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SportsZone for April 27

SportsZone for April 27

Note: This SportsZone report covers athletic events played between April 20-26.

Crew

Penn Charter Girls Crew

The Quakers competed in the 5th Flick this past Sunday, marking the first time in head coach Katherine York’s nine seasons that PC has competed in all five Flicks to start the season. Some highlights/standouts on the day, according to York, were:

  • Both of PC’s novice squads “improved tremendously,” according to York. In the Boys Novice 4x, Liam Haines, Avi Mondgock, Alexander Brown and Tiernan Perkins finished fifth, while the Girls Novice 4x boat consisting of Caroline Sumner, Hannah Aldinger, Penelope Gray and Liliana DeMartinis earned a first-place finish. 

  • The Boys JV 2x boat consisting of Ross Lee and Jack Davey flipped heading up the course but were able to get back in with only a little help, booked it to the start, turned and started back down the course for the race, ultimately finishing 18th. “They showed incredible grit and determination and we're really proud of their composure and maturity,” York said.

  • The Girls JV 2x tandem of Zoe Page and Claire Lewis took second place overall. “Crushed it,” York said. 

  • Girls JV 4x—Ali Sweeney, Safiyah Muhammad, Grace Agosto and Inaya Edwards—“Again they had their best race ever and are learning how to push out of their comfort zone by developing positive self-talk,” according to York. This quartet finished seventh. 

  • Penn Charter boys crew

    The Boys JV 4x boat of Elias Moulton, James Foley, Jack Bowen and Mac Haines had a tight race, finishing fifth, but were 0.1 seconds from fourth and less than four seconds off second place. 

  • Girls Varsity 1x, featuring Charlotte Baker, finished fourth despite having only two practices as a 1x. “To row up to the starting line alone and then face off against girls who have been rowing a 1x for years takes incredible courage and composure,” York said. 

  • Two Girls Varsity 2x boats each won their heats across two races. The first boat consisted of Ellie Choate and Ella Bretschneider, while the second featured Merrill Gadsden and Lindsay Gadsden. “It was so exciting to watch PC come in first two races in a row,” York said. 

  • Finally, the Boys Varsity 2x duo of James Glomb and Scott Sweeney finished fourth. “There's still some speed to be found in this combination, and we're looking forward to trying out some tactics at practice to get them in the best possible position,” York said. 

The team will resume on May 6-7 in the PSRA City Championship. 

 

Girls Track & Field

Penn Charter girls track

Last Saturday went about as well as could be expected for the Quakers at the Father Judge Relays, as the team finished in first place out of 26 competing schools. Some highlights of the day included:

  • Alli DeLisi scored a first-place finish in the 800, running it in 2:10.40, a record for the Father Judge Relays in its 34th year. Dani Shipon was not far behind in third place, finishing in 2:20.11. DeLisi and Shipon were also half of a victorious 4x400 relay team—the others being Veronica Lentz and Michaela Poland—that finished with a time of 3:57.04.

  • Mariah Mays finished fourth in the javelin with a personal record (PR) of 88-11. Additionally, Mays placed second in the discus (87-7) and third in the shot put (32-11.5). 

  • Mays was also part of a 4x100 relay team consisting only of throwers—also Emelia Malhotra, Sydney Raza and Zsuzsi Pollock—that finished in first place with a time of 1:00.02. “The throwers had an impressive relay considering they rarely run,” head coach Candice Lee said. 

  • In a separate race, the 4x100 team of runners Cassidy McCusker, Lucy Sokoloff, Olivia Roland and Michaela Poland also fared well, finishing third (49.65).

  • Lentz was third in the 100 hurdles (15.62), while Roland finished in third place in the 300 hurdles (48.87). Roland also secured a second place finish in the high jump (5-2).

  • Other top-10 finishes on the day consisted of Poland in the 200 (sixth, 25.78) and Grace Neuwirth in the mile (seventh, 5:45.67).

“It showed me that the hard work is paying off,” Lee said. “The practice is translating into their performance, and the girls that are learning new events are applying the lessons.”

