“So goes the medley, so goes the meet” as Knights claim district crown


Submitted Photo

The NPHS Swimming and Diving Team celebrates a 2018 district title at LaSalle University’s Kirk Pool.

TOWAMENCIN- The North Penn Swimming and Diving girls and boys team did it again, winning the District Titles on March 4th at LaSalle University. For the girls this is their 6th win in a row and this is the boys’ 4th win in a row. To kick off the meet, seniors Ryan Hartmann, Noah Jamieson, junior Ryley Fein and sophomore Sean Faikish came in first and broke the record with 1:33.12 in the 200 Yard Medley Relay.

“We have a little saying on the team ‘so goes the medley, so goes the meet.’ We would put out a very strong medley relay for both the boys and girls. That’s the first event of the competition. The boys swam first this year. As I was watching they looked pretty good and it came down to the 50 freestyle swimmer. Ryley Fein had to have a great swim in order to win the race and he won the race. At first we didn’t even realize we broke the district record because we were more concerned with the fact that we just won. Everyone started jumping up and down super excited because the district one record in Pennsylvania is solid. They don’t come by that easy because district one has some of the fastest swimmers in the state,” said Head Coach Jeff Faikish.

Everyone started jumping up and down super excited because the district one record in Pennsylvania is solid. They don’t come by that easy because district one has some of the fastest swimmers in the state

— Head Coach, Jeff Faikish

To follow an amazing relay performance, seniors Megan Zartman, Rosalinda Rivera, and juniors Haley Muth, and Claudia Thamm also came in first and broke the record with a 1:44.19 in the 200 Yard Medley Relay.  

“I think that this meet exemplified North Penn as a team, as other people got best times or strong races the whole team area was crazy excited for them . Everyone was cheering for everyone . Each individual victory was awesome to see in a swimmer after a long season but the relays were the most fun to watch. We took all first in all three relays which is a pretty great accomplishment but breaking the record in the last relay was something special, I’ve been on that relay for the past three years and always hoping we’d get that record and we finally did it . We were excited and just trying to end a great meet with an even greater relay,” said Claudia Thamm.

In the 200 Yard Freestyle Fein came in 2nd with 1:40.60 and senior Aidan Daly came in 5th with 1:41.92. For the girls, freshman Kaelan Daly came in 7th with a 1:53.93 and junior Parker Schulz came in 8th with a 1:53.99.

Submitted Photo
North Penn’s Sean Faikish, Noah Jamieson, Ryan Hartmann, Ryley Fein will advance to PIAA states in the 200y medley relay.

North Penn controlled the 200 Yard IM with Faikish winning with a 1:50.64, Hartmann coming in 3rd with a 1:52.35, and sophomore Eric Degodny coming in 6th with a 1:56.24.

“Ryan Hartmann has always been a hard worker, but has not exactly seen the success. He had all the pieces come together finally in his senior year. He had a great race in the 200 IM coming in second to Sean, which is his teammate. Those two work together day in and day out from the the time Sean started swimming for the Lansdale swim team in the summer. Those two kids have certainly been working together forever and it’s awesome to see them go 1st and 3rd in the IM and racing each other for the district title,” said Coach Faikish.

On the girls side, there was great performances in the 200 Yard IM also. Thamm won with a 2:02.85 and Zartman came in 4th with a 2:04.54. In the 50 Yard Freestyle Rivera came in 2nd with a 23.83.

The 100 Yard Butterfly had some very close results between 1st and 3rd. Hartmann placed 2nd with a 49.85 and not too far behind Jamieson placed 3rd with a 50.20. Also, Thamm came in 3rd with a 55.46.

“Going into states we lose some of those guys that are going to add to our team’s depth and so we lose a massive advantage our teams always had, but I’m still confident we can do well and even improve and here’s why. Some of our guys like Ryley Fein and Sean Faikish weren’t tapering for districts but they are going to be tapering for states. Some of our performance at states is going to depend on how they do, but I’m sure they’ll do even better, and once we as a team see them stepping up we will all step up. Another factor will be other teams. There’s some serious competition at states compared to districts, for example north Allegheny’s team just set the national record for all high school teams in the 4×100, and I think having that kind of competition might not let us win it, but we’ll still break some records, and maybe walk away with the state meet title,” said Jamieson.

