CLIFTON PARK — The strongest rivalry in local high school swimming took another turn Saturday at the Shenendehowa Aquatics Center.
Shenendehowa, which lost a dual meet to rival Niskayuna during the regular season, turned the tables on the two-time defending champion with a solid 34-point victory at the Section II Division I girls’ swimming & diving championships. Shenendehowa jumped out early by winning the 200 medley relay opening event, and the Plainsmen relied on their superior depth to remain on top of the team standings throughout the meet.
Niskayuna had won back-to-back Division I titles in 2016 and 2017, with last year’s win going down to the final event, when the Silver Warriors won the 400-yard medley relay and topped the Plainsmen by a half-point.
This year’s meet didn’t have quite that kind of drama, as Shenendehowa led from start to finish, despite winning only one of the 12 events (13 if you include Thursday’s diving competition). There were plenty of seconds and thirds, however, for the Plainsmen.
Before Saturday’s competition, Shenendehowa and Niskayuna had split the last 10 sectional crowns.
“They are great to be around every day. They are a joy to be with every day,” Shenendehowa swimming coach Sandy Stanislowsky said after enjoying a team vault into the pool. “You should have seen them before we started this meet. We had them all singing and dancing. They were all ready to go.”
Stanislowsky said this season seemed to go Shenendehowa’s way, for the most part, from tryouts to sectionals. The loss to Niskayuna was about the only glitch.
“Sometimes, everything goes and flows in the right direction. When we first started the season at Barney Road, it was all starting to work out. We all worked together, and I didn’t see anyone going against each other,” Stanislowsky said. “They are all supportive of each other. They are a family, and they deserve everything they’ve got through a lot of hard work.”
The Shenendehowa coach added that it was nice to have so many fans and administrators backing the team at every juncture, especially Saturday at the extremely loud Shenendehowa Aquatics Center.
“Here’s another point — look who is here enjoying this with us, our athletic director [Chris Culnan]. He’s very supportive of us, and we thank him for being with us,” she said.
Depth and resilience, Stanislowsky said, carried Shenendehowa to Saturday’s championship win.
“As far as that [regular-season] loss at Niskayuna, the dual meet format is different. I think they just looked at it like, ‘What can we learn from this experience?’ They moved on, and the way we handled everyone at the Shenendehowa Invitational, day by day it was a case of doing what we had to do,” Stanislowsky said. “What a great experience for us all. I think our depth all the way around was the key. We had seven or eight 200 freestylers or seven to eight 200 IM swimmers. We have to work on our sprinters, but in every event we had seven or eight people we could put in at any time.”
Shenendehowa senior Lauren Ostrander, who finished second in the 200 freestyle and was part of the runner-up 400 freestyle relay, agreed with her coach that depth was the difference in the win.
“It means a lot. It’s bittersweet,” she said about her last meet at her home pool. “It’s nice to see all the hard work pay off. For me, it’s just the perfect ending.”
Shenendehowa sophomore Alice Han, sophomore Alison Sposili, senior Shauna Killane and sophomore Natasha Sheffer combined to win the 200-yard medley relay. Killane was second in the 100-yard butterfly, Alison Sposili and Lauren Sposili were second and third, respectively, in the 500-yard freestyle, Han was third in the 100-yard backstroke, and Killane, Han and Alison Sposili joined Ostrander in the second-place 400 relay for Shen.
Niskayuna remained just behind Shenendehowa all day. The Silver Warriors were led by junior Lillian Bushway, who won the 500 freestyle; senior Yunfan Dong, who captured the 100 backstroke; and its winning 400 freestyle relay of Lillian Bushway, Isabel Bushway, Nina Chicatelli and Dong.
Mohonasen/Schalmont, which won the Division II title a year ago, moved up to Division I and finished sixth. Junior Mary Kate Conway was outstanding, winning both the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly.
Bethlehem’s Sydney Sorbello, who earned the Sportsmanship Award, won the 200 IM and the 100 freestyle.
Queensbury dominated the Division II meet with 401.5 points, well ahead of Glens Falls with 294.
