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Plainsmen win eighth straight swimming title

Plainsmen win eighth straight swimming title

While Bethlehem ace Gunnar Zemering prevailed in the featured race, so many other things went Shenen
Plainsmen win eighth straight swimming title
Mike Conley, of Shen, hugs his coaches after placing first for the 200 yard freestyle during the Section II swimming championship at Shenendehowa in Clifton Park on Sunday, February 16, 2014.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

While Bethlehem ace Gunnar Zemering prevailed in the featured race, so many other things went Shenendhowa’s way at Sunday’s Section II large-school swimming championships.

Ryan Gordon bounced back from another narrow loss to Zemering in the 50-yard freestyle in record-setting fasion, and Shenendehowa established the meet’s highest point total ever in its eighth consecutive winning performance.

The Plainsmen totaled 552 points to better their 539 from a year ago, with divers Ian Killane and Nick Lydon going one-two Saturday to get the ball rolling. Shenendehowa took the 200 medley relay and then Mike Conley won the 200 free for the Plainsmen to begin Sunday’s finals.

“Those 13 points were guys no one has heard of except for us,” said Shenendehowa coach Chuck Dunham. “They were guys who were outside the top 16 when you looked at the psych sheet, and in the preliminaries found a way to reach the finals.

“Everyone from our top guys all the way through did an excellent job. Everybody did what they were supposed to do.”

Shenendehowa took first or second in every swimming event but one, highlighted by its Section II-record 1:26.93 in the 200 free relay that Gordon anchored.

“We knew this was a special team early in the season with the attitude and effort we had,” said Dunham. “We knew we could do special things.”

Zemering did some very special things in his final sectional appearance, setting school and championship final records in winning the 50 free (20.80) and later the 100 free (46.32).

“I never thought I’d go under 21 this year, and then to break 47, this is more than I expected,” said Zemering, who will swim for the University of Rochester next season.

Zemering earned automatic All-American status with his 50 time, and Gordon went 21.04 for AA consideration in another thriller between the seniors.

“Every time we race [the 50], he always gets me at the turn,” said Zemering, who was selected the large-school outstanding competitor. “He had me by a half a body last year. This time, it was a little less. He’s always ahead, and I have to catch up. It gives you that boost.”

Gordon has six wins and two seconds in sectional individual finals going back to his freshman season. It took a stretch to the wall for Zemering to nip Gordon last year in the 50, and Zemering went on to claim the state title in the event.

“The 50 is his race. He’s the best, but I wanted to give it another crack,” said Gordon. “It’s too bad we can’t race again next year. Racing him is always so much fun.”

“I respect Ryan for embracing the challenge rather than straying away,” said Dunham.

Gordon also earned AA consideration when he took the 100 butterfly with a school-record 50.60. It was his first 100 fly title to go along a 500 free, two 100 free and two 200 free crowns.

“I knew what I had to do,” said Gordon. “Go out strong, and hope my training would carry me through.”

Gordon finished off Shenendehowa’s Section II record-setting 200 free relay after legs by Conley, Eric Burdge and Piotr Czajowski. Bethehem had held the record (1:27.59) since 1997.

“That’s a bang-bang race,” said Dunham. “You need three really good exchanges, and four guys have to be on.”

“When you hit the water, your mind goes blank and you just swim,” said Gordon. “You reflect on it after.”

Gordon, his brother Luke, Jad Moumen and Czajowski teamed up for the win in the meet-starting 200 medley relay (1:36.78). The foursome clocked the second-fastest championship final time ever after the Plainsmen (with the Gordons and Conley) went 1:36.22 last year to set a Section II record.

Shaker’s Mark Enright, Zeeshan Irani, Andrew Semmes and Nikos Moisidis put together a winning 3:13.0 in the 400 free relay to edge Shenendehowa (3:13.17) and set school and pool records.

Calvin Cleworth became the first Schenectady sophomore to qualify for the state meet with a second in the 100 fly (53.74) and a third in the 200 individual medley.

“I’m very pleased with how I swam this weekend,” he said. “For my first state meet, I’ll soak up the atmopsphere, try to get some good times and see how I do.”

Cleworth set the Schenec­tady 100 fly record with a 53.80 in Saturday’s prelims before breaking it again in the final.

“I had Gordon next to me and Burdge on the other side. [In the prelims] I beat Burdge by one one-hundredth of a second, so getting second was no gimme,” said Cleworth. “I already had two third-place finishes, and that motivated me.”

Small schools

Glens Falls claimed the small-school team title after sharing it with Albany Academy last year, and Queensbury sophomore Matthew Walton was a four-event winner and the meet’s outstanding competitor.

Walton prevailed in the 200 and 500 free, and anchored the Spartans’ triumphant 200 and 400 free relays.

Brandon Beaudoin of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake was best in the 200 IM and 100 breast. Kristian Santos of Amsterdam defended his diving title Saturday.


Teams scores

Shenendehowa 552, Shaker 377, Niskayuna 273, Bethlehem 262, Ballston Spa 223.5, Saratoga Springs 150, Albany 46.5, Guilderland/Voorheesville 98.


