Mar 03, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Perhaps the Liverpool boys swim team did not get everything it wanted out of its trip to Webster Schroeder High School in the Rochester suburbs, where the state championship meet took place.
But freshman Nick Burdo and junior Garrett Clarke both posted top-five finishes, and the Warriors finished eighth in the overall team standings, sixth among public schools.
Burdo would make his mark in the 100-yard freestyle. Having qualified 47.59 seconds (10th going into the meet), he lowered that total by nearly a second, to 46.82, in the opening round on Friday, rising to seventh place and earning a berth in Saturday’s state final.
Then Burdo improved again in that championship race, his time of 46.30 seconds just missing the school record (46.24) set by Tom Lewandowski 30 years ago and putting him in fifth place in the state. Victory’s Jeffrey William won the race in 44.73 seconds.
All of this followed an appearance in the 200 freestyle where Burdo was 24th in the qualifying round in 1:46.03 (improving from 1:46.94 entering the meet), only to false start on Saturday and not place, fueling him to his fast 100 free effort.
As for Clarke, he arrived at Webster Schroeder as the top-seeded favorite in the 100 breaststroke, having twice broken the Section III record in that event during the sectional meets and state qualifier Feb. 14 and 16, lowering that mark to 56.52 seconds.
In the qualifying round Friday, Clarke, battling illness, still managed 57.30 seconds and reached the finals with the fourth-fastest time, trailing Section III rival Mike Netto (Watertown), who was third in 57.15 seconds, and two others.
Clarke could not recover in time for the finals on Saturday. Though his time improved to 57.12 seconds, it only got him fifth place, ahead of Netto in eighth (57.84), but behind Huntington’s Gunther Cassell, who won the state title in 56.24 seconds.
In the 200 medley relay, Clarke, Burdo, Dan Hens and Troy Miller qualified fourth in 1:37.11, setting a school record after doing a best time of 1:37.90 during the season. In the finals, the Warriors would claim fifth place, slowing down just a bit to 1:37.14, with Pittsford prevailing in 1:34.47.
Drew Henry joined Clarke, Hens and Burdo to help the Warriors qualify 12th in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:16.80, and the quartet improved to 3:15.29 in the finals, though it still only meant 12th place. Fordham won the race in 3:05.61.
Clarke, Hens, Drew Henry and Liam Henry were 25th in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:30.22, unable to advance despite speeding up from the 1:30.99 with which it qualified.
Junior Dan Roche, Liverpool’s top diver, was fifth after the preliminary round with 225.25 points, just behind Mexico star Nick Rodriguez in fourth. But Roche struggled in the finals and settled for 12th place with 438.35 points as Rodriguez, with a tremendous finish, won the state championship by picking up 504.55 total points. Roche’s teammate, Shayne Watson, was 45th and did not reach the finals.
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