By John Lohn
ASTON, Pennsylvania, December 29. A year ago, Germantown Academy (Pennsylvania) put together an undefeated high school season that included the female team title at the prestigious Eastern Interscholastic Championships. More, the campaign resulted in Germantown Academy sharing Swimming World Magazine’s national team crown with Ann Arbor Pioneer (Michigan).
Well, the Patriots have started the season in impressive fashion and could be capable of pushing Ann Arbor for national accolades once again. For proof, we turn to a recent dual-meet performance by Germantown, under the direction of Dick Shoulberg. Claiming victory over Notre Dame in an Inter-Academic League matchup, the Patriots secured a 50-plus point that featured two ridiculously fast times for dual-meet action.
Leading off the meet, Germantown Academy popped a 1:45.74 effort in the 200-yard medley relay, a time that is absurdly quick for December competition. The unit featured Teresa Crippen (backstroke), Alicia Aemisegger (breaststroke), Kate Riefenstahl (butterfly) and Sara Coenen (freestyle). Going that fast so early in the season suggests that the Patriots could break the national high school record of 1:42.71, set by Arrowhead High (Wisconsin) in November. Watch for GA to chase the national standard in the 400 free relay as well, and perhaps blast the current mark of 3:23.85 (Ann Arbor Pioneer) out of the water.
Bound for Princeton University, Aemisegger was spectacular on an individual basis against Notre Dame as she prevailed in the 200 individual medley in a sizzling 2:01.14. Having narrowly missed out on a berth to last summer’s World Championships in Montreal in the 400 I.M., Aemisegger is a serious threat to break the national high school record in the 200 I.M. when this year’s Easterns are held at La Salle University in February. Julia Smit recently set the mark of 1:58.29.
At Easterns, Germantown should produce enough spectacular times to make a run at another national team championship. While Aemisegger is the defending champ in the 200 I.M. and 500 free, Crippen is coming off a year in which she won Eastern titles in the 200 free and 100 back. As for Riefenstahl, she is among the elite youngsters in the nation in the 100 and 200 freestyles. All three will likely score in the mythical national meet. It all could add up to another banner year for an already esteemed program.