by Tom Utescher
Winning seven of the eight individual events and all three relays, host Penn Charter cruised to a 111-67 victory over the swimmers of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy last Wednesday afternoon.
The Quakers upped their record in regular-season meets to 4-1, with the lone setback coming against always-formidable Germantown Academy. Charter had not yet faced another strong title contender in the Girls Inter-Ac League, Episcopal Academy.
SCH, which has no pool of its own and holds practices out past Plymouth Meeting, came back to Chestnut Hill with a mark of 1-3. The Lions knocked off Hill School, while succumbing to another non-league opponent, Gwynedd Mercy, as well as Episcopal within the Inter-Ac.
The Lions have no divers on the roster this year, so Penn Charter’s springboard stylists gave the Quakers a leg up at the start of last Wednesday’s meet. Eighth-grader Willow Tierno took top honors with a score of 161.75, followed by freshman Sabrina Pogrebivsky (144.35) and sophomore Sasha Gorski (120.15).
PC senior Rebecca Mount was a double winner in the pool, taking first place in both the 50-yard freestyle (26.18 seconds, a personal record), and the 100-yard breast stroke (1:12.55). Charter also captured second place in both of the those races thanks to Amanda Beck (27.41 in the 50 free), and fellow sophomore Ariel Barber (1:17.52 in the breast stroke).
SCH senior Molly Stein was third in the 50 free (27.66) and the Lions’ Kat Saltzman was third in the breast stroke in 1:17.83 – a new PR for the sophomore. Lions freshman Brooke Fireman turned in a new PR in the 50 free, coming in under 30 seconds for the first time.
Meredith Wurtz, a Penn Charter junior who attended the old Springside School up through her freshman year, triumphed in both the 500 freestyle, where she established a new PR of 5:22.82, and in the individual medley, an event she undertook for the first time and won in 2:26.41. In the I.M., Charter sophomore Anna Ten Have was runner-up in 2:32.28, and SCH’s Saltzman was third in 2:34.22.
Barber won the 200 free in 2:07.39, and Quakers 11th-grader Maria Georgiou was runner-up in that race (2:09.60) and also in the 500 free (5:37.70). Freestyler Nicole Novo, an SCH eighth-grader, finished third in both the 200 (2:27.30) and 500 (6:40.01).
The winner in the 100 free was another member of PC’s talented sophomore class, Glynis Braun (1:00.13), who was followed to the wall by Stein of SCH (1:00.46) and third-place Marion Hirschberg (1:03.61), a senior on the host team.
Springside Chestnut Hill received a strong performance from senior Dena O’Larnic, who chalked up a new personal record of 1:01 flat in the butterfly to win the event. She also finished second in the 100 backstroke (1:06.81). Quakers junior Carly Zurcher was runner-up in the fly (1:03.21), and third went to a PC teammate, Beck (1:06.30).
Lela Garner, a PC senior who will continue her career at Bowdoin College, won the backstroke in 1:03.85, and Ten Have came in third in 1:10.80.
Penn Charter’s victorious quartets in the relays consisted of Garner, Mount, Beck, and Wurtz in the medley event, Barber, Mount, Braun, and Wurtz in the 200 free, and Hirshberg, Braun, Zurcher, and eighth-grader Liz Cowhey in the 400 free. SCH was runner-up in the medley relay, with O’Larnic, senior Alex Stein, Molly Stein, and Saltzman, and the Lions placed third in the two freestyle races.