Next up for the Quakers will be the Penn Relays on April 28 and 29 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field. The Quakers qualified in three relays that will run across Friday and Saturday: McCusker, Roland, Poland and Kaylinn Bethea will run the 4x100 on Friday at 11:15 a.m., followed by the distance medley relay team of Shipon, Poland, DeLisi and Alex Jaffe at 4:25 p.m. On Saturday, the 4x400 team consisting of Lentz, Shipon, Poland and DeLisi will compete at 11:30 a.m. 

“This event is very significant to me,” Lee said. “It’s the oldest relay event in the country and we are fortunate that it happens in our hometown. I realistically expect the distance medley relay to place in the top eight and for the 4x100 and 4x400 to make it to the next round of competition.”

 

Boys Track & Field

Penn Charter Boys track

Boys track and field also completed a successful showing at the Father Judge Relays on April 22, finishing ninth out of 34 competing schools. Some standouts from the day consisted of:

  • Luis Rincon placed first in the pole vault with a new PR of 12-3.

  • T.J. Zwall was fourth in the 800 (1:59.61), while Nate Johnson finished eighth (2:02.67). Zwall broke two minutes in the event for the first time, according to head coach Steve Bonnie.

  • Christian Austin finished fourth in the shot put (41-11) and Owen Larrabee was also in the top-10 (ninth, 39-9).

  • The 4x100 relay team consisting of Mark Butler, Zahir Kalam Id-Din, Ohifame Ijeboi and Isaiah Grimes secured a fourth-place finish in 44.45. Kalam Id-Din’s leg of the race was “one of the best I’ve ever seen a PC kid run,” coach Steve Bonnie said.

  • Butler was sixth in the triple jump at 38-3.5 and Christian Black was 10th (36-10), while Grimes finished seventh in the long jump (19-5.25).

  • Kalam Id-Din earned a 10th-place finish in the 100 (11.45).

Bonnie said the team “didn’t run as hot” at Father Judge as they had a week earlier in the Fords Track Classic, but it was still a solid effort heading into the Penn Relays on April 27. The 4x800 relay team of Zwall, Johnson, Wes Trautwein and Jack Frank will run in the event’s first race early on Thursday morning, and the 4x400 team of Zwall, Jaxon Adams, Oliver Jackson and Kalam Id-Din will compete in the afternoon, with Mason Knight joining as an alternate. 

“Penn is fun for the kids and coaches to see competition they haven’t seen in front of a big crowd at Franklin Field,” Bonnie said. “I’d say we’re at least a year or two from hitting our peak, but the goal is to go, have fun, compete and finish in the highest place possible.”

 

Softball

Penn Charter softball

PC softball split a pair of contests over the last week, starting with a 10-4 non-league victory over Archbishop Carroll on April 21. Macie Bergmann went 2-for-3 with a home run, double and four RBI, while Maddy Wray was 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and three runs scored. Ryan Hatty earned a complete game win in the pitching circle.

“The energy was good, and we were able to bounce back in a positive way after losing a league game to Baldwin last week that we probably should have won,” head coach Charles Warren said.

Jordan Simon had two hits in her first start of the season, while Francesca Luzi, normally a corner outfielder, played so well defensively in center field against Carroll that Warren called her “a ball hawk, shutdown center fielder.” Simon and Luzi have taken advantage of unforeseen opportunities, a big positive for those two and the rest of the team that features no seniors on the roster.

On April 25 against Germantown Academy, the Quakers (5-5, 1-4) fell into a 9-0 hole before exploding for six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was too little too late in the eventual 9-6 loss, but the surge provided a valuable lesson: no matter how many runs the team is losing or winning by, the game is never over.

“We can’t take our foot off the gas when we’re up big just like we can’t give up when there’s still a lot of game to play,” Warren said. “The good news is that we can score six in an inning. We have a lot of fight, and we need to. We’re coming with something to prove—that we are a true contender and a very tough opponent to everyone we play.”

The Quakers are at SCH Academy on April 27 before returning home on May 2 to host Episcopal Academy, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. in each. 

