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State swim titles on the line

State swim titles on the line

Gray, Sorbello, Bushway among high seeds
State swim titles on the line
Shenendehowa's Shauna Killane competes in the Section II swim meet on Nov. 3.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

The girls' state swimming and diving championship meet runs Friday and Saturday at Ithaca College.

Athletes will be going after New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Federation (all state organizations) prizes.

Here are a few things to know.

SCHEDULE

Competition begins Friday at 12:30 p.m. with swimming preliminaries, which will determine the contestants for Saturday's consolation finals and finals that start at 10:30 a.m. All diving (preliminaries, semifinals, finals) will be held Friday starting at 4 p.m.

HIGH SEEDS

Alayna Gray of Fonda/Johnstown and Sydney Sorbello of Bethlehem are seeded No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle with identical times of 23.64. Catherine Stanford of Oceanside has the top seed time with a 23.32.

Other high individual event seeds representing Section II are Lillian Bushway of Niskayuna (No. 5, 500 freestyle), Mary Kate Conway of Mohonasen/Schalmont (No. 7, 200 freestyle; No. 8 100 butterfly), Evanna Peng of Guilderland/Voorheesville (No. 9, diving), Gillian Burch of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (No. 9, 100 breaststroke), Yunfan "Lisa" Dong of Niskayuna (No. 11, 100 backstroke) and Kasey Keaney of Guilderland/Voorheesville ( No. 11, 200 individual medley).

Section II's top-seeded relays come from Niskayuna (No. 4, 400 free), Shenendehowa (No. 5, 200 medley) and Bethlehem (No. 6, 200 free).

NUMBERS

Seven teams from Section II have qualified for the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay, and five have made it to the 400 freestyle relay. Shenendehowa, Niskayuna, Ballston Spa and Bethlehem will have a foursome in each of the three relay races.

Eleven Section II individuals have qualified for the 100 butterfly, 10 will dive, nine will swim the 200 freestyle, and eight will swim the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke.

ON RECORD HUNT

Shenendehowa's 200 medley relay group of Alice Han, Alison Sposili, Shauna Killane and Natasha Sheffler made a run at the Section II record with a winning 1:47.88 at the Section II championships, and should get two chances to go after it again. The record belongs to Shenendehowa (1:47.11) from the 2013 sectionals.

Gray and Sorbello (see above) have an outside shot at one of the oldest records on the Section II list, a 50 free time of 23.26 that Scotia-Glenville graduate Richelle DePold has held since 1991.

LOOKING BACK

Olivia Jack of Burnt Hills/Scotia won her final high school race at the 2017 state meet and earned All-American status with a 1:02.06 in the 100 breaststroke. Jack, who attended Scotia-Glenville and is now at Penn State, earned her first NYSPHSAA championship after placing second earlier in the meet in the 100 butterfly.

The last Section II athlete to prevail at the state level before Jack was Ballston Spa diver Addison Walkowiak in 2013. The last swimmer to do so before Jack was Kina Zhou of Niskayuna, who, in 2012, won the 100 and 200 free events.

Last year was marked by several close calls. Queensbury diver Megan Cook placed second by a single point, and thirds went to Dong of Niskayuna in the 100 backstroke, Bethlehem's 200 freestyle relay and Niskayuna's 400 freestyle relay.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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