2016-17 underclassmen Section VI champions
200 individual medley – Michael Maurer (Hamburg), 100 butterfly – Michael Clough (Williamsville East), 500 freestyle – Liam O’Connell (Hamburg), 100 backstroke – Maurer (Hamburg).
2016-17 Section VI team champions
Class A – Orchard Park, Class B – East Aurora, Class C – Panama.
Section VI Class Championships, Feb. 9-10 at Maryvale; Section VI Championships, Feb. 15-16 at UB’s Alumni Arena; Federation/NYSPHSAA Championships, March 2-3 at Nassau County Aquatic Center, Long Island.
Change of scenery
With the ECC Burt Flickinger Center hosting the MAAC Championships from Feb. 14-17, this year’s Section VI Championships will be held at the University at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena on Feb. 15-16.
“Not in my experience since 1998 has it been held at UB,” Section VI co-chair Tim Menges said. “As far as before then, I’m not sure, but a lot of coaches are pretty excited about it.”
Fellow co-chair and Kenmore coach Nate Bourke is the aquatics director at UB, so Menges believes that will allow for the section to have more control over the setup of the meet.
“ECC has been great for us but the change of venue this year with Nate being facility manager there, we wanted to give it a shot,” Menges said.
Section VI isn’t locked into the arrangement for longer than this year, but if the committee gets positive feedback from coaches then it will look into holding sectionals at UB again.
The standard times to qualify for the state championships remain the same for the second straight year, which is a little unusual according to Menges.
“It’s all based on statistics,” he said. “We take the average of a certain place, look at the consistency of 3-5 years and then we vote as a state committee to remain those time standards or switch them.”
Around Western New York
– Kenmore junior Benjamin Harper currently owns the top 50-yard freestyle time in Section VI and is second in the 100 free by .06 seconds. He broke pool and school records in the 50 free last week.
Classmate Matthew Walker is qualified for states in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, where he’s No. 1 in WNY.
The Kenmore East and West programs are merged for the first time this season.
– Sweet Home senior Patrick Hayter has the top time in Section VI in the 100 freestyle and is also qualified for states in the 200 free. His 50 free time of 22.43 is .24 seconds away from the state standard. Senior Jordan Chatelle is close to qualifying in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
– The top diver in the area is Lockport’s Jake Minnick, who finished third at sectionals last year. The sophomore won the Lockport Diving Invitational a few weeks ago with a score of 440.35. He’ll look to reach the 450-point state standard over the next two weekends. Classmate Mark Crocker is qualified for states in the 50 free and 100 butterfly.
– Defending Section VI Class B champ East Aurora had an impressive showing at the ECIC ‘A’ Championships, winning nine of 12 events. Junior Charles Morris was awarded Most Outstanding Swimmer for placing first in the 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and helping the Blue Devils win the 200 medley and freestyle relays. He’s second in the section and a state qualifier in the breaststroke. Freshman Ezra Webster is in the top 20 in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle.
– City Honors reclaimed the Syracuse Cup co-ed swimming title after losing the All-High Championships for the first time since 1999 last year to Olmsted. The Centaurs came in first with 344 points, followed by Olmsted with 267 and McKinley with 226 by winning five of the 11 events on Jan. 30 and finishing second in three others.
City Honors senior Kameron Clouser took first in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke and was part of the victorious 200 medley and freestyle relays. He’s currently 11th in Section VI in the breaststroke. Olmsted’s Gabe Flewellyn (200 IM and 100 back) and McKinley’s Jason Zulawski (50 and 100 free) also won two individual events.
– Frewsburg edged defending Section VI Class C champ Panama at the CCAA Championships last Friday, 437.5-390.5. Senior Drew Pownall (100 breaststroke) and sophomore Nathan McDonald (100 butterfly) won individual events for the Bears. Panama seniors Cole Manwaring and Justin Wiemer are strong freestylers to watch for in the Class C meet.
– Barker finished third behind Medina and Albion at the N-O Championships on Jan. 24 but boast one of the better sprinters around in Collin Webb. The senior is fifth in Section VI in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the 100 free. Webb is also part of Barker’s 200 medley and freestyle relays, which are both fourth in the section.
– Akron’s swimming programs are both making strides this winter. The boys ended Roy-Hart’s 12-year streak of more than 150 wins on Dec. 12 with an 87-83 win. The girls handed Newfane its first loss in eight years with 97-73 win on Dec. 14.
– Williamsville South junior Nicholas D’Arrigo is a state qualifier in the 100 back.