Alayna Gray of Fonda-Johnstown won both the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. Gillian Burch of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk won the 100 breaststroke and the 200 freestyle.
Team scores: Shenendehowa 441, Niskayuna 407, Bethlehem 254, Albany Academy 183.5, Saratoga Springs 165.5, Mohonasen/Schalmont 165, Guilderland/Voorheesville 140, Burnt Hills/Scotia 140, Ballston Spa 135, Shaker 112, Albany 66, Schenectady 32, Colonie 2.
200 medley relay — Shenendehowa (Alice Han, Alison Sposili, Shauna Killane, Natasha Sheffler), 1:47.88; Bethlehem (Sorbello, Kaback, Hartman, Bernasconi), 1:48.74; Niskayuna (Dong, Eckman, Bobarakis, McLaughlin), 1:39.33; Albany Academy (Gerdeman, B/ Amedio, Derosia, M. Amedio), 1:50.93; Burnt Hills/Scotia (Frame, Bacon, Swain, Owens), 1:50.96.
200 freestyle — Mary Kate Conway (M/S) 1:52.21; Lauren Ostrander (Shen) 1:54.28; Lillian Bushway (N) 1:54.30; Alice Han (Shen), 1:54.78; Amaya DiGiovanni (M/S) 1:56.61; *-Rachel Love (SS) 1:5.11; *-Elizabeth Baird (SS) 1:57.11.
200 IM — Sydney Sorbello (Beth) 2:04.84; Kasey Kearney (G/V) 2:08.03; Isabel Bushway (N) 2:08.09; Shauna Killane (Shen) 2:10.02; Emily Wang (Shen) 2:12.32.
50 freestyle — Claire Gerdman (AA) 24.45; Brenna McLaughlin (N) 24.79; Anna Bernasconi (Beth) 25.16; Annalise Pepper (BS) 25.25; Demi Bobarakis (N) 25.31.
100 butterfly — Mary Kate Conway (M/S) 56.90; Shauna Killane (Shen) 57.27; Demi Bobarakis (N) 58.04; Madeline Ferreira (Beth) 59.54; Rebekah Eckman (N) 59.59.
100 freestyle — Sydney Sorbello (Beth), 51.90; Yunfan Dong (N) 53.28; Anaya DiGiovanni (M/S) 53.49; Emma Hoffman (BS) 54.06; Lauren Ostrander (Shen) 54.13.
500 freestyle — Lillian Bushway (N) 4:58.61; Alison Sposili (Shen) 5:05.09; Lauren Sposili (Shen) 5:07.98; Isabel Nelson (N) 5:13.27; Rachel Love (SS) 5:!3.41.
200 freestyle relay — Bethlehem (Maggie Hartman, Audrey Nadeau, Anna Bernascooni, Sydney Sorbello), 1:38.71; Niskayuna (Chicatelli, Bobarakis, McLaughlin, Bushway), 1:39.41; M/S (Conway, Reynolds, Santabarbara, DiGiovanni), 1:39.87; Shenendehowa (Sheffer, Ostrander, Gordon, Waryncia), 1:40.75; Albany Academy (Gerdeman, Eisenhardt, Klima, M. Amedio), 1:41.21.
100 backstroke — Yunfan Dong (N) 57.41; Isabel Bushway (N), 58.21; Alice Han (Shen) 58.87; Emma Hoffman (BS) 59.88; Chloe Derosia (AA) 1:00.16.
100 breaststroke — Kasey Keaney (G/V) 1:04.48; Emily Yu (Shak) 1:06.25; Corinne Pepper (BS) 1:07.08; Alison Sposili (Shen) 1:07.37; Abby Bacon (BH/SG) 1:07.91.
400 freestyle relay — Niskayuna (Nina Chicatelli, Yunfan Dong, Lillian Bushway, Isabel Bushway), 3:33.58; Shenendehowa (Killane, Ostrander, Han, Alison Sposili), 3:34.01; M/S (DiGiovanni, Santabarbara, Jurgelon, Conway), 3:39.00; Ballston Spa (Hoffman, A. Pepper, Dybowski, C. Pepper), 3:40.62; Saratoga Springs (Baird, Love, Hawthorne, Kelly), 3:46.1.
