It is turning out to be a memorable occasion for the Knights, who have earned spots in the state meet in a large number of events during the 2012-13 campaign.
With 41 swimmers and divers on the team — its largest roster in years — Pace has also set 13 school records as well as having every one of its athletes achieve a personal-best performance.
“We have been really successful,” Pace coach John Ague said. “Our numbers are up and we have a number of kids who have qualified for state. It’s the big No. 40 for us and we want to celebrate it by having a successful season.”
Sophomore diver Harrison Moncino, who was among 100 boys’ swimmers and divers selected as an All-American in 2012 by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, has picked up where he left off with yet another big year.
Moncino, the Class A-AAAA runner-up in the boys’ 1-meter diving event a year ago, has qualified for a return trip to the state meet in that event as well as setting a school record in the 1-meter, six-dive event (324.35 points).
“Harrison is a very good diver,” Ague said. “He had a very good freshman season last year and he’s getting better as a diver this year.”
Moncino has been joined by his younger brother, Owen Moncino, a freshman who has also qualified for state and gives Pace a potent 1-2 punch on the diving board.
Senior Jason Wiener is another key boys’ performer for the Knights. Wiener has qualified for the state meet in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minute, 11.85 seconds), 100 freestyle (50.39 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:05.92).
Pace has been boosted on the girls’ side by the addition of freshmen standouts Grace Ferry, Madison Graham and Brenner Appel to go along with a strong group of upperclassmen on both their boys and girls’ squads.
“We have a nice group of freshmen and our seniors our nice, solid athletes who have contributed greatly to the program,” Ague said. “We have a solid group of sophomores and juniors who are also contributing in a big way.”
Junior Gwynnie LeMastra has qualified for the state meet in eight individual events — the 200 freestyle (2:02.97), 200 IM (2:18.58), 50 freestyle (26.21), 100 butterfly (1:04.91), 100 freestyle (57.49), 500 freestyle (5:22.27), 100 backstroke (1:05.49) and 100 breaststroke (1:09.57)
Graham has also earned state spots in eight events — the 200 freestyle (2:01.36), 200 IM (2:16.90), 50 freestyle (26.22), 100 butterfly (1:03.45), 100 freestyle (56.02), 500 freestyle (5:27.19), 100 backstroke (1:02.10) and 100 breaststroke (1:11.12).
Ferry qualified in seven events — the 200-yard freestyle (1:57.66), 200 individual medley (2:16.49), 50 freestyle (26.09), 100 butterfly (1:01.87), 100 freestyle (55.38), 500 freestyle (5:08.23) and 100 backstroke (1:01.20).
Appel is the only other state qualifier for Pace, earning places in the 200 freestyle (2:06.62), 200 IM (2:23.92) and 500 free (5:32.95).
The Knights have also qualified for the state meet in the girls’ 200 medley relay and girls’ 400 freestyle relay.