By Perry L. Novak
Special to the News
ITHACA – Section VI did not have a champion at Saturday’s state meet for girls swimming. but Fredonia’s Riley Drummond competed and felt like one afterward. The senior made her fourth trip to the state meet her best by placing second in the 100 backstroke.
“To go from 14th last year to second I’m very happy,” the Cleveland State recruit said. “I’m extremely happy to go out like this. My start was a little iffy, but my underwater and turns were okay.”
Drummond clocked a 55.48 for a personal best, and her 26.97 split had her in the lead.
“I was surprised at that when some of my friends told me,” Drummond said. “But I knew I could. I wanted to drop my times badly.”
Drummond was 0.86 faster than her prelim time, but Pittsford’s super soph Megan Deuel had an outstanding final 50 yards and won with a 54.83. That makes Deuel an All-American and Drummond a candidate for the honor.
Section V (Rochester area) took top honors with 755.5 for first in that battle and Pittsford claimed the unofficial team title with 297 to Penfield’s 173.
Section VI and the Msgr. Martin entries did not place in the top 10 in the opening medley relay or the 200 free, but Lockport’s Katie Pollock took fifth in the NYSPHSAA meet in the 200 IM with a 2:07.11.
“I think I felt a little more excited yesterday,” the senior said of Friday’s prelims,” but In was really pumped I made the finals. I was happy with (fifth). I’ve been at states since eighth grade.”
“My best was third and fifth as a sophomore in the 50 and 100. It’s my senior year, so I decided to switch (events). I wanted more variety going into college.”
Mary Brinker was the next Section VI swimmer to shine. The East Aurora sophomore was seventh in the 50 free with a 24.02.
“I felt good,” Brinker said. “It was fun. It’s my second time here. I wanted to be top 10 and I was. And I dropped my time. You can never be not happy with that.”
Brinker also competed in the 100 free but did not fare as well.
“I wish I had more time in between races,” she said.
The next event was the 100 butterfly and Williamsville East’s Jessica Shine missed the top 10 by one place. A similar fate befell Clarence’s Anna Kottakis in the 100 free and she tied for 12th. No local swimmer came close to the top 10 in the 500 free, but Iroquois’ 200 free relay team of Allison Lenda, Alexandra Wheeler, Shelby Slachetka and Lauren Willitt posted a 1:39.21 to place seventh.
East Aurora’s 200 free relay team of Emma Brinker, Mary Dunbar, Shelby MacSwan and Mary Brinker clocked a 1:37.95 to place fifth, then Drummond had her great swim in the backstroke.
Pollock added a ninth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:05.32 and the 400 free relay teams of Clarence and Orchard Park took eighth and ninth respectively to close out the meet for Section VI on a solid note. Madeline Panus, Ella Costich, Emma Colson and Kottakis teamed for a 3:38.74 for Clarence and Sarah Conley, Marissa Carrig, Allison McCune and Isabella Mikulec clocked a
Section VI’s best team finish came from East Aurora with 74. That was good for 10th. Section VI wound up sixth with 306 points. With many underclassmen on the roster in 2017, it’s likely an equal or better finish could occur in 2018.
Olean’s Alexis Trietley, an eighth grader, placed in the top 24 in two events.
“I felt good,” the Huskies standout said after her for trip. “My 200 was really good (Friday) and the 100 I was right around my (best) time.
“But I was really nervous (here). I’d never seen this pool and it was my first time sleeping in a hotel without my parents.”
Northport’s Chloe Stepanek was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Swimmer. Section V won the title in a close battle and Section V’s Pittsford won the team title easily.
Story topics: Alexandra Wheeler/ Allison Lenda/ Allison McCune/ Anna Kottakis/ Chloe Stepanek/ Ella Costich/ Emma Brinker/ Emma Colson/ Isabella Mikulec/ Jessica Shine/ Katie Pollock/ Lauren Willitt/ Madeline Panus/ Marissa Carrig/ Mary Brinker/ Mary Dunbar/ Megan Deuel/ Riley Drummond/ Sarah Conley/ Shelby MacSwan/ Shelby Slachetka