Team scores: Queensbury 401.5, Glens Falls 294, Emma Willard 272, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 267, Troy 216.5, Duanesburg/BKW 195, Gloversville/Mayfield 126, Holy Names 121, Fonda-Johnstown 108, Amsterdam 54, Averill Park 13.
200 freestyle relay — Queensbury (Willow Swan-Scott, Natalie Giumarra, Sarah Little, Anna Bearor), 1:54.68; R-C-S (Bartlett, Burch, Sulik, Pagnotta), 1:54.89; Troy (Kulzer McDermott, Godman, Ginsburg), 1:59.80; Duanesburg/BKW (Nelson, Mienaltowski, O’Donnell, Lindecke), 2:02.25; Fonda-Johnstown (Norris, Frenyea, Gray, Atwood), 2:05.61.
200 freestyle — Gillian Burch (RCS) 1:57.07; Willa Werwaiss (EW) 1:58.56; Anna Johnson (EW) 2:02.35; Gabriela McSwieney (HN) 2:05.77; Rowan Davidson (GF) 2:10.19.
200 IM — Emily Sulik (RCS) 2:12.91; Abigael O’Donnell (D/BKW) 2:18.54; Emma Lindecke (D/BKW) 2:18.54; Rosemarie Versaci (EW) 2:19.38; Rachel Gallucci (HN) 2:20.77.
50 freestyle — Alayna Gray (FP/J) 23.64; Ella Wolfstich (GF) 25.54; Emma Mauro (GF) 25.57; Anna Bedaror (Q) 25.61; Jenna Drummond (EW) 25.98
100 butterfly — Sarah Little (Q) 1:00.03; Willow Swan-Scott (Q) 1:02.51; Emily Sulik (RCS) 1:0284; Abigael O’Donnell (D/BKW) 1:03.45; Rachel Gallucci (HN) 1:03.49; *-Mikaleigh Hughes (T) 1:08.95; *-Sadie Giumarra (Q) 1:08.95.
100 freestyle — Alayna Gray (FP/J) 52.60; Anna Bearor (Q) 55.57; Allie Wolfstich (GF) 56.15; Allie Johnston (Q) 58.70; Kaley Pagnotta (RCS) 59.11.
500 freestyle — Willa Werwaiss (EW) 5:10.87; Anna Johnson (EW) 5:33.58; Rowan Davidson (GF) 5:42.13; Isabelle Willis (G/M) 5:49.58; Rachel Palmer (Q) 5:49.81.
200 freestyle relay — Glens Falls (Emma Mauro, Madison Maier, Lily Murray Ella Wolfstich) 1:42.74; Queensbury (Little Giumarra, Keddy, Bearor), 1:43.00; Emma Willard (Versaci, Johnson, Drummond, Werwaiss), 1:43.53; Holy Name (Gallucci, Scoons, Mackey, McSwieney) 1:49.83; D/BKW (Lindecke, Mitchell, Bard, O’Donnell), 1:50.52.
100 backstroke — Willow Swan-Scott (Q) 1:01.20; Allie Johnson (Q) 1:01.76; Amelia Kulzer (T) 1:03.62; Madison Maier (GF) 1:04.70; Gabriel McSwieney (HN) 1:05.68.
100 breaststroke — Gillian Burch (RCS) 1:05.10; Sarah Little (Q) 1:08.70; Emma Mauo (GF) 1:09.87; Natalie Giumarra (Q) 1:11.81; Rosemarie Versaci (EW) 1:11.99.
400 freestyle relay — Emma Willard (Willa Werwaiss, Anna Johnson, Jenna Drummond, Rosemarie Versaci) 3:45.69; RCS (Sulik, Pagnotta, Rowzee, Burch), 3:47.69; Glens Falls (Wolfstich, Maier Davidson Mauro), 3:54.14; Queensbury (Keddy, Felton, Giumarra, Johnston), 3:56.82; Troy (M. Swider, G. Swider, McDermott, Kulzer, 4:02.51.