 

Baseball

Penn Charter baseball

The Quakers had dropped four of five games heading into a busy stretch of league and non-league games alike. Their first test was a loaded Malvern Prep team that came into the April 21 game with a 16-2 record. Head coach Justin Hanley had said the Quakers would have to play a near-perfect game to beat the Friars, and while that result didn’t happen, PC still left Chester County feeling good about where they were headed.

The game was scoreless through five innings before Malvern struck first thanks to some luck. The Friar batter lofted a foul ball down the third base line that the PC fielder caught, only to have the umpires rule he had caught the pop up standing about six inches out of play. The next pitch, Malvern laced a two-run double in an eventual 4-2 loss.

“I’m not typically a moral victory coach,” Hanley said. “While we lost, it wasn’t totally devastating. We had them on the ropes and needed to deliver a knockout blow that didn’t come. I told the team after the game that we’ll see them again in two weeks and now we have a blueprint on how to attack them.”

The Quakers got back on track the next day with a pair of victories in a non-league doubleheader. First, they beat Roman Catholic 5-3 in the morning before returning a few hours later to defeat Ridley 13-5. For a team that has struggled at times to string hits together, PC had 18 knocks in the second game. Hanley said the doubleheader served as an opportunity to get every single player on the team at least one at bat and also allowed the Quakers to end the week strong while entering a new one with renewed confidence.

The weekend certainly carried over to PC’s next league game on April 25, a huge 4-1 victory over Germantown Academy. Scott Doran twirled a complete game gem with eight strikeouts and needed only 80-some pitches to do it, lowering his ERA to 1.51 in the process. Liam Rowan caused havoc on the basepaths with three stolen bases (he’s 11-for-11 on the year), even stealing home in the third inning to put the Quakers up 3-0. 

“That was the best I’ve seen Scott pitch in three years,” Hanley said. “He was incredibly efficient. On offense, our Achilles heel this season, has been not getting going until the fourth or fifth inning, but this win started with us striking first.”

Prior to Saturday, the Quakers (12-5, 2-3) had scored a total of four first-inning runs all season, a number they equaled in the past three wins alone. The team has rediscovered its mojo after a midseason slump, and Hanley is looking forward to the second half of the Inter-Ac schedule.

“Pitching wins in this league, and Scott’s complete game allows us to set up our pitching for the rest of the week,” he said. “Anyone can beat anyone in this league, so if we adhere to the one-game-at-a-time cliche then we feel like we control our own destiny.”

Following a 6-0 win at Springfield Township on April 26 behind five shutout innings from Gavin Ruta to run the team’s win streak to four, the Quakers will be at SCH Academy on April 27 before returning home on May 2 to host Haverford School, scheduled for 4 p.m. in both. 

 

Girls Lacrosse

Penn Charter girls lacrosse

PC stretched its win streak to six last week after a thrilling 8-7 overtime win over Agnes Irwin on April 21, followed by a 15-8 non-league triumph the next morning at Mount Saint Joseph Academy. Those two victories made it eight wins in the past nine games.

Against Agnes Irwin, Aditi Foster scored five times, including the game-winner in OT. Foster has now tallied 52 goals in her first season at Penn Charter after transferring from Upper Dublin, and her offensive firepower has been huge for a team that graduated 12 seniors, including three of its leading scorers in Maddie Shoup, Darcy Felter and Charlotte Hodgson.

“Aditi is amazing,” head coach Colleen Kelly said. “A true goal-scorer, which we needed to have. She can put it in the back of the net, so our job as coaches is to turn her into an all-around complete player. When she does that, she’ll be even tougher to stop.”

Kelly also praised the efforts of goalie Kayla Joyce, who made 16 saves against Agnes Irwin, including a huge one in overtime that came on the defensive possession before Foster’s game-winner. 

“Kayla’s been phenomenal, and it really helps against strong teams when your goalkeeper continuously comes up with great saves,” Kelly said. 

Unfortunately, PC struggled in the second half on April 25 against Germantown Academy. The Quakers (8-6, 2-3) led 6-3 at halftime but managed just two second-half goals in the 9-8 defeat. GA’s only lead of the game came during the final 22 seconds after the Patriots had tallied the go-ahead goal. It was a tough result for a team playing some of its best lacrosse of the season, but the Quakers still have a tremendous opportunity coming up to exact revenge against SCH Academy and Episcopal, the other two Inter-Ac teams that have beaten them this season.

