A superb regular season for the Baldwinsville boys swim team continued with its fifth-place finish in Thursday’s Section III Class A championship meet at Nottingham High School.
The Bees picked up 253 points through a series of top-five finishes in various races. Watertown, with 354.5 points, edged past Liverpool (344.5 points) for the sectional team title as the Cyclones beat the Warriors head-to-head in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays for the decisive points.
Perhaps the most exciting moment for B’ville came in the 100-yard breaststroke, where Nick Schultz contended for the title and, in one minute, 1.25 seconds, finished just five-hundredths of a second from qualifying for the state meet (1:01.20) while finishing second behind West Genesee’s Ryan Hagadorn, who won in 1:00.02.
Right after that, in the meet-closing 400 freestyle relay, B’ville rose to third place as Ryan Hiltbrand, Alex Hiltbrand, Brandon Formoza and John Licciardello finished in 3:25.15. Only Watertown (3:13.72) and Liverpool (3:21.14) fared better.
Schultz also contended in the 200 individual medley, where he got to fourth place in 2:08.62, not far from the winning 2:05.37 posted by Liverpool’s Curtis Merrick. Jonathan Oad finished 12th in 2:16.98.
Another runner-up finish came from Alex Hiltbrand in the 100 butterfly. He finished in 54.57 seconds, only trailing Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA’s Spencer Schultz, who won in 52.62 seconds. Evan Bohman took ninth place in 1:00.20 and Oad (1:01.52) finished 13th as Jamus Socker got 22nd place.
Just before that, Hiltbrand went 22.60 seconds in the 50 freestyle to finish fourth, not far from the state qualifying standard of 22.19 seconds, but well back of Watertown’s Maclean Crossley, who broke the five-year-old Section III record set by Oswego’s Drake Becksted by winning in 20.37 seconds. Formoza was 18th in 24.23 seconds.
Another great effort came in the 200 freestyle, where Ryan Hiltbrand rose to third place in a clocking of 1:51.77, just ahead of Licciardello, who was fourth in 1:51.93.
Later, in the 500 freestyle, Licciardello earned his best finish, going to third place in 5:04.11 as Formoza finished 10th in 5:19.58. Bohman gained fifth place in the 100 backstroke in 59.81 seconds. Ryan Hiltbrand got seventh place in the 100 freestyle in 51.51 seconds.
Back in the first relay event of the meet, the 200 medley, Schultz, Oad, Bohman and Mark Dickson finished in 1:46.95 and took fifth place, improving upon their 1:47.21 from earlier in the season. Schultz, Licciardello, Alex Hiltbrand and Ryan Hiltbrand were fifth in 1:33.71, a season-best time by nearly a full second.