After going through the Central League doubleheaders undefeated this winter, Conestoga’s boys’ and girls’ swim teams easily finished first at the Central League Swim Championships on Feb. 11-12 at Ridley High School.
The Conestoga girls had 664 points, more than double the total of second-place Radnor (313).
“This caps off an incredible season for our team,” said Conestoga girls’ swim coach Rob Kirkby. “We’ve set countless personal records, pool records, competitive records and three team records, which is an incredible feat for a team that didn’t rest.”
The Pioneer boys totaled 560 points, well ahead of second-placed Springfield (326 points)
“We had a terrific meet with everyone getting at least a season best time, if not two or three,” said Pioneer boys swim coach Mark Tirone. “It was a very fast-paced competition and all of our guys swam really well to finish their season in the Central League.”
Jake Wang led the way for the Conestoga boys, with four first-place finishes (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay) and set pool records in the 200 individual medley (1:52.05), 100 breaststroke (55.45 ), 100m freestyle (to start the 400m freestyle relay) and also set pool records as a member of the 200m medley relay (1:34.01) and 400m freestyle relay (3:08, 16).
“Jake really had a phenomenal encounter,” Tirone said.
Gary Wang of Conestoga finished first in the 100 backstroke with a pool record of 51.02 and was part of two first-place Pioneer relay teams.
The Conestoga boys won all three relays at the Central League Championships – the 200m medley relay of Gary Wang, Jake Wang, Ryan McDonough and Matt Pawlow (pool/meet record 1:34.01, winner by over 3 seconds); the 200 freestyle relay team of Gary Wang, Brock Whitaker, Raymond Welgosh and Stephen Graver (pool record 1:26.89); and the 400 freestyle relay team of Jake Wang, John Yeniay, Raymond Welgosh and Stephen Graver (pool record 3:08.16).
In Conestoga girls, Naomi Furman broke the school record, pool record and meet record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.11. Lily Robinson set snooker and meet records in the 50 free (23.07) and 100 free (51.14). The Pioneers quartet of Delaney Burns, Audrey Laganelli, Furman and Robinson broke the pool and broke records with a time of 3:29.84.
The Conestoga girls won all three relays, including the 200m medley relay of Keira Haas, Furman, Burns and Robinson (pool record 1:45.93) and the 200 freestyle relay team of Kallie Whitaker, Brianna Fan, Haas and Laganelli (pool record 1: 39.21). Laganelli finished first in the 200 freestyle with a pool record of 1:51.56.
Depth was key
Conestoga’s depth was key to the Pioneers’ dominating finish for boys and girls.
For the Pioneer Girls, Kirkby noted that rookie Avery Hillier set a team record with second place in diving (451.80), and was closely followed by third (and teammate) Grace Gallagher ( 443.95). Kirkby also noted that Burns broke her own school record (and pool record) in the women’s 500 freestyle with a time of 5:01.96, good for third place.
The top three finishes for the Pioneer girls included Burns (third in the 200 freestyle), Furman (second in the 200 IM), Laganelli (second in the 100 freestyle) and Adriana Bertolotti (third in the 100 breaststroke).
The top three finishes for the Conestoga boys included Jack Semmer (third in the 200 freestyle), Raymond Welgosh (second in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke), James Manion (third in the 200 IM), John Yeniay (second in the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle ), Gary Wang (third in the 100 butterfly) and Ryan McDonough (second in the 100 backstroke).