There's no doubt that Council Rock North senior Tommie Dillione is the top swimmer for the Lady Indians. But junior Lauren Mitchell is a close second.
Last year, in district competition, head coach Ted Schueller changed his strategy trying to get his relay teams to states. After Dillione anchored the relays all season long, the coach made Mitchell his anchor swimmer for the postseason. Not only did the strategy work in districts with both freestyle relays making it to states, it also made Mitchell a better swimmer.
"With Tommie being a low-23 in the 50 (yard freestyle) and a low to sub-50 in the 100 (yard freestyle), we put her in the third spot (in the relays) to give us the lead and challenged Lauren to hold on to it,' explained Schueller. "And it worked.'
Mitchell has picked up where she left off in the 2013 postseason.
In the Jan. 30 dual meet win over sister school South, she took first in the 200 IM with her time of 2:17.04, took second in the 100 fly and also was the lead swimmer in both the winning medley relay and 200 free relay teams.
"She's been as consistent as you can ask all year,' said Schueller, of Mitchell. "She swims anywhere in the lineup for me — in one meet, she swims the 200 IM and the 500 (free). In another, she sprints the 50 (free) and the 100 (free).'
"Her events last year were 200 IM and 100 free but she's been swimming real well in the 100 fly this year and she had her best 500 a few times,' said Schueller. "She's consistent in the relays; she's right there with Tommie.'
In districts last year, the Indians took fourth place in the 200 free relay and fifth in the 400 free relay before earning sixth-place medals in both events in states. It was the fourth straight year that the Rock has medaled in those two events. Mitchell anchored both in the 2013 postseason.
"She's a gamer; she gets nervous with the pressure but she responds,' said Schueller. "She did her best splits in the relays in districts and states last year.'
The 109-75 win over the Golden Hawks pushed the lady Indians to 6-0 in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference. It is the sixth straight season that CR North has gone unbeaten in the league. The streak dates back to Schueller's second season at North when North Penn occupied the same division as Rock. After falling to the Maidens in the first meet of the season that year, the Indians haven't lost a league meet since, winning 41 straight in league swim meets.
"I don't know if there are many teams in Suburban One or the Bucks County area that have that kind of streak going,' said Schueller. "Following all the other sports, I don't think there is many.'
This year's CR North girls team is home three sets of twins and two of them are Samsons. Seniors Beca and Shirley Samson (200 IM, 100 back, 100 breast) along with sophomores Danielle and Rachel.
Schueller let the sisters compete together in two of the three relays in a late-January meet against Pennridge. "One was saying to the other, ' I'm first' and the other said, ' no, you're third.' They had fun with it.'
Against South, Shirley took first in the 100 breast, finished second in the 200 IM and was part of the winning 200-yard medley relay while Rachel finished second in the 100 free and was part of the 200 free relay team.
The twin Segel sisters have also stepped up with sophomore Kalli taking first in the 200 free with her time of 2:05.67 and sister Beca taking third in the 200 IM after touching back in 2:25.33.
Sophomore Madison Schluchterer has also come through for the Rock. In the recent win over South, she took third in the 100 fly and was part of all three winning relay teams.
Then of course, there's Dillione. Last year as a junior, she took the District 1 crown in both the 200 and the 500 freestyle events while breaking the district record in the 200. At states, she took third in the 200 and second place in the 500 free.
"She's tired, beat up, sore and still, she's swimming her best out of all four years in high school right now,' stated Schueller.
In the recent win over the Hawks, Dillione took first in the 50 and 100 free while anchoring the winning 200 free relay.
"She getting excited about what she's going to do in the postseason,' said Schueller. "She has goals for both districts and states.'
Coach says this is the most rigorously trained group of swimmers he has ever guided.
"In my eight years at North, this group is the best training team I've ever had,' he said.
"They really work hard every day and challenge each other and push each other to keep working hard every day.
BOYS UNBEATEN TOO
The North men have also had a fine season, also going unbeaten in the SONL. Led by senior Brandon McCredie and junior Jake Goroshko, the Indians outpaced sister school South, 108-77.
Against the Hawks, McCredie took first in the 100 butterfly (52.17) and 100 breaststroke (1:01.20) while Goroshko was tops in the 50 freestyle (22.24) and 100 backstroke (54.66). The duo also took part in the winning 200-yard medley relay and 400 free relay.
Meanwhile, senior Alex Rakestraw, junior Grant Thornburn, senior Joe Lynch and anchor Allen Shmurak finished first in the 200 free relay with their time of 1:33.77.
Additionally, Matt Aronson placed first in diving (205.90 points) and Shmurak — a sophomore — captured first in the 500 freestyle (4:51.30) for the Indians.
For the Hawks, Anton Shostak touched back first in the 200 free with his time of 1:49.79 while Ray Ferki took first in the 200 IM after finishing in 2:08.23 and second in the 100 back (56.82).
