CB East swims past Quakertown
The outcome of the meet had already been decided.
Still, Quakertown’s swim team formed a line along the pool’s edge and loudly urged on Michael Dierolf who was neck and neck with Central Bucks East’s Morgan Taverner in the final 25 yards of the 400 freestyle relay.
Very slowly, Dierolf began to widen his lead on the Patriots senior and managed to clock a 3:40.30 for the Panthers, a hair better than CB East’s 3:41.68.
“The boys are all very, very good freestylers,” Quakertown co-head coach Brett Wimmer said. “All the boys (Nick Bluder, Ethan Beeco, Bobby Tooley, Dierolf) bring speed to the table in the 400 free relay. And it doesn’t matter who we put in. There is always going to be that speed and that depth in that relay.”
The Panthers lost the meet to the Patriots, 98-63, last Thursday at CB East, but it’s apparent Quakertown has some building blocks as it heads into the future, especially with Dierolf, who also individually won the 200 freestyle (over CB East’s Dan Rogus, 1:54.35 to 1:56.21) and is only a sophomore.
“Mike Dierolf is an awesome swimmer, and he’s been swimming for quite a long time,” Panthers assistant coach Sarah Siegel said. “Right now, he’s one of our fastest boys, specializing mainly in the freestyle, but he does well in the breaststroke and the butterfly, as well.”
The Patriots claimed eight of the 12 events on the docket. Junior Andrew Zhugayevich won two: downing Taverner in the 200 IM, 2:11.53 to 2:17.40, and upending teammate Dan Powell in the 100 fly, 58.16 to 1:02.92. Zhugayevich has already made the district cut in three individual events (50, 100 and 200 free).
CB East, which moved to 4-2 overall with the victory, will also be sending Collin Villari (IM) and its 200 and 400 free relays to districts. The Patriots will have the opportunity to qualify more for the postseason in the coming weeks.
Villari didn’t grab a district berth with his time of 5:03.39 in the 500 free last Thursday, but the sophomore stunned his head coach with his showing.
“He had never swam the 500 before,” Ed Walsh said. “He went out in like a 53.9, and I said to TK (CB East girls’ coach Tom Kane), ‘This is either going to be a decent 500 or he’s going to start to drown after the [first] 300 [yards].’ But he swam a really nice time. I was really surprised and pleased with that.”
Villari’s first-place effort was more than 11 seconds ahead of Dierolf’s 5:14.68.
Other individual victors for the Patriots were: Drake Hudson (over teammate Justin Liow in the 50 free, 23.80 to 24.04), Evan Villafranca (over CB East’s Jared Becker in the 100 free, 51.11 to 51.41) and Andy Widmeier (over teammate Kevin Cantwell in the diving competition). The Patriots also nabbed the 200 medley (Jack Mitchell, Nick Dilemmo, Taverner, Liow) and 200 free (Zhugayevich, Zach Collester, Villafranca, Becker) relays.
Quakertown was awarded the 100 backstroke (Daniel Reigh, 1:11.48) and the 100 breaststroke (Bluder, 1:16.30) when CB East chose to swim both events for time considerations only. Collester had the best time (57.97) in the 100 back, and Dilemmo was tops in the 100 breast with a 1:07.63.
“With the boys, it may not be a big group – we have only eight or nine boys – but it’s what the boys have that makes them unique swimmers,” said Wimmer, a former Panthers standout, who graduated in 2007. “They all have experience on the Upper Bucks (YMCA) Swim Team and the summer team, as well. So we know all the boys specialize in at least two particular strokes, so that comes into play when we put them in events for every single meet.”
After nearly a decade of failing to win a meet, Quakertown (2-4 overall, following last Thursday’s setback) already has a pair of wins (over Upper Perkiomen on Dec. 6 and Moravian Academy on Jan. 8) this season.
“The Quakertown boys’ team has never been a big swim team, but the boys who do come out for the team all bring something unique to the table,” Wimmer said.
Note: CB East’s meet at Pennridge on Tuesday was postponed until Jan. 31. Also Tuesday, Quakertown’s meet at Hatboro-Horsham was postponed. The Panthers’ meet has yet to be rescheduled.
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