Villa Maria’s swim team won its seventh consecutive PIAA AA state team championship on Friday, March 17, with a score of 240. Shady Side Academy finished in second with 123 points, Fairview came in third with 120, and Gwynedd Mercy was fourth with 116 points.
The victory was anchored by strong performances in the relay events. The girls took first place in the 400 yard free and 200 yard free relays, and second place in the 200 yard medley relay.
Strong Individual strong performances included Hope Reynolds’ 4th place in the 100 yard backstroke, with Kira Buchler in 10th and Brenna Magness in 11th. Kaitlyn Agger placed 5th in 500 yard free, with Katherine Fronczak taking 8th and Alexa Turco in 9th. Olivia Giampietro took 5th in 100 yard free, with Maura McManus in 10th and Nina Smith in 17th. Katelyn Chick placed 8th in 100 yard breaststoke, and Nina Smith finsihed 6th in the 50 Freestyle. In the 100 yard fly junior Kaitlyn Agger medaled, taking 7th place, with Brenna Magness in 17th and Mary Katherine Clark in 18th.
The start of the meet was delayed by a snowstorm. The team traveled early to get ahead of the storm, and then spent an extra day in their hotel room before finally swimming. The delay also meant that preliminaries were eliminated, and diving was pushed back into the next week. Due to the diving delay, the winners were not presented with trophies at the meet itself. Instead, a representative from the PIAA came to Villa Maria on March 28 to present the trophy. The girls celebrated with a ceremony and party in the gym.
The team was recognized school-wide later in the week at the spring pep rally. The team captains presented the trophy to principal Sr. Regina Ryan, and recapped their experiences at the championship meet. Sr. Regina congratulated the team on its 7th consecutive title, and cited the swimmers’ and coaches’ work ethic and commitment to excellence as keys to their remarkable success. “They were able to rise to the occasion,” Sr. Regina said. “I congratulate our coaches and our team members.”
Congratulations to the team and coaches Cathy Hay, Fritz Schuman, and Steve Curlee!