True, the Liverpool boys swim team could not earn its 11th consecutive Section III championship last weekend at Nottingham High School.
But the Warriors did take home plenty of prizes, none bigger than senior Kevin Murphy's richly-deserved honor as the meet's Most Outstanding Swimmer.
Murphy took part in all three of Liverpool's victories in Sunday's overall sectional final, pushed back after two days of snow-related postponements kept many teams from making it to Nottingham.
In the 200-yard medley relay, Murphy swam the second leg after Jeff Rapp got it started, and helped the Warriors overtake Auburn and Fayetteville-Manlius. Chad Miller and Kyle Miller pulled away from there, as the Warriors, in a time of 1:42.67, beat Auburn (1:44.50) by nearly two seconds.
On his own, Murphy was even better. In the 100-yard freestyle, he qualified for the state meet in Saturday's Class A finals with a time of 48.48 seconds, second to Chittenango's David Gardner.
A day later, against the overall field, Murphy was one of four swimmers going to the wire. Murphy touched in 48.40 seconds, edging out Carthage's Zach Ingold (48.52), Auburn's Pat O'Donovan (48.56) and Gardner (48.58) to earn the sectional title.
In his specialty, the 100-yard breaststroke, Murphy had no peer. He breezed to the championship in a time of 1:00.26, more than three seconds ahead of Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA's Tyghe Speidel, in a race where Chris Stromski took seventh place in 1:06.98.
Overall, the Warriors finished in third place with 257.50 points, behind Auburn (325 points) and J-D/CBA (323 points). The Maroons needed to win the last race of the night, the 400 freestyle relay, to beat the Red Rams -- and did so, prevailing in 3:16.53.
Trevor Herzog also earned a trip to the March 3-4 state meet in Buffalo, finishing second in the diving competition with 396.10 points as J-D/CBA's Clayton Sutton (439.75 points) came out on top.