CLIFTON PARK — Niskayuna finally took down that record its been chasing, and Shenendehowa continued a tradition of excellence Saturday at the Section II Division 1 swimming championships in the Plainsmen’s pool.
Niskayuna won a meet-high six swimming events including a record effort in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and Shenendehowa rode its depth and Jackson Homan’s leadership to a third consecutive team title.
Shenendehowa finished with 501 points, despite competing without one of its top point producers in Kaleb Hotaling, who has a case mononucleosis that might also keep the senior out of the March 1-2 state meet on Long Island.
“It’s tough when you have a guy like that out. Our guys were resilient,” said Shenendehowa coach Chuck Dunham. “We had to next guy up. Our guys handled it incredibly well. To get 501 exceeded my highest expectations.”
The Niskayuna foursome of seniors Bryan Liu, Victor Schingo, Scott Ward and junior Mark Lipkin met their expectations with a Section II-record 1:26.30 in the 200 free relay. Ward had won the 500 free just before that.
“Me and Bryan for the last three years have been saying we’re going to break the record and win at states,” Ward said. “We’re going to be training hard the next two weeks.”
Shaker had set the 200 free relay record of 1:26.47 when its placed third at the 2016 state meet. Niskayuna clocked a 1:26.70 when it placed fourth at last year’s state meet with a lineup that included Ward, Liu and Lipkin.
“We were only a little bit off last year,” said Liu, the Division 1 outstanding competitor award winner. “We’ve been talking about that relay the entire season. That was the big focus for this meet.”
With the same foursome, Niskayuna closed out Saturday’s meet with a winning 3:11.68 in the 400 free relay. Liu earlier defended his 50 free title (21.10) and placed first in the 100 backstroke (51.74).
“I had to do it for my guys,” Liu said.
Lipkin (1:43.84) edged Ward (1:43.89) in a superb 200 free final, and Ward came back with a dominant victory while defending his 500 free title (4:43.60).
“I was happy for Mark to get first and us going one-two, but going into the 500 I’m thinking it’s my last year and I want to get a win, too,” Ward said. “I was confident because I had won it before, and I had extra motivation because a lot of people came to watch me swim.”
Niskayuna senior Matt Chao won the Division 1 diving crown Thursday (561.00), ending a six-year run of victories by Shenendehowa divers.
Homan was the lead swimmer for Shenendehowa, like his brother Joey was back in 2017 when he anchored a Division 1 team title for the Plainsmen. Jackson Homan’s performance included a meet-record 1:52.52 in the 200 individual medley, which broke his brothers mark (1:52.88) from that 2017 sectional meet finals.
“I haven’t dropped [time] in a while in the 200 IM,” Jackson Homan said. “Really satisfying.”
Jackson Homan joined with junior Zack Lassetter, sophomore Colin Fitzgerald and senior Shrujay Rompicherla for a win in the 200 medley relay (1:38.87), and Homan also copped the 100 breaststroke (57.99).
“It was like his brother before,” Dunham said. “To have it all come together senior year, at the championship meet, it’s a pretty cool thing for him to do.”
Shenendehowa secured its 11th team title in 13 years, and its 14th in 17 years. Niskayuna was the top team in 2006, and Shaker was top team in 2015 and 2016.
“Five hundred is a ton of points,” Homan said. “Definitely wow. It’s very exciting. All of the practices led up to this.”
Dunham gave his Plainsmen a motivational speech before the sectionals. Shenendehowa’s James Jordan took second behind fellow senior Joseph Gravino of Guilderland/Voorheesville (47.39) in the 100 free, and Jordan, Lassetter, junior Alexander Fabris and Homan were second to Niskayuna in the 400 free relay.
“Coach talked about how we were a resilient team and that we were capable of winning even though we were without a key guy,” Homan said. “He had confidence in us. That helped.”
“We found out right before the entries were due,” Dunham said of Hotaling’s illness. “You’ve got to roll with the punches.”
Seeded fourth after Friday’s preliminary swims, Ballston Spa senior James Barno won the 100 butterfly (52.59) and broke his own school record in doing so.