200 medley relay — Shenendehowa (Ryan Grdon, Luke Gordon, Jad Moumen, Piotr Czajowski), 1:36.78 (NYS); Shaker, 1:38.69 (NYS); Bethlehem, 1:41.31; Ballston Spa, 1:42.36; Niskayuna, 1:45.38.

200 free — Mike Conley (Shen), 1:44.96 (NYS); Eric Burdge (Shen), 1:45.04 (NYS); Emerson Wells (Nisk), 1:46.13 (NYS); George Enright (Shak), 1:46.40 (NYS); Andrew Semmes (Shak), 1:46.63 (NYS).

200 IM — William Matz (Shak), 1:57.29 (NYS); Luke Gordon (Shen), 1:58.07 (NYS); Calvin Cleworth (Schen), 2:00.36 (NYS); Connor Killane (Shen), 2:00.87; Alex Danielson (Sara), 2:01.41.

50 free — Gunnar Zemering (BC), 20.80 (NYS, AAA); Ryan Gordon (Shen), 21.04 (NYS, AAC); Nikos Moisidis (Shak), 21.87 (NYS); Piotr Czajowski (Shen), 22.12 (NYS); Chris Vesic (BS), 22.29.

Diving (Saturday) — Ian Killane (Shen), 468.65 (NYS); Nick Lydon (Shen), 441.60 (NYS); Jack Newton (Nisk), 421.95 (NYS); Greg Ingraham (BC), 383.35; Jack Larkin (BS), 366.40.

100 fly — Ryan Gordon (Shen), 50.60 (NYS, AAC); Calvin Cleworth (Schen), 53.74 (NYS); Eric Burdge (Shen), 54.31; Jad Moumen (Shen), 54.80; Emerson Wells (Nisk), 55.47.

100 free — Gunnar Zemering (BC), 46.32 (NYS); Mike Conley (Shen), 48.05 (NYS); Nikos Moisidis (Shak), 48.44 (NYS); Mark Enright (Shak), 48.66 (NYS); Piotr Czajowski (Shen), 49.43.

500 free — Aidan Strayer (Nisk), 4:42.61 (NYS); Connor Killane (Shen), 4:49.63 (NYS); Andrew Semmes (Shak), 4:51.98; Drew Scott (Shen), 4:52.21 (NYS); Alex Danielson (Sara), 4:55.31.

200 free relay — Shenendehowa (Mike Conley, Eric Burdge, Piotr Czajowski, Ryan Gordon), 1:26.93 (Section II record, NYS); Shaker, 1:28.99 (NYS); Saratoga Springs, 1:31.61; Ballston Spa, 1:31.66; Bethlehem, 1:32.36.

100 back — Alex Taber (BC), 53.86 (NYS); Zeeshan Irani (Shak), 55.70; Nicholas Buff (Shak), 55.70; Peter Beidl (Shen), 55.84; Connor Doyle (BC), 56.58.

100 breast — William Matz (Shak), 59.60 (NYS); Luke Gordon (Shen), 59.97 (NYS); Trevor Matuszyk (Nisk), 1:02.67; Dylan Yates (Shen), 1:03.13; Dillon Harding (Shen), 1:03.42.

400 free relay — Shaker (Mark Enright, Zeeshan Irani, Andrew Semmes, Nikos Moisidis), 3:10.0 (NYS); Shenendehowa, 3:13.17 (NYS); Niskayuna, 3:25.75; Bethlehem, 3:32.93; Ballston Spa, 3:34.04.


Team scores

Glens Falls 458, Quensbury 357, Albany Academy 281, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 281, Mohonasen/Schalmont 250, Fonda/Johnstown 142, Gloversville 117, Canajoharie/Fort Plain 116, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 75, Amsterdam 53, Taconic Hills 42, Hudson Falls 38, LaSalle 25.


200 medley relay — Glens Falls (Garret Frandsen, Colin Duell, Cooper Knapp, Jacob Center), 1:40.77. 200 free — Matthew Walton (Q), 1:43.94 (NYS). 200 IM — Brandon Beaudoin (BH), 1:56.66 (NYS). 50 free — David Mauro (GF), 22.31. Diving (Saturday) — Kristian Santos (Amst), 507.45 (NYS); Raislan Aiken (GF), 420.75 (NYS). 100 fly — Cooper Knapp (GF), 52.93 (NYS); Benjamin Rowley (Q), 53.90 (NYS). 100 free — Chris Poole (AA), 49.53. 500 free — Matthew Walton (Q), 4:48.67 (NYS). 200 free relay — Queensbury (Justin Hafner, Benjamin Rowley, Matt Reeves, Matthew Walton), 1:29.93 (NYS). 100 back — Benjamin Rowley (Q), 54.30 (NYS). 100 breast — Brandoin Beaudoin (BH), 59.62 (NYS). 400 free relay — Queensbury (Matt Reeves, Justin Hafner, Benjamin Rowley, Matthew Walton), 3:17.57 (NYS).

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