Local swimmers shine at state meet

It took some remarkable efforts -- some of the record variety -- to keep some local boys swimmers from going to the top of the podium during last weekend's state championship meet at Nassau County Aquatic Center on Long Island.

Westhill's Dan O'Connor set a new Section III mark in the 500-yard freestyle, posting a time of four minutes, 27.25 seconds. All that meant was second place because Rye's Ryan Feeley won in 4:24.06, bettering his own state record by more than two seconds.

In the public-school portion of the 200 individual medley, O'Connor nearly finished on top. He hit the wall in 1:53.09, but Shenendehowa's Shayne Buckley beat him with a time of 1:53.05, a difference of 0.04 seconds.

O'Connor was third in the Federation in the 200 IM behind Buckley and Jack Wagner (Trinity), who won in 1:48.84. For both events, O'Connor received All-American honors.

West Genesee's large contingent did well, too, nearly winning the big prize in the 200 medley relay. Carson Elias, Pat O'Donnell, Ben Seketa and Kyle Crompton finished in 1:35.19, beaten only by New Paltz, who won in 1:35 flat. In the 200 freestyle relay, Elias, Crompton, Seketa and Rob Kotheimer finished seventh, in 1:29.09.

As to individual events, Seketa worked his way to fourth place in 59.44 seconds, with Elias swimming to a time of 1:03.05.

O'Donnell swam in the 100 backstroke, getting 10th place (53.97 seconds) as Auburn's Patrick O'Donovan won, the first Section III swimmer ever to break 50 seconds (49.68, to be exact) in this event. Elias, in the 100 butterfly, was 14th (52.94 seconds) after qualifying in 52.43 seconds.

Crompton swam to 19th in the 50 freestyle in 22.29 seconds, though he qualified faster in 21.86 seconds, and was 22nd (48.68 seconds) in the 100 freestyle. Seketa was 25th in the 200 freestyle in 1:47.59, as O'Donnell was 33rd in the 200 IM (2:02.47).

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