Pennridge drops a pair to CR South; Weiss breaks mark
Pennridge may not have won an event on Tuesday at Council Rock North in Newtown, but head coach Ryan Griffiths can take away a number of positives.
“The guys did well,” said Griffiths, whose Rams fell to nonconference Council Rock South, 125-60, and are now 1-3 overall on the season. “They’re a young group. We have no seniors, but we have a lot of junior and sophomore talent and a lot of transfers from water polo who are learning the sport of swimming, seeing what it’s like to excel. And we have a tremendous group of divers.”
Pennridge placed second (John Handy), third (Jeffrey Swartz) and fourth (Jakob Aigeldinger) on the diving board, behind champion Ryan Carlin of CR South.
The Rams’ 200-yard medley relay of D.J. Maurone, Max Coulter, Eric Jordan and Hayden Sandt was second to the CR South foursome of Ray Ferki, Matt O’Donnell, Harry Hall and Connor Grant, 1:47.75 to 1:50.85. Pennridge (Maurone, Thomas Schneider, Sandt and Kyle Frerichs) also snagged second in the 200 free relay, losing to a squad from CR South, 1:37.26 to 1:38.67.
“We have some good leaders on our boys’ side with Kyle Frerichs and Max Coulter as our captains,” said Griffiths, whose wife delivered the couple’s second child last Thursday. “They’re really trying to lead.”
The Rams appear to have a lot of willing learners.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Jordan, who has set his sights on breaking at least one of former standout David Apple’s school marks. “We may not be as good as the other teams, but I feel like we’re pretty dedicated to the team and the sport.”
Although the Rams were unable to secure a first-place finish, Griffiths’ squad took home a handful of individual seconds. Sandt was runner-up to Grant in the 50 freestyle, 24.87 to 25.23. Maurone’s 1:09.97 in the 100 breaststroke was more than 3 seconds off the pace of winner O’Donnell’s 1:06.54. And Jordan barely missed catching Hall in the 100 butterfly, 57.29 to 57.57.
“I actually cranked out one of my best 100 fly times,” said Jordan, who also managed a third-place finish (2:18.08) in the 200 IM.
Jordan has high hopes for himself and the Rams the next couple years. Individually, Jordan is eyeing Apple’s record in the 100 fly.
“If I could do it (pass Apple) my sophomore year, this year, that would be amazing,” he said.
Maybe Brittany Weiss should try diving.
It appears she’s mastered everything else in the pool.
“I was kind of surprised when I saw my time,” said the Pennridge sophomore, who clocked a 5:18.75 – good for a new school record – in the 500-yard freestyle to smoke second-place Lindsay Robinson and her time of 5:52.37. “I was pretty happy. I’ll probably swim it a couple more times.”
On Tuesday against Council Rock South at Council Rock North in Newtown, Weiss swam the 500 free for the first time this season.
“She clearly has the ability to be there (at states), but it’s planning out her events and seeing what’s going to work best for her,” Rams head coach Ryan Griffiths said. “We want to see her swimming well, and she has a variety of events she can do. What’s going to put her in the best position to make it to Bucknell in March? That’s what we’re looking at.”
Weiss advanced to states a year ago in the 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle and as a member of Pennridge’s 400 free relay.
“I started doing the 200 [free] recently and I figured I’d try another distance event and see what happened,” Weiss said.
Weiss was the only Ram to earn a pair of individual wins against the nonconference Golden Hawks. She also took the 200 IM by a healthy margin over CR South’s Natachia Nowmos, 2:16.05 to 2:28. Weiss was pleased with her time.
“My IM hasn’t been that good recently,” she said. “I stopped doing it for a bit.”
Other than Weiss, freshman Samantha Vargo was the only other Ram to post an individual victory in Pennridge’s 112-73 setback that dropped the Rams to 2-2 overall. Vargo defeated teammate Erin Finley in the 100 free, 58.25 to 58.86.
“We have a core group of freshman girls: [Vargo], Claire Beno and a couple others who have come into the year really impressing us,” Griffiths said. “[Vargo’s] a sprint freestyler who’s doing extremely well. We’re hoping she can hit that consideration time and be in the mix for districts, just to get that big meet experience. She’s consistently been one of our best 50 and 100 freestylers, along with Erin Finley, a junior, who broke 59 [seconds] for the first time today.”
The quartet of Finley, Weiss, Beno and Vargo captured the leadoff event of the afternoon, the 200-yard medley relay, bettering a team from CR South, 2:01.89 to 2:10.28. The Rams’ 200 (Finley, Vargo, Beno and Jen Grasmeder) and 400 (Weiss, Hnyla Sloan, Kacie Cios and Jacquelyn Cios) free relays both placed second.
Cios was second in the 200 free to CR South’s Theresa Ridings, 2:13.32 to 2:13.79. Vargo was runner-up to Hawk Emily Eastburn in the 50 free, 26.19 to 26.83. And Grasmeder finished second to Robinson of CR South in the 100 breaststroke, 1:16.62 to 1:18. Jessica Gross was fourth in the diving competition.
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