SYRACUSE One side had the individual star power, but the other had the depth required to gather up enough points and finish on top.
That was the tale told in Thursday’s Section III Class A girls swimming championship meet at Nottingham High School, where West Genesee prevailed over Christian Brothers Academy in one of the closest contests in the event’s history.
With a total of 344 points, the Wildcats finished six points ahead of the Brothers’ total of 338. Baldwinsville claimed third place with 267 points.
It took just two events for WG to move in front. Shannon Cahalan, Brianna Smith, Erin Dowler and Jessie Brusa were third in the opening 200 medley relay (1:56.15), after which Olivia Castro stepped up and, in the 200 freestyle, won in 1:57.36, more than two seconds ahead of Auburn’s Michaela Elliot (1:59.62).
CBA regained the lead in the next two events, but in the middle WG started to pile up points. Cahalan got to second place in the 100 butterfly in 1:03.03, with Abby Mullett (1:04.95) in fifth place.
Then Castro took third in the 100 freestyle (53.56 seconds), but just as important was Sinead Guy making her way to fourth place (58.13 seconds) and Kaitlin Dunning getting to sixth place in 58.76 seconds.
Dunning was back for the 200 freestyle relay as she, joining Cahalan, Guy and Christina Lee, took third place in 1:47.40. Now the Wildcats and Brothers were neck-and-neck in the points.
Smith stepped up in the 100 backstroke, where she roared to second place in 1:01.18 as Cahalan (1:03.26) finished fifth, while the 100 breaststroke saw Dowler push her way to fifth place in 1:12.11.
This still left WG behind going to the final event, the 400 freestyle relay. With CBA unable to provide a contender, Dunning, Smith, Castro and Becca Kanoza posted 3:42.36, which was second to Auburn (3:40.49), but worth enough points to snare the team championship.