Senior Derek Friday, Hartmann, Daly, and freshman Nick Clark came in 2nd with a 1:25.32 for the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. For the girls, sophomores Caroline Dunigan, Nicole Chiappa, Daly and Rivera came in 1st place with a 1:34.78.

In the 100 Yard Freestyle, Fein came in 5th with a 46.37 and for the girls Dunigan came in 8th with a 52.09. Daly came in 3rd with a 4:34.68 in the 500 Yard Freestyle. In the 100 Yard Backstroke, Faikish came in 2nd place with a 56.23 and  Clark came in 7th with a 58.67.

Overall it was a great weekend with a lot of great racing and best times for a lot of my teammates. We proved to our district that we are the best and it was great for all the seniors to go out on top

— Jeff Faikish

“Overall it was a great weekend with a lot of great racing and best times for a lot of my teammates. We proved to our district that we are the best and it was great for all the seniors to go out on top. We just need to keep training. States are next week and we just need to fine tune some things ,but we have all the confidence in the world going into next week,” Faikish.

Zartman swam a personal best taking the district title, swimming a 55.73 in the 100 Yard Backstroke.

“One of the stand out races for me for the entire meet, and maybe one of the top five races of my coaching career is Meghan Zartman’s 100 Backstroke win at districts. She’s a kid who optimizes what makes North Penn aquatics a successful program. She does everything you ask. She’s a leader, not exactly by her vocals, but really by her actions. She puts in the extra efforts, she takes everything the coaches say to heart, and she is a fantastic person in general. It made her back stroke race a long time coming. It’s always awesome when you have someone who works so hard, achieve the ultimate success.” said Coach Faikish.

The 400 Yard Freestyle Relay was another successful relay for both boys and girls. Fein, Jamieson, Faikish and Daly came in 2nd breaking the district record with a 3:03.64. Thamm, Zartman, Schulz and Daly came in 1st with a 3:25.08.

I’m really thankful to have such a supportive and skilled team and I’m so proud of them all.

— Paige Burrell, junior

“The divers did great as a team and everyone contributed points to swimming and diving. We got the top two spots, another qualifying spot, and a really close finish to states which I think is a huge accomplishment for the North Penn divers. The Swimming and Diving teams winning districts was yet again another amazing experience for me. I love seeing my whole team work hard and then get rewarded for it! It really is one of the best feelings. Now, States is coming around and we are more determined than ever and I’m really excited” said junior Paige Burrell.

For the boys 1M Diving Evan Meiers Came in 5th scoring a 438.75 and earning 14 points for North Penn.

“The fairy tail ending portion of districts was that Meghan’s Aunt had passed away a week and a half before districts. Her son is a senior on the boys swim team, but it’s Meghan’s aunt. The boys team dedicated the conference championship to Daniel’s family. For me the fairy tale portion is that Meghan was in 5th or 6th going into the last couple rounds of diving. She ended up nailing her last couple dives and winning. I thought that was very special because she was facing an emotional battle that most of those kids at the districts championships may or may not have known about. Her internal struggle with trying to keep her emotions together was awesome with her performance,” said Coach Faikish.

For the girls 1M Meghan Wenzel came in 1st scoring a 501.00 earning 20 points, Burell came in 2nd place scoring a 495.85 earning 17 points, and Madeline Freece came in 6th scoring 455.05 earning 15 points.

“One of the things that makes North Penn unique is that it doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or senior, it’s an entire group effort to have a successful program. On our relays we have from freshmans to seniors. The divers are the same way. It is a combination of individual efforts is how this team becomes successful, but also it’s its the teammates having each other’s back which allows them the ability to be successful,” said Coach Faikish.