Knights Swim and Dive teams cap off another mark on school history

The girls’ swimming and diving team that finished in 1st place at the state competition.

TOWAMENCIN- It seems like every year, the North Penn boys and girls swimming and diving teams find themselves in the midst of another championship run, along with the opportunity of grasping a state title. However, like any championship in any sport, the road to catching the final thrill of victory and the ability to stand at the top of the league, or state, holds its own story.

“For the girls’ teams we had a rough start at the beginning. We stood undefeated like the boys team, but we had to work a little harder this year to get our best times. Compared to the past couples years we had to put in extra work, we changed a lot after losing a few people last year, including our team dynamic, but it was for the better obviously because we won states and districts so we ended up getting it all together in the end,” stated senior, Claudia Thamm.

“For the guys team we had a great season, we went undefeated and the chemistry was clicking right off the bat. We broke a lot of pool records everywhere we went including a few at North Penn, and heading into the postseason we had a lot of momentum. We came out on top in districts and heading into states we got second and it was great seeing all the guys come together and break more records, it was awesome,” said junior Sean Faikish.

The opportunity to compete on the biggest stage in your sport in the final days of your whole season starts through a team’s preparation before the first game, or meet is played. And with a unique type of regiment, the North Penn swimming and diving teams’ day one starts a little earlier than most sports.

we are all close friends and the effort and hard work to getting up at 4:30 in the morning and going to 5am practice, coming afternoon staying an extra three and half hour to practice, travel to meets, it’s a great accomplishment for everyone

— Sean Faikish, NPHS Junior

“All the [teams] coming together is awesome, we are all close friends and the effort and hard work to getting up at 4:30 in the morning and going to 5am practice, coming afternoon staying an extra three and half hour to practice, travel to meets, it’s a great accomplishment for everyone to wrap up how we did and we hope to use is next year and go out with two state titles,” explained Faikish.

In addition, championship contenders aren’t made up of just the guys that break all the records, or ladies that make the newspaper headlines.  A team that stands with the gold medal and state title banner is made up of a whole roster set on one goal and hold the drive to making each other better to stand as one at the top of a podium.

“For the seniors, Paige [Burrell] really led the divers, Kianna [Yancey] really gave it her all too after not being on the team any other year. She really got us going with the medley relay and sparked the team. Haley [Muth] was our biggest cheerleader and even though she didn’t swim, she gave us that good momentum. With those that are graduating, it’s gonna be points and leadership missing. A lot of new people scored points and you could come in and be like ‘Oh we are down all these points because our seniors last year would score the points in this event, and this event,’ but then you realize that people are stepping up and scoring in those events. That’s what makes it special,” said junior Caroline Dunigan.

“The underclassman were great and after losing a lot of top point scorers, it was pretty awesome to watch everyone have the ability to step up. From juniors, freshmen and sophomores it was great to see everyone fill into their own role and make the team better,” stated senior, Ryley Fein.

The best part of any sport is that no season, no game, and no championship is the same, every season brings another opportunity to make a mark on history and for every high school, there are seniors that put in constant hours of work to go out on top in their final year.

“[A state title] never feels the same, you win once and it’s still shocking. It’s a new experience every time,” explained senior Paige Burrell.

“To come full circle, Paige and I, and win our first state championship in almost forty years, it was crazy in itself and so to comeback senior year and win 3 state championships out of 4 it’s really impressive and leaves me speechless,” said Thamm.

The exciting road of the 2018-2019 North penn Knights swimming and diving teams concluded with the girls capturing their second straight state championship, the third in four years, including the incredible stats of scoring over 70 more points than the rest of the state. The boys team finished as the runner-up for their second straight year by outscoring La Salle by 5 points. Other highlights and final results from states between both teams include:

Girls swim/dive team:

  • The divers sweeping the top 4 spots at states. Those divers include Paige Burrell (Gold), Meghan Wenzel (Silver), Kianna Yancey (Bronze), Madalyn Freece (4th)
  • Silver medal in the medley relay- Kaelan Daly, Julia Davis, Claudia Thamm, Caroline Dunigan
  • 4th in 200 IM- Claudia Thamm
  • Silver medal in 50 free relay-setting new team record- Caroline Dunigan
  • Silver medal in 100 fly-setting new team record- Claudia Thamm
  • 15th in the 100 fly- Charlotte Thamm
  • Silver medal in the 200 free relay- Caroline Dunigan, Parker Schulz, Nicole Chiappa, Kaelen Daly
  • 5th in 100 free- Caroline Dunigan
  • 11th in 100 free- Parker Schulz
  • 15th in 100 breaststroke- Maddie Fritz
  • Silver medal in the 400 free relay- Claudia Thamm, Nicole Chiappa, Parker Schulz, Kaelan Daly

Boys swim/dive team:

  • Bronze medal in 200 free-new team record-Ryley Fein
  • Gold medal in 200 IM-new team record-Sean Faikish
  • Bronze medal in the 200 free relay-new team record- Ryley Fein, Nick Clark, Evan Mancini, and Tyler Hall
  • Bronze medal in the 100 backstroke-new team record-Sean Faikish
  • Silver medal in the 400 relay- new team record-Luke Schwar, Ryley Fein, Nick Clark, and Sean Faikish
  • 4th in medley relay-new team record- Sean Faikish, Nick Clark, Evan Mancini, Tyler Hall
  • 10th in 200 free- Max Bachman
  • 13th in 200 IM- Eric Degodny
  • 14th in 200 IM- Evan Mancini
  • 11th in 50 free- Tyler Hall
  • 12th in diving- Evan Meiers
  • 9th in 100 free- Ryley Fein
  • 11th in 500 free- Max Bachman
  • 11th in 100 breaststroke- Nick Clark