45.82 and Logan Richards in the 500 free in 4:34.41.

PAC girls swimmers won three silver medals in 3A competitio­n on Friday. Phoenixvil­le’s Kenzie Padilla finished second in the 100 fly in a time of 54.61, SpringFord’s Ashley Gutshall was runner-up in the 50 free with a time of 23.32 and the Spring-Ford 200 medley relay team of Maris Sadowski,

Sydney Koehler, Abby Koehler and Gutshall led off the day on Friday with a second-place finish.

The Owen J. Roberts boys and Spring-Ford girls were the top PAC team in the standings, each finishing in sixth place. Conestoga won both the boys and girls 3A championsh­ips and Springfiel­d Township did the same in 2A.

The Upper Perk boys were fourth in the team standings. All of the Upper Perk boys swam their best times on Saturday and the team had an 80 percent personalbe­st rate, a huge accomplish­ment in Kalnoski’s experience.

“If you hit 60 or 70 percent over the course of two days, that’s a successful meet,” said Kalnoski. “As a head coach, that’s the first time I’ve had 100 percent best times.”

Other top-three finishes for the Indians included a second in the 50 freestyle and third in the 100 breast for Eric Harter, a second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 200 free for Nolan McCloskey, a third place in the 500 free by Hunter Francisco and second place for the team of Eric Harter, Francisco, Andrew Kelly and McCloskey in the 200 medley relay.

“The stars aligned and we were able to take all nine boys,” said Kalnoski, whose boys team finished fourth in the overall standings. “I’m very proud of the kids. All of the teams that finished ahead of us had 12 to 15 boys. We finished just five points behind Upper Moreland.”

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