Winter Sports Teams Tackling Easterns, State, MAPL Tournaments
One of the busiest weekends of the year—and certainly one of the most meaningful stretches of competition—is in progress for Mercersburg’s varsity athletic teams February 14-15.
The Blue Storm swimmers and divers are competing at the annual Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships; after the first day of the two-day event, Mercersburg’s boys are in third place and the Storm girls are fifth. Swimming events are at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, with the diving events taking place at Germantown Academy in the Philadelphia suburb of Fort Washington. Easterns is widely considered the top prep swimming and diving meet in the nation.
Swimming preliminaries begin at 9 a.m. and finals will be contested at 6:30 p.m. both days. Diving kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Mercersburg has a long history of glory at Easterns, having won more than 20 team titles over the event’s storied history. The Blue Storm girls earned the championship in 2016, with the boys most recently taking home the team title in 2010. Both teams should be in the mix for top finishes this year.
“Our kids are excited,” Mercersburg head swimming coach Glenn Neufeld says. “We have a number of athletes who are seeded to do really well, and a lot of younger athletes who are really on the cusp of breaking through. It should be fun; we have a good mix of experience and younger talent.”
At the 2020 MAPL Invitational—hosted by Mercersburg for the first time in league history in the new Lloyd Aquatic Center—Jake Evert ’20 (50 freestyle/100 freestyle) and Jonah Harm ’20 (100 backstroke/100 breaststroke) won two individual events apiece for the Storm boys, and both also swam on two first-place relays each. For the Blue Storm girls, Jade Matthias ’22 (50 free/100 back) and Isabella Van Ess ’22 (100 breast) notched second-place finishes.
On campus, Mercersburg hosted a game as a higher-seeded team for the first time in the 10 years of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association Boys’ Basketball State Tournament. The Blue Storm (17-8) earned the No. 5 seed and defeated Friends’ Central School, 64-58, on February 14 in the Plantz Courts of Nolde Gymnasium on campus. The Storm travels to Perkiomen School February 15 at 1 p.m. in a quarterfinal matchup.
The Storm is fresh off reaching the semifinals of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League Tournament over the weekend (for the first time in almost 15 years). The team features two NCAA Division I signees (Quintin Metcalf ’20/St. Bonaventure and AJ Gray ’20/Hartford), with a third senior (Kaylen Oweh ’20) receiving interest from Division I schools.
Also off campus this weekend, Mercersburg’s wrestlers test themselves against the state’s best Friday and Saturday at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Wrestling Tournament (PAIWST) at Westtown School in West Chester, PA, where tickets will be punched for next weekend’s National Prep Wrestling Tournament. The Blue Storm boys’ and girls’ squash teams are in action at the MAPL Tournament Saturday, with the boys headed to The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, and the girls visiting The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ. Lawrenceville is also the site of the MAPL Indoor Track & Field Championships for both boys and girls (those will be contested Saturday as well).
Updates from all events can be found online at twitter.com/MburgAthletics.