Feb 16, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
While the Liverpool boys swim team was quite satisfied with earning the Section III Class A championship Saturday at West Genesee High School, it has so much more in mind.
From Garrett Clarke to Nick Burdo to diver Dan Roche and a pair of terrific relay teams, the Warriors are dead-set on earning medals when the state meet takes place Feb. 28-March 1 at Webster Aquatic Center, near Rochester.
The first priority, though, was snaring the Class A team title, which Liverpool accomplished Saturday by earning 416 points, just head of CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt, who was second with 374 points. Watertown, with 274 points, was far back in third place.
As the Warriors were putting its finishing touches on the team crown, Clarke, a favorite for state honors in the 100-yard breaststroke, proved why that was the case.
Pushed hard by Watertown’s Mike Netto, Clarke, in 56.68 seconds, posted the fastest 100 breaststroke time in the state for the entire season, and needed to, because Netto was second in 57.36 seconds. Both smashed the old WG pool mark in this event, Clarke doing so by more than three seconds. Connor Thiel finished third in 1:02.37.
And this came right after Clarke’s contribution to the Warriors’ 200 freestyle relay effort. The quartet of Clarke, Burdo, Liam Henry and Matt Petit needed 1:28.67 to better the state meet qualifying standard as CBA/J-D (1:29.36) and Watertown (1:29.63) closely followed and also beat the mark of 1:30.12 needed to advance to the state meet.
That same Liverpool quartet (Clarke, Burdo, Henry and Petit) roared to victory in the 400 freestyle relay in a state-qualifying time of 3:16.62, holding off CBA/J-D (3:18.06), who also qualified for the state meet with its fast effort.
On his own, Burdo, skipping his strongest event (the 100 freestyle), took the other sprint, the 50 freestyle, in 21.95 seconds, well clear of Auburn’s Nick Radell (22.56 seconds) and the field, and also putting him in the state meet for that distance, if he chooses to compete there.
Even when Clarke and Burdo didn’t win, it was spectacular. In the 200 indvidual medley, Clarke finished in a state-qualifying 1:57.90, but Netto, in 1:56.25, beat him here. And in the 100 butterfly, Burdo had a time of 54.12 seconds, but CBA/J-D’s Kevin Potocki (53.59 seconds) beat him out.
Petit got to second place in the 100 backstroke in 56.95 seconds, trailing only Auburn’s Collin Mitchell (54.56 seconds) as the Warriors’ Marc Alessi gained third place in 57.11 seconds. Alessi and Thiel swam legs in the 200 medley relay, where Liverpool finished in 1:41.13, barely missing the state qualifying standard as Watertown (1:40.75) took first place.
Roche dominated in the diving competition, picking up 577.55 points to finish far ahead of runner-up Matt Beach (Fayetteville-Manlius), who had 449.5 points. Roche’s Liverpool teammate, Joe Whaley, was third with 424.4 points, better than the state qualifying standard of 420.35 points.
Just 24 hours later at Hamilton College, Liverpool found itself claiming another big prize – the George Falwell Cup, earned by the winning team in the Section III state qualifier, as the Warriors’ 348 points was enough to turn back CBA/J-D (309 points) for first place.
Clarke, in the 100 breaststroke, broke his own Section III record. With Netto improving to 56.65 seconds, Clarke went a bit faster and, in 56.41 seconds, maintained the top time in the state.
Thiel, finishing third in 1:01.09, beat the state qualifying standard (1:01.20) and will join Clarke in Webster, while in the 200 IM Clarke’s time of 1:58.42 put him behind Netto, who won in 1:55.46.
Burdo went 21.86 seconds to win again in the 50 freestyle, but this time he prevailed in the 100 butterfly, claiming a thriller over Radell, 53.02 seconds to Radell’s 53.03, with Potocki (53.67) falling to third place.
Roche continued his season-long sweep on the diving board, earning 561.25 points to hold off Mexico’s Noah Galuzzo (550.20 points) in a close battle for first place. Petit improved to 56.38 seconds in the 100 backstroke, but Clarke (53.69 seconds) still prevailed as Alessi (57.13 seconds) was third.
All of this led to a pair of thrilling relays. In the 200 freestyle relay, Burdo, Clarke, Henry and Petit needed 1:28.20 to beat CBA/J-D’s 1:28.78, and it was even closer in the 400 freestyle relay, where CBA/J-D set a school-record with 3:14.80, but Liverpool still pulled out the victory in 3:14.40.