The Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships (“Easterns”) began on Friday marking the 30th anniversary of Germantown becoming hosts in 1986, and the 116th overall edition. The meet is competed in by a group of elite private high school and college preparatory institutions in the Northeastern United States, many of whom have long and prestigious swimming histories. The meet is held at LaSalle College in Philadelphia.
Among the participatns are the hosts from Germantown Academy, the Peddie School, Haverford School, Mercersburg, Malvern Prep, and the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, home to one of the United States’ hottest young swimmers: Reece Whitley.
Whitley, who is a sophomore, began his meet with a 23.85 split on the 200 medley relay as he combined with senior teammates Jake Brogan, Jack Mahoney, and Tripp Griffith to qualify 2nd into the final in 1:33.32.
Whitley’s split would’ve made him faster than two swimmers who raced in the A-Final of the 200 medley relay at last year’s NCAA Division I Championship meet.
That effort wasn’t enough to surpass the Peddie School though, where the relay of Kyle Halbrecht, Reona Yamaguchi, Noah Houskeeper, and Michael Blank combined for a 1:32.84.
Whitley was the first qualifier in the 200 IM, which he swam in 1:51.39 – about four seconds short of his best.
The first ‘half’ of the meet was raced through the 100 fly, with the 200 free relay tagged on at the end. Finals from these events will be swum Friday evening, with another round of prelims and finals for the remaining events scheduled for Saturday.
Other top qualifiers:
- Jared Fitzgerald (Peddie) in the 200 free, 1:40.97
- Alberto Mestre of Hill in the 50 free (20.55)
- Alex Boratto from Haverford in the 100 fly (50.71)
- The Peddie boys in the second relay of the day, in 1:23.78. Whitley split 21.94 leading off Penn as the 2nd qualifier
- Episcopal’s girls’ 200 medley relay in 1:45.00, almost three seconds clear of Mercersburg
- Episcopal’s Emma Seiberlich in the girls’ 200 free, with a 1:50.88; and again in the 100 fly in 55.16
- Alex Summer, again of Episcopal, led the girls’ 200 IM in 2:02.86 – more than four seconds clear of the field
- Peddie’s Vanessa Ruiz led the 50 free in 23.48
- Mercersburg’s 200 free relay held top honors in prelims in 1:37.02, but Peddie was just .14 back.