**Note: This article originally published in The Reporter and on TheReporterOnline.com**
TOWAMENCIN >> On a day when the best swimmers in the area got together to compete, it was only fitting that records were being broken from event 1 thru 50. In all, 18 pool or league records were broken during the Bux-Mont A Championships Saturday.
Twelve-year-old Nick Clark set the bar, not only for his own team but for the entire event. The Towamencin swimmer set league records in his age group’s 50-yard butterfly (27.21), 50-yard breaststroke (30.79), 50-yard freestyle, and helped the 200-yard medley relay team set a record of their own (1:59.39).
“(The) 50-yard breast, I’m higher ranked in,” Clark said. “And then I was just hoping I could do well in the fly too. I really just wanted to do my best times. If I broke a league record that would be really good.”
“He won four events in four league records. He had an amazing day,” Towamencin coach Beth McConnell said. “He’s one of the hardest working kids I know, so he deserves every bit of it. I know he wasn’t sure if he was going to pull off two of them so he’s really excited and I know he broke the league records by more than a second. It’s phenomenal – I can’t believe he went that fast.”
The Dolphins, who also hosted the championships, led the charge in both first place finishes and records set on the day. After finishing second during the regular season, Towamencin ended up atop the podium 13 times, set six league records, and set their own pool record six times Saturday. No team standings were held.
“I just think our kids did an amazing job,” McConnell said. “They worked really hard all year. They didn’t come out on top every duel meet but to come out on top here just shows how hard they worked all year.
“I know the last two relays were for the seniors, a lot of them were seniors and the seniors have been here for 13 years so I’m super proud of them. They broke the league, the team, and the pool records, which is just amazing.”
The girls’ 15 & over team of Olivia DiStefano, Erin O’Neill, Anna Haggerty, and Sarah Lebold (1:52.15) and boys’ 15 & over team of Matthew Shultz, Thanas Kountroubis, Nico Kountroubis, and Liam Kelly (1:38.72) each took home first in their 200-yard medley relays for the Dolphins.
Also among the standouts was Hatfield’s Claudia Thamm. She walked away with three first-place finishes, including a pool record in the 50-yard freestyle (25.19).
“It went well, considering I’ve been competing for three weeks now,” an upbeat Thamm said. “I’m pretty proud of myself, that I could pull out all this in one day. My favorite stroke is butterfly and that’s the one I’m pretty good at so I was glad that I won that one.”
The fly victory didn’t come easy for the 13-year-old, but with a little help from an unexpected source she got it done.
“There was just a little motivation at the beginning,” Thamm said. “The Lansdale coach, Jeff Faikish, he screamed my name and he said, ‘hit that whip!’ That made me laugh and I think it boosted me a bit to win it.
“My goals were just to get first and have fun today — that’s what summer swimming is all about. And that’s been done.”
Another swimmer who impressed in the 13-14-year-old division was Harleysville’s Storm Krader. The 14-year-old set a pool record in the boys’ 50-yard butterfly (25.58) and a league record in the 50-yard backstroke (26.44).
“I was trying to go for first, but if I didn’t that would be OK,” Krader said. “Since I did get first that was great.”
Behind Krader’s efforts Harleysville earned the second-most first place finishes with 11. Fanny Chapman — who finished first in the Bux-Mont during the regular season — and Lansdale had 10 firsts each.
The standout of the day among the senior division was Souderton’s Christian Musterait. He set pool records in both the 100-yard butterfly (25.58) and 100-yard freestyle (48.27). One was a little more expected than the other.
“I was really thrilled with how I did because I haven’t really been training that hard this season. I’m a freestyle swimmer, I don’t do butterfly, so I didn’t know how it was going to go. I think the way it came out was awesome…it was very unexpected but I was thrilled with how it turned out. After I set the butterfly record I was like, ‘hey I want to see what the freestyle record is.’ When I saw it I thought that was definitely possible, I can definitely do that, so that’s what I shot for when I dove in.
“It was a good day. To see everyone else swimming too, all the little kids, definitely.”
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