As Olean’s Seth Farrand looked down at his mother and coach, Carol, from the champions’ podium at the boys swimming state finals yesterday, the two couldn’t have imagined a much better ending.
“That felt amazing because that was a dream come true,” said Farrand, a senior. “I’ve strived to do that since I was 4 years old. Our coach always told us to dream big and no matter what the goal is, attack it with all your heart, and that’s what I did.”
For Farrand, that led to a second-place federation finish in the 50 freestyle in a personal best and All-America automatic time of 20.59 at the boys swimming state championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center on Long Island.
He followed with a fourth-place federation finish and the third-best public school time in the 100 free, posting an All-America consideration time of 45.70.
“To see him up on the podium is his dream and a second and third place finish is amazing,” said Carol, fighting back tears. “It’s something to be so proud of. I mean, everyone wants to be the champion but when you come from a small school of 800 or less and to be able to say that ‘I took second in the 50 free and I took third in the 100 free in New York State,’ it’s an accomplishment that he should be proud of his entire life and I’m extremely proud of him as a coach and a mom.”
Carol has coached four children, Seth being her final. She understands she has a unique opportunity and perspective to be actively involved as her children chase their dreams. And Seth has surpassed even his own expectations.
“I think it’s crazy because, honestly, I never thought I’d be in this position I am,” Farrand said. “I just can’t believe I’ve accomplished this much.”
But Farrand wasn’t the only Western New York swimmer gracing the podium Saturday. Orchard Park’s Alec Hoch placed fourth in the 50 free with an All-America consideration time of 20.97 and finished second in the B-final of the 100 free. Hoch, along with Riley McLaughlin, Mason McMullen and Sean Duffy placed seventh in the 200 freestyle relay and Hoch, McLaughlin, Joe Blake and Drew Daren placed eighth in the 400 freestyle relay.
“Feels great,” Hoch said about his day. “I never expected to come this far in my 100 but I just booked it. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s crazy.”
Hamburg’s Luke Kennedy put on a strong performance in the 100 breast, placing fifth in an All-America consideration time of 56.83. He also swam on Hamburg’s 200 medley relay and 400 free relay team. The 400 free relay team, including Liam O’Connell, Braden Feasley and Michael Maurer, posted the top-time in the B-final.
Kennedy was proud about not only how strongly he and his teammates performed, but the entire Section VI presence at the championships.
“Being able to come here with as many kids as we did,” Kennedy said, “it’s just something to be proud of.”
Williamsville East’s 200 medley relay of Michael Clough, William Eaton, Bryan Hong and Dylan Kim placed 10th. Clough also posted the top time in the 100 fly B-final.
Canisius had a strong showing with its 200 medley relay of Dan Bowen, Pat McCormick, Jacob Ruffolo and Christian Balkin placing sixth. Ruffolo went on to place ninth in the 100 and 200 free. Bowen set school records with a 52.66 in the 100 back, placing 16th, and a 51.67 in the 100 fly, placing 17th.