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Swimming Warriors roll to Class A sectional title

Clarke sets state standard in 100 breaststroke

— 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.

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