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Pennridge girls swim away with victory over CB East

Patriots’ boys team sweeps events


Anjali Verma waited a long time for the opportunity to swim for Pennridge.
And now that the freshman is on the team, the experience has exceeded her expectations.
“It’s been really exciting,” said Verma, who helped the Rams to a 108-77 victory over host Central Bucks East in a Suburban One League Colonial Division meet on Tuesday.
“All of these older kids have been my role models and now I’m swimming with them. I started swimming when I was 8 or 9, and I’ve been swimming year-round. Now that I’m on the high school team, it’s even better than I thought it would be.
“I think the best part is just the community. We really cheer each other on.”
Verma won the 100-yard butterfly in 1:02.57.
“This was a good win for us,” she said.
She is eying the butterfly for the District One Class 3A meet. The consideration time is 1:02.00.
“I’d like to make that,” she said. “I’d also like to drop time in the 200 free. I’m pretty close to the cut so we’ll see what happens.”
She is in student council, debate, plays lacrosse, plays the flute and sings in the choir among her many activities.
Lauren Scott and Ally Ricciardi were both double individual event winners for Pennridge. Scott took both the 200 freestyle (2:01.97) and 100 freestyle (54.86) while, Ricciardi posted wins in the 50 freestyle (25.40) and 100 backstroke (1:04.21).
Other individual event winners for the Rams were Emily Myers in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.88) and Lily McComsey in diving (173.40 points).
Ricciardi, Myers, Adi Garges and Scott opened the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay (1:55.14), Lexy Hulse, Verma, Lea Preston and Myers teamed up to win the 200 freestyle relay (1:49.42) and Verma, Ricciardi, Garges and Scott finished things off with a win in the 400 freestyle relay (3:52.93) for the Rams.
For the CB East girls, Ilene Stark won the 200 individual medley (2:17.26) and Anya Suko touched first in the 500 freestyle (5:41.90).
“Our numbers are down a little but,” said Suko, a senior captain, “we’ve had some people with COVID and other illnesses and we graduated a lot from last year. It’s definitely been difficult with numbers but we’ve made do with that we have.
“I think we’re really swimming well and we’re really pushing each other and supporting each other. We didn’t win this meet but we worked really hard and everyone came together and that’s what really matters.”
She is in the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. She hasn’t chosen a college yet, but would like to major in finance or business.
CB East put on a dominant performance in the boys meet, winning every event and posting a final score of 112-69.

Marcus Papanikolaou set a pool record in the 100 butterfly with his time of 51.72, eclipsing the previous standard of 52.18 set in 2011 by former Patriots standout Kevin McGee. He also won the 50 freestyle (21.31).
Gabe Miksa and Zach LeMay were also double winners in individual events for CB East, with Miksa taking first in both the 200 freestyle (1:53.37) and 100 freestyle (52.00) and LeMay topping the field in the 200 individual medley (2:03.78) and 100 breaststroke (1:03.96).
Owen Lever took first in the 500 freestyle (5:04.36), Corbin King won the 100 backstroke (56.31) and Connor Thurston was the winner of diving (222.05 points) for the Patriots.
King, LeMay, Ryan Symons and Brady Scott teamed up to win the 200 medley relay (1:45.44), Miksa, Symons, Lever and Papanikolaou were the winning foursome in the 200 freestyle relay (1:35.17) and Papanikolaou, Lever, Miksa and LeMay ended the meet with a victory in the 400 freestyle relay (3:28.92).
“We’ve been working hard,” said King, a senior captain. “It’s been difficult with some of the team getting COVID, but overall, I think our season is going pretty well. This is a nice win for us. Pennridge put up a fight but we were able to pull through and have some good swims.
“It’s fun to be in a position of leadership on this team. Everyone gets along really well.”
King was happy with his backstroke time.
“Honestly my goal was to go a 56 for the season and I did that in this meet, so I’m just going to see how low I can get it,” he said. “I’d like to see if we can stay undefeated as a team. We have North Penn on Thursday and they’re notoriously hard to beat. We’ll try our best and see what we can do.”
He plans to go into nursing but hasn’t chosen a school, and would like to swim.
Pennridge senior Brett Musselman is coming off a dislocated shoulder.
“I’m pretty much just building it back,” Musselman said. “It happened in March and this is the second time. I’d like to make it to districts in the 100 free and 50 free, but we’ll see how it goes.”
He is a team captain.
“We lost a lot of people to graduation so as a captain, there’s a lot of pressure on me,” he said. “A lot of people look to me for things. I’m just happy to help my team and try my best.
“I just want everyone to get their best times. CB East and North Penn are probably the hardest teams we’re going to swim and it’s just nice that everyone gave it their all in this one, even though we didn’t win.
“As a team I think we swam well. We’re just a big family and that’s what makes it so much fun.”
He hasn’t chosen a college yet but would like to major in finance.
Both teams have SOL Colonial Division meets on Thursday. The Patriots play host to North Penn, while Pennridge travels to Souderton.