“I just figured I had nothing to lose,” Barno said of winning his first Section II title. “Fourth seed, I cut it loose. I couldn’t see anything after the first turn. I just sprinted it.”
Albany Academy earned its second Division 2 team title in three years, scoring 399 points to edge Glens Falls (395.5).
Albany Academy sophomore Bryce Henkel helped the Cadets win the meet-starting 200 medley relay (1:36.17) and the 200 free relay (1:31.59), and took first in the 200 free (1:43.69) and 500 free (4:54.90) to secure the small-school outstanding competitor award.
Queensbury freshman David Walton was part of the Spartans’ triumphant 400 free relay (3:16.89) and won the 200 IM (1:55.47) and 100 back (52.13).Gloversville/Mayfield senior Danny Helou won the 100 free (49.79) and 50 free (22.58).
Shenendehowa 501, Niskayuna 383, Bethlehem 340.5, Saratoga Springs 295.5, Guilderland/Voorheesville 150, Mohonasen/Schalmont 120.5, Ballston Spa 120, Schenectady 96, CBA/Troy 88, Shaker 81.5, Hudson Falls/South Glens Falls 73, Albany 42.
200 medley relay — Shenendehowa (Zack Lassetter, Colin Fitzgerald, Jackson Homan, Shrujay Rompicherla), 1:38.87 (NYS); Bethlehem, 1:41.00; Guilderland/Voorheesville, 1:43.15; Saratoga Springs, 1:43.52; Niskayuna, 1:44.94.
200 free — Mark Lipkin (Nisk), 1:43.84 (NYS); Scott Ward (Nisk), 1:43.89 (NYS); James Jordan (Shen), 1:44.10 (NYS); Joey Chiarella (Beth), 1:44.44 (NYS); Andrew Canjura (Sara), 1:48.53.
200 IM — Jackson Homan (Shen), 1:52.52, meet record (NYS); Nick Marron (Sara), 1:59.31 (NYS); Zack Lassetter (Shen), 2:00.15 (NYS); Benjamin Brkanovic (GV), 2:00.60 (NYS); Max Kaback (Beth), 2:00.65.
50 free — Bryan Liu (Nisk), 21.10 (NYS); Joseph Gravino (GV), 21.37 (NYS); Jason Wu (Beth), 22.46; Victor Schingo (Nisk), 22.58; Shrujay Rompicherla (Shen), 22.94.
Diving (Thursday) — Matthew Chao (Nisk), 561.00 (NYS); Yang Zheng Foon (Shen), 505.90 (NYS); Conor Compton (Nisk), 491.35 (NYS); Lance Meeson (Shen), 486.70 (NYS); Erik Herrero (Shen), 485.70 (NYS).
100 fly — James Barno (BS), 52.59 (NYS); Mark Lipkin (Nisk), 52.92 (NYS); Joey Chiarella (Beth), 53.11 (NYS); Nick Marron (Sara), 53.16 (NYS); Max Kaback (Beth), 54.64.
100 free — Joseph Gravino (GV), 47.39 (NYS); James Jordan (Shen), 48.11 (NYS); John Janeski (Beth), 48.67 (NYS); Alexander Fabris (Shen), 49.43; Jason Wu (Beth), 49.96.
500 free — Scott Ward (Nisk), 4:43.60 (NYS); Andrew Canjura (Sara), 4:52.73; Elijah Feret (Nisk), 4:53.68; Mark Gregory (Sara), 4:56.91; Phil Bianco (CT), 4:57.50.
200 free relay — Niskayuna (Bryan Liu, Victor Schingo, Mark Lipkin, Scott Ward), 1:26.30, Section II record (NYS); Bethlehem, 1:29.49 (NYS); Shenendehowa, 1:30.03 (NYS); Guilderland/Voorheesville, 1:32.45; Mohonasen/Schalmont, 1:34.91.
100 back — Bryan Liu (Nisk), 51.74 (NYS); John Janeski (Beth), 53.28 (NYS); James Barno (BS), 53.42 (NYS); Benjamin Brkanovic (GV), 53.74 (NYS); Zack Lassetter (Shen), 54.61 (NYS).
