SYRACUSE While the Liverpool girls swim team could only claim a fourth-place finish in Thursday’s Section III Class A championship meet at Nottingham, Madeline Murphy rose above the clamor to make a bit of history.
In the finals of the 50-yard freestyle, Murphy blew away a strong field, her time of 23.95 seconds setting a new Section III and school record. Auburn’s M.J. Leja (24.61 seconds) was second, a long way behind for a race that short.
Following that up, Murphy went to the 100 freestyle and won that race, too, her time of 52.62 seconds easily enough to stop Leja (53.49 seconds) and the rest of the field, which included teammate Madison Hall (58.24 seconds) in fifth place.
With 247 points, Liverpool edged out Auburn (245 points) for that fourth spot, as West Genesee (344 points) rallied past CBA (338 points) for the championship and Baldwinsville (267 points) held off the Warriors for the third spot.
Early in the meet, Murphy, teaming with Ashley Zemotal, Sydnie Sovinsky and Olivia Corlett, needed 1:56.39 to land in fourth place in the 200 medley relay.
On her own, Sovinsky, with a time of 1:04.33, was fourth in the 100 butterfly. Corlett made her way to fourth place in the 100 backstroke (1:02.54) and fifth place in the 200 individual medley in 2:25.11, while Hall finished sixth (2:08.41) in the 200 freestyle.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Murphy, Zemotal, Hall and Julia Telesca claimed fifth place in 1:47.69. Later, Hall and Telesca returned to help Corlett and Sovinsky as the Warriors finished sixth in the 400 freestyle relay in 4:03.13.
After all of this, they held the state qualifier Saturday at Nottingham, and as Liverpool earned a fifth-place finish with 161 points (Jamesville-DeWitt won with 264 points), Murphy set about dominating the sprints.
Though not matching her record 50 freestyle time from two days earlier, Murphy still won in 24.02 seconds, with Leja (24.34 seconds) again the runner-up. And in the 100 freestyle, Murphy got close to her Thursday effort and prevailed in 52.64 seconds this time around.
Sovinsky, who was sixth in the 100 butterfly (1:04.09), teamed with Murphy, Corlett and Zemotal for fifth place in the 200 medley relay in 1:56.09.
Liverpool’s Kelsey Austin and Cicero-North Syracuse’s Jessica Rothford had a strong showing in the Class A diving championships that kicked off the four-day sectional meet.
Austin picked up 286.35 points for fourth place, not far from the winning total of 312.1 points posted by Oswego’s Hailey Inhow. Rothford was fifth, with 273.6 points.