SYRACUSE Baldwinsville boys swimmer Dan Burke showed everyone in Central New York his multiple talents as he earned two victories in in Friday's Section III Class A championship meet at Nottingham High School.
Burke particularly dominated in his specialty, the 100-yard backstroke. Pulling away from the field, Burke finished in 52.30 seconds, beating Liverpool’s Nick Burdo (56.60 seconds) by more than four seconds.
This came after a 200-yard individual medley showdown between Burke and West Genesee’s Collin Zapisek. Burke built an early lead and held on to win in 1:57.69, exactly four-tenths of a second better than Zapisek (1:58.09), who settled for the runner-up spot.
Overall, B’ville finished eighth in Class A with 159 points, Watertown (335 points) holding off West Genesee (308 points) for its first-ever sectional team title.
Kyle Atkinson claimed fifth place in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.18, while Mike Watkins took sixth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.06. The Bees also were fifth in the 200 medley relay in 1:44.50.
This set up Saturday’s George Falwell Cup, which doubled as the state qualifier for those who had not yet earned their spots in the state meet March 2-3 at Buffalo’s Erie Community College.
In the 200 IM, Burke didn’t have to worry about Zapisek, but instead had to fend off Watertown’s Mike Netto, hanging on for a victory in 1:58.40, just ahead of Netto’s 1:58.61.
The 100 backstroke proved easier. As with the 200 IM, Burke’s time dropped from the Class A meet, but with 53.22 seconds he still was close to three seconds better than WG’s Matt O’Donnell (56.20 seconds) and the rest of the field. Atkinson took seventh place in 1:00.86.
Burke, Watkins, Akers and Kevin Bridge teamed to gain fourth place in the 200 medley relay, improving to 1:43.25. On his own, Akers (1:06.81) rose to 10th in the 100 breaststroke, just ahead of Watkins (1:07.25) in 11th place.