With just three regular-season meets remaining and regionals right on the horizon, the Westmont Hilltop boys and girls swim teams appear to be peaking at the right time.
The Hilltoppers swept both end of the meet at Somerset on Wednesday with the girls winning 105-65 and the boys holding on for a narrow 87-82 victory.
For the girls, the number of quality swimmers that Westmont has in the pool plays a big part in the Hilltoppers success. The girls, who bounced back from a tough loss last week to Hollidaysburg, won nine of the 11 events against the Golden Eagles.
“Most times our depth come into play,” Westmont coach John W. Hicks Jr. said. “We have a strong first swimmer, but we also have a strong second and third swimmer, too. We are pretty much an all around team where we try to get as much as we can out of each girl in each lane.”
Junior Nollaig Noll led the way for the girls, winning the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 freestyle as an individual, and joining her teammates on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
“Nollaig Noll is one of our top swimmers, not only for our team, but for the area,” Hicks said. “She hasn’t lost in the 50 or 100 at any meet so far this year.”
Other individual wins for Westmont were by freshmen Jenna Rutledge (100 breaststroke) and Lindsey Aman (200 butterfly) along with seniors Stacee Glass (500 freestyle) and Libby Atterbury (100 backstroke). The Hilltoppers also swept all three relays.
“It was a big disappointment to lose to Hollidaysburg, but our girls are real tough and looked at it as just one meet and we don’t have to worry about that and put it behind us and go out and swim the best they can,” Hicks said. “They really responded well and we had a lot of strong swims by our girls today.”
Somerset’s wins were by Emily Schleich in the 200 freestyle and Mary Mack in the 200 individual medley relay. Both girls are team captains for the Eagles.
For the boys, Somerset won seven of the 11 events with Nick Bastian (200 freestyle and 100 butterfly) and Josh Stoppe (50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke) each recording a pair of individual victories as well as swimming on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relays. The other individual winner for the Eagles was Christian Gehman (200 individual medley).
“My boys did extremely well for what we have this year,” Somerset coach Lauren Knupp said. “I only have nine boys total so for them to do that well and be that close, I’m very pleased with their performance tonight.”
Westmont got individual victories from freshman Connor Schafer (100 freestyle), junior Isaac Joseph (500 freestyle) and freshman Tristan Miller (100 backstroke) as well as winning the 200 medley relay.
“Our boys keep plugging along,” Hicks said. “We have a lot of young boys swimming on the team this year. We only have one senior boy. It’s a lot of experience we’re accumulating against these teams. There are a lot of growing pains. They are learning.”
The Westmont girls are 8-1 while Somerset fell to 7-1. For the boys, the Hilltoppers are 6-3 and the Golden Eagles are 6-2.