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State swimming: Strong day for Section VI in swim prelims

Grand Island sophomore Brooke Eichel went all the way to the diving finals at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships Friday at Ithaca College.

Eichel qualified in the preliminary round in 22nd place with a score of 195.00. In the semifinals, she placed 14th with a score of 305.85, qualifying her for finals, where she placed 20th as the only representative from Section VI.

In the swimming preliminaries, Orchard Park placed fifth in the first event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay, with a time of 1:48.11. Its team consisted of freshman Isabella Mikulek, junior Mackenzie Fischer, sophomore Paige Salmon and sophomore anchor Katherine Jones, who finished her leg of the race in 23.66 seconds. Sacred Heart qualified with a time of 1:50.69 in 20th place, as did Lancaster, which placed 25th in 1:51.48.

In the 200 freestyle, OP junior Sarah Conley finished in 1:55.87, which was good for 26th place. SHA senior Abby Halsdorfer also qualified, in 29th, with a time of 1:55.97.

Emily Blake of OP placed 16th in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:08.38.

The 50 freestyle was the best event of the night for Section VI, as East Aurora junior Mary Brinker took third in 23.47 and Sacred Heart sophomore Joan Cash tied for sixth with a time of 23.98. Brinker's time lowered her own school record.

Additionally, Eden senior Makayla Scheu finished in 11th place with a time of 24.55. Other Section VI qualifiers included Jamestown senior Allison Stockwell (24.20), Kenmore West senior Gillian Boal (24.22), Jones (24.27), Southwestern sophomore Natalie Fosberg and Iroquois senior Allison Lenda (24.36 each), and Amherst senior Grace Van Buren (24.41).

In the 100 butterfly, Sacred Heart senior Lauryn Johnson finished just half a second behind the winner, finishing third, with a time of 55.58. Jessica Shine of Williamsville East placed 13th in 57.78 and Williamsville North senior Monica McKie and Sacred Heart senior Liliana Dimmig also qualified.

In the 100 freestyle, Brinker finished in 52.02, good for sixth place. Scheu finished in 17th with a time of 53.04, with Boal two places behind in 53.12.

Two Section VI teams placed in the top five in the 200-yard freestyle relay, with Sacred Heart and Orchard Park in fifth. Iroquois and Amherst also qualified.

In the 100 yard backstroke, Lenda placed 13th in 58.26. Nardin sophomore Megan Jermak also qualified. In the 100 yard breaststroke Hamburg freshman Jessica Humby qualified in 1:06.61. Lancaster’s Michaela Morgus and Sweet Home’s Maya Flash finished 18th and tied for 26th, respectively, to qualify.

The final event was the 400 yard freestyle relay, where OP, Amherst and Clarence each qualified for the finals.

The meet continues Saturday.

Orchard Park has its ducks in a row heading into state swim meet

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