100 breast — Jackson Homan (Shen), 57.99 (NYS); Keith Winne (Beth), :01.05 (NYS); Joey Laurer (Sara), 1:01.44; Cameron Goodspeed (Nisk), 1:01.48; Jinwook Lee (Shen), 1:02.40.
400 free relay — Niskayuna (Scott Ward, Victor Schingo, Bryan Liu, Mark Lipkin), 3:11.68 (NYS); Shenendehowa, 3:13.68 (NYS); Bethlehem, 3:!7 (NYS); Saratoga Springs, 3:19.92; Mohonasen/Schalmont, 3:27.32.
Albany Academy 399, Glens Falls 395.5, Queensbury 365, Gloversville/Mayfield 244, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 219, Canajoharie/Fort Plain 198, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 116.5, Amsterdam 78, Fonda/Johnstown 60, Maple Hill 30, La Salle 7, New Lebanon/Berlin 5.
200 medley relay — Albany Academy (Addison Oberting, Brayden Henkel, Bryce Henkel, Gil Dexter), 1:36.17 (NYS); Queensbury, 1:37.41 (NYS); Gloversville/Mayfield, 1:43.52; Glens Falls, 1:46.06; Canajoharie/Fort Plain, 1:49.76.
200 free — Bryce Henkel (AA), 1:43.69 (NYS); TJ Bearor (Q), 1:46.18 (NYS); Keegan Stafford (BH), 1:50.64; Derek Rossetti (MH), 1:54.48; Nick Brown (Q), 1:54.52.
200 IM — David Walton (Q), 1:55.47 (NYS); Brayden Henkel (AA), 2:02.02; Liam Marshall (BH), 2:10.68; Luke Borgos (GF), 2:10.91; Neil Hogan (GF), 2:11.04.
50 free — Danny Helou (GM), 22.58; Dane Dillenbeck (GM), 22.60; Gil Dexter (AA), 23.17; Alex Sydow (CFP), 23.21; Nick Teppo (Q), 23.36.
Diving (Thursday) — Jared Lamson (RCS), 536.65 (NYS); Nate Shine (Q), 432.30; Yxlphrm Burke (GM), 376.45; Michael Arakelian (AA), 350.90; Nathan Stone (Q), 347.40.
100 fly — TJ Bearor (Q), 53.01 (NYS); Dane Dillenbeck (GM), 53.66 (NYS); Addison Oberting (AA), 53.98; Aidan Ford (Q), 55.90; Ivan Young (AA), 57.20.
100 free — Danny Helou (GM), 49.79; Ross Caimano (Q), 50.71; Danion Jonker (CFP), 51.15; Mitchell Skellie (GF), 51.34; Gil Dexter (AA), 51.50.
500 free — Bryce Henkel (AA), 4:54.90; Keegan Stafford (BH), 4:57.67; Zac Brown (Q), 5:07.78; Derek Rossetti (MH), 5:13.50; Thompson Collins (GF), 5:27.37.
200 free relay — Albany Academy (August Galasso, Silas Strich, Gil Dexter, Bryce Henkel), 1:31.59; Gloversville/Mayfield, 1:32.36; Glens Falls, 1:34.17; Canajoharie/Fort Plain, 1:34.90; Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 1:36.18.
100 back — David Walton (Q), 52.13 (NYS); Addison Oberting (AA), 54.12 (NYS); Will Center (GF), 56.33; Luke Borgos (GF), 57.38; Carson Rath (GF), 1:00.40.
100 breast — Brayden Henkel (AA), 1:00.09 (NYS); Zac Brown (Q), 1:03.17; Aidan Ford (Q), 1:03.45; Jacob Sweeney (GM), 1:06.84; Nick O’Brien (AA), 1:06.95.
400 free relay — Queensbury (Ross Caimano, Zac Brown, David Walton, TJ Bearor), 3:16.89 (NYS); Glens Falls, 3:28.27; Albany Academy, 3:28.43; Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 3:30.52; Gloversville/Mayfield, 3:43.77.
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.
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