Led by two-time double Section 9 champion Abbie Santos and a lot of great swimming by a deep, deep team, the New Paltz girls won their first-ever Section 9 title on Saturday, November 4 at Valley Central, cruising over second place Monroe-Woodbury 302-250. Long-time coach Don Bartlett was chosen as OCIAA Coach-of-the-Year.
Santos, for the second year in a row, won back-to-back titles in the 50 freestyle (in 24.51) and 100 butterfly (58.91), and anchors the two State qualifying relay teams: the first-place 200 Medley team of Bella Santos, Maia Clasby, Josie LaPolt and Santos (in 1:52.40 — with Abbie Santos hitting the water a yard behind on the final leg 50 and ripping off a sizzling 23.82 for the win); and the fourth-place 200 Freestyle team of Bella Santos, Lydia Brutvan, Kiera Coulard-Smith and Santos (1:41.26).
Also qualifying for States was Maia Clasby in the 100 breaststroke, with a fourth-place 1:08.42; and April Cook in the 500 freestyle, second in 5:23.20. The sole State qualifier for the brand-new seven-girl swim team at Highland (coached by Erin Quinn) was Ashley Benkert in the 100 butterfly (who qualified in season). Highland finished 10th with 131 points.
Other top-eight finishes were: Highland seventh in the 200 Medley with Toni DeMassio, Ava DeMassio, Ava Rosen and Benkert in 1:56.80; Cook third (in 2:00.39) and Toni DeMassio seventh (2:04.60) in the 200 freestyle; Brutvan second (2:15.04), New Paltz’s Zofia Trzewik-Quinn fifth (2:17.18) and Rosen eighth (2:21.32) in the 200 Individual Medley); Benkert fourth (25.43) in the 50 freestyle; Rosen fourth (1:00.06) in the 100 butterfly; Benkert fourth (54.92) in the 100 freestyle; Trzewik-Quinn fifth (5:31.47) and Ava DeMassio eighth (5:31.73) in the 500 freestyle; LaPolt fifth (1:01.47) and Brutvan sixth (1:01.61) in the 100 backstroke; Orla Clasby eighth (1:12.86) in the 100 breaststroke; and New Paltz fifth (3:47.23) in the 400 freestyle relay (with Cook, Coulard-Smith, LaPolt and Trzewik-Quinn) and Highland sixth (3:49.81 — with Benkert, Ava DeMassio, Toni DeMassio and Rosen).
The State Meet is at Ithaca College on Friday-Saturday, November 17-18.