Nardin Academy captured its 14th straight Monsignor Martin girls swimming championship Tuesday night at the Flickinger Center — just barely.
The Gators won the final relay, the 400-yard freestyle, to edge Mount St. Mary, 106-103, in the final scoring, the closest call the Gators have had since they defeated Sacred Heart by 9 points in 2011. Sacred Heart was third with 63 points.
The Nardin quartet of Natalie Ryan, Julia Martin, Sarah Townsend and Danielle Orie came home in 3:47.77, getting the 14 points needed to overtake the Thunder, who had a 93-92 lead going into the final event.
Mount St. Mary won the other two relays, the 200 medley and the 200 freestyle, and built its lead with three first places from Molly Meka, who led a 1-2 finish by the Mount in the 100 free, and a first in the 200 IM by Alexis Fredericks.
Townsend led a 1-2 Nardin finish in the 200 freestyle, but the Gators soon fell behind in the team scoring. They began to close the gap when Kelsey Ables won the 500 free and the 100 backstroke and Annie Westermeier took the 100 breaststroke.
The only Sacred Heart swimmer to break through was senior Aleza Epstein, who won the 100 butterfly in 59.03, the third year in a row she won the ‘fly and the fourth year in a row with at least one first place.
Meka of Mount St. Mary was named Swimmer of the Meet with three individual firsts. She also anchored the 200 medley relay and swam lead on the 200 freestyle relay.