Additionally, Sam Teplov was the first to finish the 100 free with his time of 52.47. Senior Michael Rituper finished second in both the 50 and the 100 free while junior Harry Hall took second in the 200 IM and the 100 fly.
Sophomore Matt O'Donnell took second in the 100 breast (1:02.82) and third in the 50 free (24:04).
BOYS: Council Rock North 108, Council Rock South 77
200-yard medley relay: 1. CR North (Jake Goroshko, Jack Donnelly, Brandon McCredie, Ryan Mitchell), 1:41.35; 2. CR South, 1:43.81; 3. CR North, 1:49.34;
200 freestyle: 1. Anton Shostak (CRS), 1:49.79; 2. Allen Shmurak (CRN), 1:50.49; 3. Mitchell (CRN), 1:51.31;
200 IM: 1. Ray Ferki (CRS), 2:08.23; 2. Harry Hall (CRS), 2:10.16; 3. Nico Buentello (CRN), 2:11.33;
50 freestyle: 1. Goroshko (CRN), 22.24; 2. Michael Rituper (CRS), 23.79; 3. Matt O'Donnell (CRS), 24.04;
Diving: 1. Matt Aronson (CRN), 205.90; 2. Ryan Carlin (CRS), 201.00; 3. Joe Calibeo (CRN), 108.10;
100 butterfly: 1. McCredie (CRN), 52.17; 2. Hall (CRS), 56.47; 3. Joe Lynch (CRN), 57.55;
100 freestyle: 1. Sam Teplov (CRS), 52.47; 2. Rituper (CRS), 52.64; 3. Buentello (CRN), 53.10;
500 freestyle: 1. Shmurak (CRN), 4:51.30; 2. Shostak (CRS), 4:58.40; 3. Mitchell (CRN), 5:11.64;
200 freestyle relay: 1. CR North (Alex Rakestraw, Grant Thornburn, Lynch, Shmurak), 1:33.77; 2. CR South, 1:34.93; 3. CR North, 1:38.47;
100 backstroke: 1. Goroshko (CRN), 54.66; 2. Ferki (CRS), 56.82; 3. Lynch (CRN), 59.02;
100 breaststroke: 1. McCredie (CRN), 1:01.20; 2. O'Donnell (CRS), 1:02.82; 3. G. Thornburn (CRN), 1:09.19;
400 freestyle relay: 1. CR North (Goroshko, Mitchell, Shmurak, McCredie), 3:19.02; 2. CR South, 3:28.40; 3. CR North, 3:38.11.
Records: CR North (10-1, 6-0 SOL National); CR South (9-5, 4-2 SOL National).
GIRLS: Council Rock North 109, Council Rock South 75
200-yard medley relay: 1. CR North (Lauren Mitchell, Shirley Samson, Madison Schluchterer, Tommie Dillione), 1:53.20; 2. CR South, 1:55.79; 3. CR North, 1:59.04;
200 freestyle: 1. Kalli Segel (CRN), 2:05.67; 2. Gaby Kim (CRN), 2:08.03; 3. Natachia Nowmos (CRS), 2:10.64;
200 IM: 1. Mitchell (CRN), 2:17.04; 2. S. Samson (CRN), 2:23.79; 3. Beca Segel (CRN), 2:25.33;
50 freestyle: 1. Dillione (CRN), 24.92; 2. Emily Eastburn (CRS), 26.40; 3. Leah Barrett (CRS), 26.45;
Diving: 1. Grace Berichon (CRN), 197.20; 2. Haley Cichonski (CRS), 181.00; 3. Kelly Nicholas (CRS), 162.40;
100 butterfly: 1. Faye Melekos (CRS), 1:00.48; 2. Mitchell (CRN), 1:01.63; 3. Schluchterer (CRN), 1:01.73;
100 freestyle: 1. Dillione (CRN), 52.96; 2. Rachel Samson (CRN), 57.90; 3. Eastburn (CRS), 58.82;
500 freestyle: 1. K. Segel (CRN), 5:40.52; 2. B. Segel (CRN), 5:49.10; 3. Sarah Rosser (CRS), 6:11.93;
200 freestyle relay: 1. CR North (Mitchell, Schluchterer, Rachel Samson, Dillione), 1:42.03; 2. CR South, 1:44.24; 3. CR North, 1:48.87;
100 backstroke: 1. Melekos (CRS), 1:03.83; 2. Melinda Birky (CRN), 1:05.89; 3. Leah Barrett (CRS), 1:06.18;
100 breaststroke: 1. S. Samson (CRN), 1;12.62; 2. Rebecca Samson (CRN), 1;12.69; 3. Lindsay Robinson (CRS), 1:17.46;
400 freestyle relay: 1. CR North (Rachel Samson, B. Segel, Rebecca Samson, Schluchterer), 3:52.33; 2. CR North, 4:03.60; 3. CR South, 4:07.89.
Records: CR North (10-1, 6-0 SOL National); CR South (4-2 SOL National).