Penn High School's Girls Swim team wins 10th straight sectional championship

Sarah Coyne and Bethany Galat won two events each with record-setting performances and were part of two record-setting relay teams to lead the Penn Kingsmen to their 10 th straight sectional swimming championship at Penn High School on Saturday.

Other individual winners for Penn were junior Maddie Bradford in the backstroke, sophomore Annie Spalding in the 100 breaststroke, and freshman Emily Meckstroth, who won the 200 free and qualified for state in the 500 free with a second-place time of 5:02.69. Penn also won all three relay races as the Kingsmen dominated the meet, finishing with 561 points. That’s 100 points higher more than their previous best score during their sectional winning streak.

St. Joseph’s sophomore Samantha Reese won the diving competition to lead the Indians to a runner-up finish with 339 points. Ashleigh Bush won the 100 butterfly to lead Adams to a third-place performance with 316 points.

Coyne, a senior who has accepted a scholarship to swim at Rutgers, won the 50 free, setting pool, school and sectional records with a time of 23.77. She also set school and sectional records in the 100 free, but missed out on beating the pool record set by Olympian Lindsay Benko 20 years ago by .2 seconds.

Galat broke her own pool and school record with a time of 2:02.08 in the 200 individual medley, breaking the sectional mark as well. Galat also broke the sectional record in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:57.51, and came close to Benko’s pool record of 4:56.30.

Sophomore Kim Hochstedler, Bradford, Spalding and Priebe won the 200-yard medley relay with a sectional-record time of 1:49.65. Galat, Meckstroth, Spalding and Coyne set the school, pool and sectional record in the 200 relay with a time of 1:36.52 Galat, Meckstroth, Potter and Coyne also set pool, school and sectional records with a time of 3:33.12.

Coach Jess Preston was named coach of the year.

The Penn girls have won a sectional title 21 times, the sixth most for all high schools in the state. They head to the state championships ranked No. 6.

1. Penn 561
2. South Bend St. Joseph’s 339
3. South Bend Adams 316
4. Riley 222
5. Mishawaka 195
6. Bremen 190
7. New Prairie 127
8. South Bend Washington 97
9. South Bend Clay 85
10. Mishawaka Marian 29

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