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Miller nearly wins twice at sectional swim meet

By the tiniest possible margin, Fayetteville-Manlius senior swimmer Sean Miller was denied a double at last weekend's Section III championship meet at Nottingham High School.

Competing in the pool that the Hornets call home each winter, Miller would claim the championship in the 100-yard butterfly, and would come as close as possible to victory in the 200-yard freestyle.

In the 200, Miller came into Sunday's final as the third-fastest qualifier, behind New Hartford's Brendan Smith and Mexico's Shawn Parkhurst, and his opening-round time of 1:50.14 was not enough to reach the state qualifying standard of 1:49.45.

Miller would take care of that in the final. He raced to the lead by the 50-yard mark, and kept that advantage at the midway point before Parkhurst began to catch up.

With 50 yards to ago, Miller and Parkhurst were close to even, and it remained that way until they touched the wall, virtually together.

When the times went on the board, Miller had posted 1:45.53 -- and Parkhurst had 1:45.52, nudging Miller by one-hundredth of a second.

No one would catch Miller in the 100 butterfly, though. He withstood a serious challenge from Auburn's Cameron Lovenduski and, in a time of 54.02 seconds, beat Lovenduski (54.42) by four-tenths of a second.

Miller will swim in both the 200 free and 100 fly on March 2 and 3 in the state championship meet at Erie Community College in Buffalo.

Mike Riccione will join Miller at the state meet, competing in both sprints. In the 50 freestyle, Riccione used a time of 22.53 seconds in the Class A meet to earn his spot, as the qualifying standard was 22.57 seconds. He finished third in the overall finals in 22.61 seconds.

In the Class A portion of the 100 freestyle, Riccione posted a time of 49.77 seconds, much better than the 49.99 seconds needed to advance. He finished eighth in that event.

Together, Riccione and Miller, along with Connor Chen and Shay Chen, finished third in the 200 medley relay in 1:44.67. Ian Kaplan joined Miler, Riccione and Shay Chen as F-M got fifth place in 1:33.22.

Johnnie Beach got fourth place in diving, with 346.75 points, as Frank Squadrito finished 14th.

F-M finished fourth among Class A teams, with 172 points, in a sectional meet delayed and shortened two days by all the winter storms. Only Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA, Auburn and Liverpool fared better. Overall, the Hornets tied Oswego for fourth place, each of them earning 151 points.

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