By Perry L. Novak, Special to the News
ITHACA – Mackenzie Fischer's reaction to the end of the 2019 state championship meet for girls swimming and diving was typical of all the Section VI competitors at Ithaca College's natatorium.
"I'm was really proud how it wound up," the Orchard Park standout said with a smile. "Our relays placed top 10 and a few individuals made the finals, and our coaches were always supportive."
The SUNY Geneseo-bound senior drew upon that support to help her 200 medley relay team clock a 1:48.20 that put the Quakers in fourth place in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association meet.
The event was the start of a busy day for Fischer and relay teammates Isabella Mikulic, a sophomore, and juniors Paige Salmon and Katherine Jones as well as those on the sideline waiting their turn to battle against the state's elite swimmers.
"I did four events yesterday and three today," Fischer said matter of factly after her third and final state meet. "We did about the same last year."
Doing about the same as last year was saying something for any of the hundreds of girls competing. Numerous state records were broken and even more All-American qualifying times were posted.
Alexis Trietley, an Olean super sophomore, was the next Section VI girl to go head-to-head with the state's elite and she fared well. Her first effort came in the meet's second event, the 200 freestyle.
"My 200 I took a different approach," Trietley said. "I didn't die at the end like I did Friday (in preliminaries)."
But Trietley clocked a 1:52.76, a time slightly slower than Friday and one that netted her an eighth-place finish. The sophomore used that mildly disappointing effort as motivation to swim a 51.44 in the 100 free to take third place in a race won by meet MVP Chloe Stepanek of Northport.
"I dropped .3 seconds," Trietley said. "It was my best time, so I'm pretty happy. I better when I'm kind of mad. My 200 time helped me in the 100. I think overall, I was pretty solid."
As was Mary Brinker. The East Aurora senior was fourth at the state meet last year in the 50 free and wound up third Saturday. Oceanside's Catherine Stanford repeated as state champion with a time of 23.01 and Brinker was close behind with a 23.54.
"I was hoping to go a little faster this time," Brinker said after her time in the finals was .24 faster than her qualifying effort Friday. "But it was my fastest this year and I'm happy with my time for my last (high school) race."
It was the third trip to the state meet for the Penn State-bound Brinker. She placed eighth as a sophomore and kept getting better as she grew.
The only other Section VI individual to place in the top 10 was Jessica Humby. The Hamburg sophomore
did well in her second trip to the state meet by posting a 1:05.70 in the 100 breaststroke. It was about half a second slower than her qualifying time, but considering she became ill Saturday morning it was a solid effort.
"I was here by myself this year," Humby said. "Not having my teammates to cheer me on and help me when I got sick (hurt). And people got a lot faster, so I'm actually pretty happy."
Orchard Park's 200 free relay team of senior Sarah Conley, Fischer, Emily Blake and Jones clocked a 1:37.89 to better their time of 1:38.27 on Friday. That was good enough for sixth in the NYSPHSAA standings.
200 IM: 20 overall, Allie Bashor, Starpoint, 2:097.74.
50 free: 16. Natalie Fosberg, 24.39.
100 butterfly: 13. Allie Bashor, Starpoint, 57.15; 16. Lauren Levy, Buffalo Seminary, 57.66; 20. Kya Pawli, Frontier, 58.92.
200 freestyle relay: 20. Frontier (Bonnie Bautz, Kya Pawli, Olivia Heltz, Zoe Zawodzinski), 1:40.35.
400 freestyle relay: 12. Orchard Park (Sarah Conley, Abigail McClintock, Isabella Mikulec, Emily Blake), 3:35.59.