The Mount swimming team’s senior tri-captains (from left), Katie O’Connell, Taylor Held, and Dana Zielinski. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Placing first in seven individual events and all three relays, the Mount St. Joseph Academy swim team bumped its record up to 2-1 on December 19, posting a 109-71 win at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

In previous pool performances, the Magic pulled out a nine-point victory at Hatboro Horsham High, then fell to District 1 power North Penn. Plymouth Whitemarsh slipped to 0-2 with last Monday’s setback, having opened its season against Archbishop Carroll.

At P-W the Mount received high placings from across the age spectrum. Katie O’Connell and Dana Zielinski, who are team tri-captains along with senior classmate Taylor Held, won the 100-yard freestyle and the individual medley, respectively. Another senior mainstay, Miranda Rafferty, triumphed in the 50-meter freestyle.

Jen Lehman, a junior transfer from Gwynedd Mercy Academy, backed up Rafferty with a second-place showing in the 50 free. Another 11th-grader, Lexi Meister, won the butterfly, where sophomore Jessie Dolan made it a one-two finish for the visitors. Junior Paige Funchion was the runner-up in the backstroke, coming in behind victorious sophomore Brynn McGovern. Veteran MSJ coach Janet Pudlinski noted that McGovern recorded a personal record in the event.

In the longest race of the afternoon, MSJ sophomore Christina Formica won the 500 freestyle by more than half-a-minute, and her tenth-grade classmate, Julie Sowa was second in the breaststroke. Fellow sophomore Christine Sipos, another transfer student from Gwynedd, placed second in the 100 free and third in the individual medley.

The Magic freshmen held up their end, with Steph Eble and Georgia Kelly coming in first and second in the 200 freestyle, and Sabrina Ghantous placing third in the 500 free. The lone diver for the Mount this year is also a freshman, Amanda Leto. She can only perform at meets on the road, since the Mount’s “home” venue, the La Salle High School pool, has no diving board.

In the individual swimming events, Plymouth Whitemarsh made its best showing in the breaststroke, with Lindsey Moyer capturing the win and Liz Malantonio finishing third. Moyer, a hardworking senior for the Colonials, took second place in the individual medley.

The meet got underway with a win by the Magic’s Funchion, Zielinski, Sipos, and Rafferty in the 200-yard medley relay, where second place went to fellow Mounites McGovern, Maggie Schoeller, Dolan, and Haley Sannem. Schoeller and Sannem are both freshmen.

Mount St. Joe finished one-two in the freestyle relays, as well. In the 200, the winners were Sarah Wang (junior), Keara Cole (freshman), Meister and O’Connell, while second place was secured by Kelly, Schoeller, Eble, and Rafferty. In the 400, the victorious Formica, Kelly, Lehman, and Maria Finnegan (junior) came in less than half-a-second ahead of Eble, Sannem, Meister, and Ghantous.




50 Freestyle

1. MSJ Miranda Rafferty 27.15

2. MSJ Jen Lehman 27.39

3. PW Carolyn Pontari 27.59


100 Freestyle

1. MSJ Katie O’Connell 56.85

2. MSJ Christine Sipos 1:00.53

3. PW Carolyn Pontari 1:01.08


200 Freestyle

1. MSJ Steph Eble 2:05.94

2. MSJ Georgia Kelly 2:12.79

3. PW Kelly McCreesh 2:21.60


500 Freestyle

1. MSJ Christina Formica 5:30.24

2. PW Kathryn Garvey 6:04.75

3. MSJ Sabrina Ghantous 6:05.33



1. MSJ Brynn McGovern 1:09.82

2. MSJ Paige Funchion 1:09.95

3. PW Tina Kudach 1:12.13



1. PW Lindsey Moyer 1:18.09

2. MSJ Julie Sowa 1:19.50

3. PW Liz Malantonio 1:26.91



1. MSJ Lexi Meister 1:04.17

2. MSJ Jessie Dolan 1:08.22

3. PW Anne Furukawa 1:13.04


Individual Medley

1. MSJ Dana Zielinski 2:24.35

2. PW Lindsey Moyer 2:25.75

3. MSJ Christine Sipos 2:28.20

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