HAVERFORD -- Germantown Academy's boys swimming and diving team led Haverford School, 88-84, going into the final event of the evening -- the 400 Freestyle Relay. Both teams had deftly navigated the season and boasted undefeated records, and the Inter-Ac League Championship awaited the winner of the meet.
Haverford led the race early, but Landon D'Ariano '24 managed to give GA the lead at the mid-way point. The Fords came storming back however, and touched first, giving Haverford a 92-88 lead. The Patriots followed shortly after, bringing the meet to a 92-92 draw. Taking the final point-earning spot was the Fords, making the score 94-92, but only temporarily. Following the conclusion of the race, the first-place team from Haverford was disqualified, moving each relay team up a spot. Thus, GA took first, Haverford second, and GA third, giving the Patriots a 98-88 victory.
With the result, the Patriots earned the Inter-Ac Championship for the second straight season, marking the first time they have won back-to-back titles since doing so in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
"To be a part of a back-to-back is amazing," JJ Freeman '23 said. "To see the program build over time is special. To be a part of it and be a captain after being a part of the program for a while, it's awesome."
"I got to be honest, it's got to soak in," Head Coach Jeff Thompson said. "I had done the math as we got down to the end of the meet and I knew it was going to be tough. I really haven't had a chance to think about it. I'm happy for the kids, I'm happy for the school, I'm happy for the program. That's a tough way for Haverford to not only lose a meet, but a league title, that's tough."
GA got off to a good start, winning the 200 Medley Relay, 200 Freestyle, 200 IM, and 50 Freestyle. However, the Fords managed to keep the score close by finishing second and third consistently.
D'Ariano and Freeman each won four events, while Brandon Fleck '25, Andy Zhou '24, and Jack Grimley '26 won three. Dylan Shapiro '25 and Stephen Calabro '23 each won one event.
"I think it was really gritty," Freeman said. "This was the biggest competition of the year. It was an eye-opener, but it was great to see everyone come through and it was a great experience."
The Patriots will return to action on Feb. 4 when they compete at the Inter-Ac Swimming & Diving Championships.