PHILADELPHIA — After winning a gold and two silver medals on opening day of the District 1-AA Girls Swimming Championships, it's hard to imagine a freshman winning another gold and breaking a district record just a day later.
But that's just what Phoenixville's Maddie Cooke did Saturday in the District 1 Championships at Kirk Natatorium at LaSalle University.
Cooke won the gold in the 100 breast with a time of 1:04.62, breaking a record set by Gwynedd Mercy Academy's Allie Szekely last season.
"I was so shocked but so happy when I looked up and saw that I set a new record,' she said following the award ceremony. "When I dove in, I just had a feeling that this race was going to be special.'
Adding another gold medal to her repertoire, Cooke totaled four medals in what was sure to be a special weekend for her.
"This whole season has been so great for me,' she said. "I've been training real hard, and I'm so excited that it's paying off. At this point, I'm really satisfied with how things have gone.'
In her first season with the Phantoms, Cooke often looked to her senior teammate as both a leader and a sister in the pool.
Shawna Moore, who has competed alongside Cooke since grade school, placed sixth in the 100 free with a time of 55.27. "It was a great race, and I feel confident with my time,' she said. "Overall, this whole weekend has been amazing.'
Although she is happy with the times she posted throughout the weekend, Moore can't help but to feel mixed emotions with graduation coming in just a few months.
"These are the type of girls you can easily build a team around,' Moore said following the meet. "I'm really going to miss them after I graduate. Even though I won't be here, I'm excited to see what these girls can do next year.'
Following her time at Phoenixville, Moore will go on to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
"These past four years have been absolutely amazing,' Moore said. "I've loved every minute with these girls and I couldn't be happier to spend my final season with them.'
Kirsten Groff, a junior at Methacton, swam a 52.88 in the Class AAA 100 free, earning a bronze medal. Winning the silver on Friday in the 50 free, Groff totaled two medals through the weekend.
"I'm so excited with how I competed these past two days,' she said. "With states just two weeks away, I'm really excited. I hope I can drop even more time at states.'
Last season, Groff competed in states, something she hopes will give her an advantage over some of her less-experienced opponents.
"Having competed there last year, I sort of know what it's like and the amount of pressure that you feel,' she said. "Hopefully that will help me.'
According to Groff, her biggest motivation throughout the year has been practicing alongside freshman teammate Emily Sykes. "This season, practicing with Emily has been amazing,' Groff said. "I've never practiced with someone who obviously loves swimming so much. It's been so motivating for me individually.'
Sykes placed sixth in the 100 breast with an overall time of 1:05.87.
"I feel really good about my time,' she said. "Right now fingers crossed, I'll make states. But overall, I'm just so happy and so proud of my teammates and what we've done all season.'
Owen J. Roberts' Allison Drohosky broke a school record in her Class AAA 100 breast. The junior finished at 1:10.31, good enough for 18th place in the event.
"I had so much fun this weekend. I wanted to go out and do my best. And that's exactly what I did.' she said. "I dropped my time, and I couldn't be happier with how things turned out.'
Drohosky knows that she'll only improve if she continues to work hard.
"I still have another year of high school left,' she said. "So just being able to swim here today has been a huge accomplishment for me.'
Kirsten Siwy of Upper Perkiomen placed fourth in the Class AA 100 yard free. The sophomore was also a part of the Indians' sixth-place 400 free relay team. The relay, consisting of Kristen Kilroy, Christina Williams, Becca Rose and Siwy posted a time of 3:51.49.
For Kilroy, a senior, although she most likely won't be at states, she is still pleased with how this weekend turned out.
"It definitely feels good to be here after working for it all season,' said Kilroy, who finished ninth in the 100 yard breast with a time of 1:15.17. "Our coaches have been behind us the whole way this year. It's really motivated us to make it here.'
Courtney Sheffer placed eighth for Pottsgrove in the Class AA 100 back. The sophomore finished with a time of 1:02.69.
As the last day of districts wound down at LaSalle University, one thing was clear. The PAC-10 may be young, but there are many swimmers set on becoming the next gold medal winner.
Megan Gray of Perkiomen Valley tied for eighth in the Class AAA 100 yard free with a time of 53.70 while Jen Rees finished 16th, touching the wall at 54.66. ... Junior Laura Simpson placed 10th in the Class AAA 500 yard freestyle for Boyertown while Owen J. freshman Laurel Fink posted a 5:14.84. ... Phoenixville's Kathryn Bland finished the Class AA 100 back with a time of 1:03.40, good enough for 11th place. In the Class AAA 500 free Spring-Ford's Rebecca Cubbler finished at 5:20.00, giving her 19th place.
Follow Mercury staff intern Thomas Nash on Twitter at @Thomas_Nash10.