“What matters is how we finish, not where we are right now,” Kelly said. “We know we can compete with and beat the best. But we’ve also shown we can lose games that we should win. We’ve shown our potential, now it’s just about doing it more consistently.”

The Quakers are at SCH Academy on April 27 and at Bishop Shanahan on April 28 before returning home on May 2 to host Episcopal Academy. All three games are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

 

Boys Lacrosse

Penn Charter boys lacrosse

The Quakers split a pair of Inter-Ac games over the last week. First up, Penn Charter faced a strong Malvern Prep team in the midst of a six-game win streak on April 20, dropping that contest 20-5. Chet Kempinski continued his stellar season by scoring three of the team’s five goals, while Gavin Michener and Nick Walter each found the back of the net. Backup goalie Harrison Quinn was pressed into starting duty against one of the top teams in the area and played well.

“He let in a lot of goals, but he also made a bunch of saves that quite frankly should have gone in,” head coach Pat McDonough said. “He put himself out there and his teammates supported him. Out of adversity comes growth when you have a good core culture as we do.”

PC was able to snap a four-game league losing streak the next time out with an 11-8 victory over Germantown Academy on April 26. Michener scored four goals and tallied three assists, bringing his totals to 41 and 14, respectively, for the season. The junior has scored 40-plus goals in consecutive seasons and has also netted at least one goal in all 15 of Penn Charter’s games this season. Casey Felter scored three times against the Patriots, while Kempinski had two goals and four assists. Zach Curtain and Owen Black also found the back of the net, while George Glomb won 17 of his 23 faceoffs. Back between the pipes, Noah Dacanay made nine saves.

“Always nice to get a win against GA,” McDonough said. “Guys are getting healthier, and it’s showing. We made some plays and found a way to put the ball in the back of the net a few times.”

The Quakers (6-9, 1-4) will next be in action on April 27 at SCH Academy before returning home on May 2 to host Haverford School. Both contests begin at 4 p.m.

 

Boys Tennis

Penn Charter boys tennis

It’s been a busy couple of days for the Quakers, who sandwiched the George Shafer Doubles Tournament between two league matches.

First, the team dropped a 6-1 match to Haverford School on April 21, with the lone win for PC being a come-from-behind rally from the No. 2 doubles team of Ryan Packel and Ethan Cohen (2-6, 6-4, 10-8), the second consecutive victory for that duo.

“Ethan and Ryan have definitely raised their games,” head coach Philip Stevens said. “They've started playing more aggressively and consistently. Over the past two matches they have lost the first set before digging in, working together and ending with third-set tiebreaker wins. It has been great to see them work hard for each other and the team.”

The Shafer Doubles Tournament was held April 22-23 at Episcopal Academy, “an annual event that attracts some of the strongest teams from Boston to D.C.,” according to Stevens. The four PC pairings were: 

  • No. 1: Nate Arnold and Justin Cockerham

  • No. 2: Justin Gantz and Eric Liriano

  • No. 3: Jake Morgan and Cohen

  • No. 4: Packel, Ege Gungor and Jevyn Dyer (a rotation of players is allowed at the No. 4 slot)

Arnold and Cockerham started the day against the top-seeded team in the tournament—and eventual champions—Delbarton School (NJ), playing tough before succumbing 8-3. Gantz and Liriano matched their opponents from Blair Academy (NJ) game-for-game before pulling ahead to close out the match 8-5, earning the Quakers their only victory on the day. The Nos. 3 and 4 teams played well and showed glimpses of confident, aggressive tennis, but ultimately lost to excellent competition.

Finally, PC dropped a tight 4-3 match to Episcopal on April 25. All three singles players—Arnold, Cockerham and Gantz—earned straight-set victories. The Quakers (2-7, 1-5) will close out the week with the Inter-Ac Singles Championship at Episcopal on April 27 before welcoming Germantown Academy to campus on April 28 for a 4 p.m. match. 

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