Phantom swimmers gain experience against PV

Photo by Barry Taglieber
Phoenixville's Hunter Lang swims his leg of the 200 IM relay.
Photo by Barry Taglieber Phoenixville's Hunter Lang swims his leg of the 200 IM relay.

SCHUYLKILL - Perkiomen Valley’s boys swimmers are defending their undefeated Pioneer Athletic Conference championship from last year with much of the same cast along with some strong newcomers in the pool.

Thus far during the 2012-13 campaign, the Vikings are still undefeated to start the PAC-10 season along with some other non-league meets. On Tuesday afternoon, Perkiomen Valley hiked its record to 4-0 in the PAC-10 and 8-0 overall with a 97-62 victory over host Phoenixville at the Phoenixville YMCA metric pool.

The Perkiomen Valley girls have undergone wholesale changes from their undefeated PAC-10 title from last year and it has shown in the early going against some other strong league teams. The Vikings, though, still had too much depth for Phoenixville’s talented individual girls, resulting in a 107-63 victory for Perkiomen Valley.

Perkiomen Valley squared its PAC-10 record at 2-2 and overall at 4-4. Phoenixville’s girls are now also 2-2 (3-4 overall) while the boys stand at 1-3 in the circuit (1-6 overall).


Perkiomen Valley’s veteran coach, Jack Graham, who is in his 17th season at the helm, used some boys and girls in different events in his lineup, but many of them responded with strong showings that pleased the coach.

“The big thing is we had some freshmen really step up on the girls’ side,” said Graham. “We were able to have the opportunity to look at different kids.”

The nintth graders for the Viking girls includes the likes of Megan Gray, Kayla King and Fern Bernal.

Gray won the 100-meter freestyle in 1:05.99 with Phoenixville’s Eileen Butler second at 1:06.36 and PV senior Bridget Allebach third at 1:11.51.

Gray also swam the leadoff leg of the winning 400 freestyle relay that had a time of 4:28.96. The rest of the team consisted of junior Samantha Schroeder, senior Maggie Bryner and junior Laura Heelan on the anchor.

Gray also placed third in the 200 freestyle at 2:24.46. The Vikings swept the top three places in the event with Heelan taking first at 2:23.60 and Schroeder coming in second at 2:23.68.

Gray also swam the third leg of the winning 200 freestyle relay (2:02.44) with Allie Bonsall, Allebach and Schroeder handling the other legs.

Heelan was a multiple winner in the 200 and 400 (5:00.33) while Bonsall, another junior, won the 100 butterfly (1:11.90) and finished second to Phoenixville standout Devonne Moore in the 200 IM. Moore’s winning time was 2:37.92 and Bonsall came in at 2:40.47.

“She (Heelan) has been swimming great,” said Graham. “And I’m really happy with Allie Bonsall.”

Phoenixville won the girls 200 medley relay in 2:09.77 to open the meet with a group of Erin McElwee, Devonne Moore, Shawna Moore and Butler. PV’s quartet of Bryner, Mariana Bernal, Bonsall and Allebach took second at 2:12.29.

Shawna Moore won the 50 freestyle in 29.22 seconds, beating out Bryner (29.61) and King. In the 100 butterfly, Bonsall topped McElwee (1:12.98) and King. McElwee, who celebrated her 18th birthday, did bounce back to win the 100 backstroke in 1:10.92, beating Bryner’s time of 1:12.69.

Devonne Moore claimed the 100 breaststroke in 1:19.54 with PV landing second through fourth with Mariana Bernal, Maureen Ansel and Elizabeth Ansel.

“They (Phantoms) got me a cake, which was so nice,” said McElwee. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. We are really close friends since we were 10 years old probably. We have a pretty good core group of four girls who pull out times. It is disappointing that we don’t win, but we always try our best and get individual victories for our team.”

Facing Perkiomen Valley and the rest of the quality big schools should help Phoenixville, a small Class AA school, in the long run.

“When we get to districts, we will be evenly matched,” said McElwee. “Going against really big schools is good experience.”

On the boys’ side, Perkiomen Valley senior star Seth Underwood won the 200 IM in 2:21.68 with Viking teammates Wyatt Amdor and Nate Kell landing second and third place. PV’s Sean Hodgins won the 100 butterfly at 1:04.07 with Underwood second at 1:05.53. Underwood also anchored the winning 200 freestyle relay that posted a clocking of 1:47.37. Fellow seniors Will Swiss, Drew Catlin and Sean Hodgins swam the first three legs of the relay.

Perkiomen Valley finished 1-2-3 in the 200 freestyle with Kyle Dix (2:07.54), Anthony Crane and Luke Waite.

Swiss had a big day individually, too, as he captured the 50 freestyle (:26.33) and 100 freestyle (:59.67). PV senior Logan Thoreloe won the 400 freestyle (4:32.75).

Graham talked about the efforts of Crane and Bryce Groshardt, who swam the leadoff leg of the winning 200 medley relay that had a time of 2:03.11. Groshardt also had a strong showing in the 100 backstroke.

Graham pointed out that Perkiomen Valley has some big meets coming up, starting with Avon Grove Friday, and then a PAC-10 showdown against Boyertown in Graterford on Feb. 5.

Phoenixville’s Jake Luzins placed second in the 50 freestyle (26.43) as well as the 100 freestyle (1:00.48). The Phantoms’ Josh Ziev copped third in the 100 butterfly (1:15.07).

Jan Aclan, Robert Newman and Jake Sims were awarded the first three spots in the 100 backstroke with Ziev and Cole Luzins taking first and sec ond in the 100 breaststroke.

Hunter Lang, Jake Luzins, Aclan and Ziev were awarded first in the 400 freestyle relay that closed out the meet.