Girls' Swim and Dive Team Claims First-Ever Easterns Win
Girls' Swim and Dive Team Claims First-Ever Easterns Win

The girls' varsity swimming and diving team capped off a spectacular season with its first-ever win at The Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships. The EA girls (542.5) beat out powerhouse Mercersburg Academy (527) for the top spot. Rival Germantown Academy placed third. The swimming competition was held at Franklin and Marshall College. Diving took place at Germantown Academy.

"So proud!" proclaimed Varsity Swimming and Diving Coach Brian Kline.

Personal, pool (F&M), and school records were set by EA swimmers throughout the competition. Junior Alex Sumner was voted the outstanding girls swimmer of the meet.

The first win of the two-day competition came in the girls' 200 Medley Relay. Junior Alex Sumner, Seniors Sally Stockett and Emma Seiberlich, and freshman Isabel Handal won the event with a time of 1:45.67.

The team wasted little time racking up a second win with Alex Sumner and freshman Hadley DeBruyn taking first and second in the 200 IM. Senior Nikki Cannon placed 21st overall.

"Being a part of the team to win Easterns for the first time in EA history is an amazing honor," said Hadley. "This is an experience I will never forget."

Senior co-captain Maddie O'Reilly came in second in the 50 Free with a time of 24.23. Sally Stockett placed 11th. Freshman Skylar Street came in 19th.

Emma Seiberlich broke both the EA and the F&M pool record in the 100 Fly. She made an All-American cut with a time of 54.65.

Alex Sumner broke her own 100 Backstroke meet record by .16 with a time of 53.41- winning the event for the second consecutive year.

In a come from behind win, Hadley DeBruyn broke Emma Seiberlich's 500 Free school record with a 4:50. Emma set that new EA record in January, breaking Grace Cornelius Limaye's long-standing record from 1989.

"I could not have accomplished this without the help of my coaches and the supportiveness of the team," said Hadley. "My coaches, prepared me throughout the season with rigorous training and helped me come up with a strategy before hand. After coming up with this strategy and knowing that I had put all of the work in during the season, I believed I could do it. I knew it was not going to be easy to accomplish, but with the reassurance from Emma Seiberlich, I knew I could."

"This program has grown into everything we have worked for over the past 22 years," said Coach Kline. "The girls' win is not just about the girls who performed in the meet this weekend. It is about all of the hard work that has gone in since swimming and diving started at EA to make this program what it has become today."

Other meet highlights include:

The 200 Free Relay team of DeBruyn, Stockett, Handal, and O'Reilly placed third overall in the Sprint Relay.

In the 200 Free, three swimmers scored. 8th grader Bridget Egan placed 22nd, followed by senior Heidi Zirnkilton in 23rd, and 8th grader Lily Haupt in 24th.

The 100 Free led to two more podium appearances. Seiberlich and O'Reilly came in first and eighth. Handal placed 24th.

A second place finish in the Girls 400 Free Relay final clinched the win for EA with a time of 3:28:26. (Seiberlich, Sumner, O'Reilly, and DeBruyn.)

Sally Stockett placed 6th place in the 100 Breaststroke.

Junior Wren Sablich and junior Maia Golub finished second and fifth in diving.

A young and talented EA boys' team came in 11th place overall.

Sophomore Ivan Puskovitch placed 3rd in the 200 IM and set a new school record with a time of 1:50.73. He also broke his own school record in the 500 Free with a time of 4:30.52

Freshman Cole Whitsett broke the school record in the 50 Free. He went 21.45 and took down Ryan Walker's record from 1997. Senior diver Gossen Yang placed 6th in 1 Meter diving.

"From our youngest swimmers and divers who stepped up huge, to the newest of swimmers and divers who made a massive impact on our team, they joined together with the core of the team in and out of the water to make another special season," shared Coach Kline.

The 117th Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships took place at Franklin and Marshall College February 24 - 25. Easterns is one of the most prestigious and competitive meets in the country.

Click here to see more meet results from key EA point contributors.

For more coverage by Swimming World Magazine, click here.