For five consecutive seasons, the West Genesee boys swim team had confirmed its CNY Counties League superiority, in part, by turning back Liverpool.
That would change, though, in Friday night’s meeting. Armed with a deep lineup full of talent, the Warriors turned things around, beating the Wildcats 103-76.
Of the first 10 events, WG claimed just two of them. Collin Zapisek had one of those wins, and with his season-best clocking of 1:47.52 in the 200 freestyle, he beat Liverpool’s Nick Burdo (1:50.94) by a comfortable margin and clinched a state meet berth with that time.
Dave Whiting earned the other title, edging teammate Matt O’Donnell, 55.69 seconds to 55.79, in the 100 butterfly as part of a 1-2 Wildcat finish as Whiting also took second (23.62 seconds) in the 50 freestyle. Later in the meet, O’Donnell would also earn a victory in the 100 breaststroke in exactly one minute.
Liverpool claimed every other event, though, including a 100 freestyle classic where Zapisek, in 49.49 seconds, lost to Dan Hens (49.43 seconds) by just 0.06 seconds. It was also close in the 200 freestyle relay, where Zapisek, Sean Hagadorn, Ken Brill and Jeff Hotaling posted 1:36.70, but the Warriors (1:36.09) were a bit faster.
Just two days before going to Liverpool, the Wildcats passed a big test, visiting Oswego and rolling to a 102-80 victory over the Buccaneers.
The trio of Zapisek, O’Donnell and Jake Mullett would each win two events, this following a 200 medley relay opener where Whiting and Hotaling joined O’Donnell and Mullett for a top time of 1:47.28, edging Oswego (1:48.85) for a strong start.
Zapisek had the season’s best effort in the 500 freestyle, becoming the first Section III swimmer to go under four minutes – and he went way under, finishing in 4:54.98.
This followed a 200 freestyle where Zapisek prevailed in 1:50.10, close to his season-best mark of 1:49.02, and preceded the 200 freestyle relay, where Zapisek, teamed with Whiting, Ryan Mathews and Ben Seketa, beat the field in 1:37.06.