The Phoenixville YMCA swimming team participated in the YMCA East District Championships at La Salle University.
This year’s meet was extremely competitive. With restructured divisions, along with new events, anticipation was high among the 92 swimmers representing the team. The top qualifiers at districts advanced to the YMCA State Championship Meet held at Penn State University the weekend of March 22-24.
Phoenixville finished in sixth place overall among the field of 19 teams. Moreover, the team sent 28 of its swimmers to Happy Valley to compete among the best YMCA swimmers in Pennsylvania.
There were numerous individual highlights in the 13-14 age group division for PAY, among which was Emma Seiberlich’s pool record in the 200 back with a time of 2:01.90. Head coach Ryan Kennedy stated that Seiberlich’s record is “something special as so many great swimmers have come through this historic pool. It will be great to see her name on the board next year.”
Seiberlich recorded three first-place finishes in the 20 free, 100 back and 200 back. Moreover, Maddie Cooke brought home a first-place finish in the 100 breast, second in the 200 IM and third in the 200 free while Zach Maher placed first in the 100 fly and took second in the 100 free.
Morgan Hansen placed third in the 100 fly and Olivia Giampietro placed second in the 50 free and third in the 100 free. The medley relay of Seiberlich, Cooke, Hansen and Giampietro finished first once again while the boys free relay of Maher, Josh Hayward, Jack Thompson and Darius Merke took second place.
Also performing well for PAY in the 11-12 division was Erin Merke with a first-place finish in the 100 fly while Ryan Maher took home second in the 200 free and 20 IM with a third in the 100 fly. The 200 free relay of Hayden Semisch, Katya Hayward, Cassidy Hoops and Merke placed second.
The medley relay of Simone Sparano, Sarah Baker, Riley Hansen and Hayward also advanced to states.
In the 10 & Under Division, Jack Christian recorded two strong first-place finishes in the 50 back and 100 back along with a second in the 50 fly. George Pappas, a 9-year-old, placed third in the 200 free.
Other noteworthy performance were turned in throughout the weekend by Julia Barry,Jeremy Cooper, Kathryn Blank, Kyle Hoops, Sebastian Maya, Bella Bland, Jack Hussin, Anya Mostek, Katie Baker and Mikayla Niness.
Kennedy pointed out that 92 swimmers had to qualify to compete at districts. He was extremely pleased with PAY’s performance, not from the swimmers normally expected to shine, but from kids who made huge time drops in the meet.
“These were swimmers who were hoping to qualify at the beginning of the season, and I am really proud of their accomplishments,” said Kennedy. “The State Championship Meet will bring on bigger and better challenges and with some tweaking, our group can even be better.”