Beyond its regular-season goals, what had motivated the Fayetteville-Manlius girls swim team throughout this season was claiming every single championship prize.
That’s because, a year ago at the Section III state qualifier, the Hornets finished four points behind Jamesville-DeWitt in the battle for the George Falwell Cup.
This time around, no one got close to F-M as it claimed the Falwell Cup Sunday at Nottingham High School, earning 300 points, well clear of J-D’s total of 222 points as Christian Brothers Academy was third with 213 points.
While not winning any individual event, the Hornets had strong finishes throughout the meet, and its depth overcame the efforts of J-D and CBA as the three pulled away from the other teams in the field.
A good example of this was the 200-yard individual medley, where F-M had Lindsay Mathews finish second in two minutes, 12.27 seconds, just behind Mexico’s Alexa Von Holtz (2:11.53) as Addie Ansthel was fifth in 2:17.33 and Katie Ottaviano was eighth in a season-best 2:19.95. That alone gave the Hornets 32 points.
More points came from the 500 freestyle, where Mathews made her way to third place in 5:16.26, beating out sectional Class A champion Kayla Newman (Syracuse), who was fourth in 5:16.37 as Emma Luttrell got sixth place in 5:24.01.
As a last example, F-M’s 400 freestyle relay team, composed of Luttrell, Mathews, Cara Campell and Hannah Kellogg, finished second in a time of 3:42.24, trailing only J-D’s Amelia Hesler, Emma Galletta, Gwen Lister and Sawyer Parker, who won in 3:39.51.
CBA was victorious in the 200 freestyle relay, where Darien Tompkins, Lauren Kelly, Ally Howard and Kailtyn Bushnell posted 1:51.88 to edge J-D as Hesler, Galletta, Lister and Emily Ninestein were second in 1:52.25. F-M had Luttrell, Maya Hrosar, Morgan Kingsley and Michelle Sipple get fourth place in 1:53.65.
Even better was the 200 freestyle relay, where all three local sides qualified for next weekend’s state championship meet at Ithaca College.
In 1:40.94, CBA’s quartet of Bushnell, Tompkins, Kelly and Katelyn Wendt edged J-D, who had Hesler, Galletta, Parker and Julia Antoine go 1:40.97. Sipple, Kingsley, Campell and Kellogg put F-M in third place in 1:41.57.
Kelly won the 50 freestyle in 24.89 seconds over Watertown’s Sarah Kilburn (24.91), with Bushnell third in 25.08 seconds as F-M had Campell take fifth place in 25.27 seconds and Morgan Kingsley (26.14 seconds) finish eighth.
Tompkins earned her victory in the 100 backstroke, where in 1:00.80 she pulled away from a pack that included Hrosar, who gave the Hornets an eighth-place finish in 1:05.41 as Jessey Eisenhut was 12th
This came after Tompkins, in the 100 butterfly, was second in 58.50 seconds behind Van Holtz’s 58.25 seconds as Antshel was fourth (1:01.10) and Luttrell sixth (1:01.70) for F-M, and Kellogg finished 11th.
Hesler gave J-D a first-place finish in the 100 freestyle, going 53.30 seconds to beat Sauquoit Valley’s Caitlyn Longway (54.53) by more than a second. Bushnell was fifth in 55.76 second as Campell (55.67 seconds) was ninth for F-M.
Then Lister, an eighth-grader, was victorious in the 100 breaststroke, going 1:08.37 to hold off Kelly (1:08.85) as J-D’s Sofia Bebla was third in 1:10.07. F-M had Ottaviano in fifth place in 1:11.01 as Kingsley was seventh in 1:11.40.
Also for CBA, Kara Pullano was fourth in the diving competition held Nov. 3 at West Genesee with 379.40 points. F-M’s Alessandra Mannicone was 11th with 348.25 points as J-D’s Abby McGuire (319.86) and CBA’s Sophie Menar (311.20) were 15th and 16th, respectively.
Lister got seventh place in the 200 IM in 2:19.73, while Sawyer Parker was sixth in the 200 freestyle in 2:01.85, just ahead of Kellogg (2:01.86) in seventh place as the Hornets’ Meghan Seidberg was 12th in 2:06.71.
Elsewhere, Parker got 10th place in the 100 freestyle in 56.50 seconds as Ninestein was eighth in the 100 butterfly in 1:02.86, where Galletta posted 1:02.654. Ninestein was 14th and Claire Huyck 16th in the 100 backstroke.