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Swimming Warriors seize Section III championship

A league title was nice. An undefeated regular season was nicer.

But the Liverpool girls swim lived its ultimate fantasy during last weekend's Section III championship meet at Nottingham High School.

In three days of intense competition, culminating in Saturday's final, the Warriors accumulated 323.5 points -- which was just enough to topple defending champion New Hartford from its throne, as the Spartans settled for second place with 310 points.

For head coach Zak Mekker's charges, the real fun began Friday, when, in Class A competition, it qualified for the state championship meet in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:53.15.

A day later, in the opening race of the finals, the quartet of Teresa Riley, Kelley Yaworsky, Brittany Harris and Francesca Litz returned and won again, this time beating the entire field and improving its time to 1:52.39, edging past Auburn, who was second in 1:52.49.

As the races clicked by, the points piled up. Carly Jones showed up in the 200 freestyle to get third place in 2:01 flat, and Yaworsky returned in the 100 butterfly, finishing fifth in 1:02.34.

Mary Chidsey had her best individual showing in the 100 freestyle, working her way to fourth place in 55.07 seconds and just missing the state qualifying standard.

But Chidsey wouldn't miss anything in the 200 freestyle relay. She teamed with Jones, Litz and Yaworsky to put together an even more dominating performance than in the 200 medley. Liverpool's time of 1:40.22 was more than two seconds ahead of New Hartford's runner-up clocking of 1:42.29, pushing the team further ahead.

Now they all were on a roll. Riley was third in the 100 backstroke in 1:02.25 and qualified for the state meet. And in the 100 breaststroke, Harris (1:08.67) and Jones (108.68) touched at the same time, getting third and fourth, respectively, and both making the state meet with those efforts.

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