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CB West girls swim away with third at SOL championships


The Central Bucks West girls swim team made a big splash at the Suburban One League Colonial Division championships, held on Saturday at Central Bucks South.

The Bucks impressed with a third-place finish in team scoring, putting up 369 points.

“We just had a great meet,” said CB West senior Makayla Varlaro. “I’m so proud of everyone. We swam well, and we had so much fun. It hit me that I’m a senior and this is my last league meet, this was the last team cheer, and it was so bittersweet. It definitely affected me mentally more than I thought it would.

“Some of us were going for district times, some of us already had district times, so some of us were tapered, some of us were untapered. Everyone was doing something different but at the same time we were all working together and it was awesome to see.

“I love this meet because all of the teams are together at the same pool and everyone’s cheering and working so hard. It was really exciting to swim well, especially against a team like North Penn. This year has been the first year that we were really good. My freshman year, it was just pretty much the freshmen, so it’s crazy to go from just four girls to having 15 girls.

“Coach (Vikye) Swanson even said it was amazing. It’s nice to see the coaches getting so excited because our team is good.”

Varlaro swims the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay for the Bucks.

“Districts might be my last swim unless we’re able to get to states,” she said. “I’m very excited for districts but I’m also sad because it might be my last time swimming with these girls. I’m really going to miss it.”

Marley Swain won the 200 freestyle (1:57.03) and 500 freestyle (5:16.92) and Maddie Majewski was the winner of the 100 butterfly (58.69) for the Bucks.

“I came into the meet, and I was really nervous,” said Swain, a sophomore. “I wasn’t tapered at all. I just wanted to place. I was looking for second in both events and I ended up first, which I was really happy about.

“I went my best time in the 200 free. I added a little bit of time to my 500 free, but I’m not worried about that. I’m really happy. I’m also so proud of our relays. They came so far. It was such a good meet for everyone on our team. There’s so much adrenaline at this meet. It makes my heart pump so much, I don’t even need a taper.

“I really hope that I can drop my times down more at districts and hopefully get to states.”

Ally Ricciardi of Pennridge won the 50 freestyle (24.71) and 100 freestyle (52.81). The Rams were fourth in team scoring (236).

“I’m not tapered so I’m definitely happy,” said Ricciardi, a senior. “My 50 was an OK time. I got a faster time at my own pool in the season, but I’ll take it for the conditions. The water and the air were freezing cold. The 100 was the fastest untapered time I’ve gotten. That’s usually what I do tapered.

“This definitely gives me a little confidence for districts. I’m not swimming in college, so I’m just hoping to finish strong.”

She will play water polo at Sienna College, where she has been accepted into the pre-law program.

Central Bucks East’s Grace Petrakis won the 200 individual medley (2:07.83).

Diving was held on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at North Penn. Junior Grace Ciepiela of CB East won with a score of 406.90 points.

“I didn’t go into it thinking about winning,” Ciepiela said. “I just wanted to do my best. That’s all I could ask for.

“Throughout the meet everyone else was looking at the standings but I didn’t want to know, so when I won it was very unexpected. I’m a little nervous about districts but I’m going into it with the same mindset. It doesn’t matter how I do, as long as I do it to the best of my ability.”

The Patriots finished fourth in team scoring (239).

Central Bucks South was sixth in team scoring (217). The top finisher for the Titans was Jacqueline Finlaw, who placed second in diving (355.30 points).

The SOL Freedom meet was held at Cheltenham, where William Tennent placed third in a pair of relays.

Alyssa Kunz, Ava Latona, Alyssa Vargas and Courtney Rudden took the bronze in the 200 medley relay (2:04.65) and Vargas, Kayla Van Atta, Kunz and Rudden did the same in the 200 freestyle relay (1:53.08).

The Panthers finished third in team scoring (257).

The SOL Liberty meet was at Upper Dublin.

Quakertown’s Kara Woods was third in both the 100 butterfly (59.26) and 100 backstroke (59.10). She was the top finisher for the Panthers, who finished sixth in team scoring (165).

The District One championships will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-24, at the York YMCA’s Graham Natatorium. Diving will be held at North Penn’s Rick Carroll Natatorium on Friday.

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