Swimming Wildcats rally past Liverpool, clinch league title

Nothing about the West Genesee girls swim team's meet at Liverpool Wednesday night proved simple.

A series of close races left the Wildcats trailing with two events to go. But it won when it had to at the end to overtake the Warriors, prevail by a score of 98-89, and wrap up the CNY Counties League regular-season championship.

Early in the meet, Olivia Castro kept Liverpool from pulling too far ahead after it had beaten WG, 1:58.56 to 2:00.33, in a quick 200 medley relay where Kelly Cole, Becky Evangelista, Madison Sestak and Ashley Zemotel composed the winning side.

Castro dominated the 200 freestyle, her time of 2:08.70 more than three seconds ahead of Liverpool's Renee Stromski. Then came a dramatic 500 freestyle where Castro needed each of those 500 yards to win, touching the wall in 5:42.85 as Stromski was second in 5:43 flat, just 0.15 seconds behind.

Also in the early stages, Emily Kanoza edged Sestak, 26.87 seconds to 27.00, to prevail in the 50 freestyle. Kanoza had already swam with Castro, Kim Pedrotti and Brianna Smith in the medley and would get second again in the 100 freestyle.

Meanwhile, the Warriors saw Becky Evangelista win by comfortable margins in the 100 free (54.96 seconds) and 200 individual medley (2:18.38), with Sestak holding off WG's Shannon Cahalan, 1:07.01 to 1:07.91, in the 100 butterfly.

WG kept up through a 1-2 finish in diving, where Ali Miedaner, with 192.40 points, and Ashley Miedaner, with 185.65 points, beat Liverpool's Nicole Killius (164.05 points), who settled for third place.

Still, the Warriors led after winning the 200 freestyle relay as Evangelista, Sestak, Julia Mondo and Madison Hall won in 1:46.85, with Kanoza, Cahalan, Kristen Mooney and Regina Stracqualursi second in 1:49.48.

Needing a late win streak to pull out the meet and the league title, the Wildcats began to surge when Smith, in a time of 1:06.42, won the 100 backstroke. In a tightly-fought 100 breaststroke, Pedrotti earned a victory over Cole, 1:13.18 to Cole's 1:13.91, with WG's Erin Dowler in third place.

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