Monday afternoon at home, the Eagles swim team split its meet with Upper Merion. The boys won 91-85 to improve to 2-9 on the season, while the girls lost 101-67 to fall to 3-8.
The Norristown boys were paced by senior Chet Brasberger, who won the 50 meter freestyle in 27.29 and the 100 meter freestyle in 1:03.06, and sophomore Brian Gorman, who placed first in the diving competition. Diving winner Gabrielle Berry and freshman Nicole Martorella, who won the 100 meter breaststroke in 1:21.63, led the girls.
"We did well today," said the Eagle boys first-year head coach Derek Hartman after getting his second career win. "Chet, our sprinter, won both of his races, and a couple other guys dropped time. Gregg Nordmeyer came in second in the 100 free, and Jon Pigeon dropped in the 200 free by a few seconds."
"It was a good day," agreed the lanky Brasberger, headphones in, as he waited to swim his final event. "I did pretty well and got one of my better times."
The senior, who's been swimming for a decade, has a healthy perspective on his team's meet record. He says the losses don't bother him. He's in it for the camaraderie.
"It's just fun being part of the team. Winning together, losing together ... well, more losing than winning, but it's fun."
The Norristown girls, while sporting a less-than-stellar record themselves, have a young core and a bright future. According to their coach, the team's on the rise.
"This season, we won our first league meet in three years," said Beth O'Neil, who's coached Norristown's girls for the last 10 years. "And our only district qualifier is Nicole [Martorella], a freshman."
O'Neil identifies another freshman, the versatile Morgan Purcell, as a key contributor. The distance swimmer is capable of accruing points across multiple events.
Purcell, who placed second in the 500 meter freestyle with a time of 5:22.86, said her success in the distance events is a matter of happenstance.
"My coach was originally just putting people in it randomly to try it out, and when I did it, she said it was one of the best times she had seen in years," said the freshman matter-or-factly. "So, now I swim it."
Despite her apparently prodigious abilities, Purcell was disappointed with her performance on Monday.
"I wasn't so good today, but last night was the Super Bowl, so I was up pretty late," she admitted.