SCHUYLKILL - Phoenixville’s Dan Weinstein and Upper Perkiomen’s Jessica Smith both made their head swimming coaching debuts at their respective schools Monday during a Pioneer Athletic Conference meet between the two sides at the Phoenixville Area YMCA metric pool.
Each one was able to record a team victory on opening day. The Phoenixville girls defeated Upper Perkiomen, 87-81, in a very tight meet while the Upper Perkiomen boys rolled over the Phantoms, 106-63.
Phoenixville’s ace girls came through in a big way as expected with their talent and experience. There were the “M” girls, Devonne Moore, sister Shawna Moore as well as Erin McElwee, leading the way along with Eileen Butler.
“Our girls team is just stellar,” said Weinstein. “They are really great. Last year they (Indians) beat us. It was very close this year. They have a lot of depth.”
Both teams lacked their full contingents of boys and girls due to the flu bug that has been going around the schools.
Phoenixville’s girls started the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay in a time of 2:10.94. The team was comprised of McElwee leading off with the backstroke, Devonne Moore on the breaststroke, Shawna Moore on the butterfly and Kaiti Cabot anchoring with the freestyle.
Devonne Moore won the 200 IM in 2:41.39 and she also took the 100 breaststroke in 1:20.45. Moore also anchored the Phantoms’ victorious 400 freestyle relay that won in a time of 4:30.90. Butler led off the foursome with Shawna Moore second and McElwee third.
McElwee captured the 100 backstroke in 1:10.44, and she also was a double individual winner with a first place in the 100 butterfly at 1:12.74.
Shawna Moore won the 50 freestyle in 29.20, beating out the Indians’ Kirsten Siwy who was right behind at 29.69. Kiwy won the 20 freestyle with a 2:23.67 clocking.
Butler came in first in the 100 freestyle at 1:05.90. Upper Perkiomen’s Becca Rose won the 400 freestyle in 5:37.92 with Phoenixville’s Julie McNabb finishing second. Butler placed second to Siwy in the 200 freestyle.
Cabot chipped in with a third in the 100 freestyle.
The Indians claimed the 200 freestyle relay in 2:02.75 with a unit of Danielle Marino, Jackie Hammilll, Kristin Kilroy and Siwy. Phoenixville’s team of Butler, Cabot, Maddi Fritsche and Shawna Moore finished second in 2:03.12. Fritsche also posted a third in the 100 breaststroke.
The Phantoms’ Ashley Sierzega placed third in the 200 IM as well as fourth in the 100 backstroke.
“Jessica and me were both in our first meet,” said Weinstein. “We have a little rivalry going. Their boys are just amazing. They are the defending district champs (in Class AA), but I am really proud of our boys. We lost a lot of talent from last year with graduation. The boys have gotten bigger and stronger. There is a bright future for the boys.”
Weinstein pointed out that there will be no automatic district qualifying meets during the regular season meets. Records will be kept on the best times tabulated throughout the winter, and the top 18 times will qualify for districts with the formal announcement coming at the very end of the season, keeping everyone in suspense along the way.
Upper Perkiomen’s boys were paced by Jason Mercando and Mason Cassel. Mercando won the 200 freestyle in 2:10.95 and the 400 freestyle in 4:46.27. Cassel triumphed in the 200 IM (2:26.21) and 100 butterfly (1:01.44). The Tribe’s Kyle Himmelwright finished first in the 100 freestyle (1:0.01) and 100 backstroke (1:07.00).
Himmelwright, Quinn Perlstein, Cassel and Bryon Scholl combined for a 2:00.82 to win the 20 medley relay.
Upper Perkiomen’s Hunter Peck, Perlstein, Brandon Umstead and Cassel earned a first place in the 200 freestyle relay.
A group of Scholl, Jason Mercando, Umstead and Himmelwright won the 400 freestyle relay (4:10.51). Perlstein topped the field in the 100 breaststroke (1:20.42).
Phoenixville’s Jake Luzins captured the 50 freestyle (26.69) with Peck taking second place. The Phantoms’ Hunter Lang came in second in the 100 breast and Eli Brown picked up a second in the 100 freestyle.
“Our boys are excellent,” said Smith. “They are real strong and they did that with five less swimmers than normally. We had a really strong showing. The meter pool is a little different experience for us.”
The Indians feature a formidable senior class, but Smith was also pleased with some of the underclassment stepping up and producing points in several of the events on the card.