Ward Melville, Garden City girls swim to county titles

Ward Melville swimmers and coaches jump in the Ward Melville swimmers and coaches jump in the pool to celebrate their county championship. Photo Credit: Handout

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The two schools that have dominated high school girls swimming on Long Island for so many years showed their mettle this weekend by again winning county championships. Ward Melville claimed its 21st consecutive Suffolk title, while Garden City won the Nassau championship for the 14th straight season.

Ward Melville's title was highlighted with first-place finishes in the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-freestyle relay at Saturday's county and state qualifiers meet at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. Colleen Lampe, Sarah Schoenfeld, Cassandra Willie and Rachael Bertini qualified for the state meet after clocking 1 minute, 50.36 seconds in the 200-yard medley relay. Runner-up Connetquot -- with Tiffany Catano, Nicole Hetzer, Sarah Aiello and Katherine Green -- touched in 1:50.90 and also qualified for the state meet beginning Friday at Ithaca College.

In the 400-free relay, Willie, Bertini and Lampe were joined by Sara Buckley to win in 3:39.67. Harborfields (Rachel Kuenzler, Kaylee Griskie, Nina Lesser and Nicolette Gibbons) also qualified for the state meet with a time of 3:42.56.

Hetzer also qualified for the state meet in the 100-butterfly, finishing in 58.31 to edge Willie (58.97). Smithtown's Jackie Dominger (59.20), Bertini (59.69) and West Islip's Bridget Whalen (59.75) also qualified.

Northport's Nicole Papsco finished first in the 100-breaststroke in a county record time of 1:04.41 to earn All-American consideration. Shoreham-Wading River's Emily Anderson (1:07.24) and Schoenfeld (1:08.33) also qualified. Papsco also earned All-American consideration with a 2:05.51 time in the 200-individual medley. Hetzer (2:09.57) and Dominger (2:11.09) placed second and third, respectively, with state times.

East Hampton's Marina Preiss (52.49), Miller Place's Nancy Shemet (54.00) and Northport's Melanie Newton (54.36) qualified for the state meet in the 100-freestyle. Preiss (24.51), Shemet (24.73) and Harborfield's Nina Lesser (24.78) made it in the 50-freestyle.

In the 200-freestyle, Babylon's Julianne Koch heads to the state meet with a winning time of 1:53.11. Smithtown's Deirdre Connor (1:54.47) and Newton (1:55.78) also qualified. Connor won the 500-freestyle in 5:06.88. Runner-up Kristen Pozmanter of Ward Melville also qualified in 5:12.67.

Five swimmers qualified in the 100-back, led by Koch's 59.43 clocking. Lampe (59.49), Miller Place's Kelsey Buonaiuto (59.86), Ward Melville's Casey Gavigan (1:00.25) and Half Hollow Hills' Kayleigh Toth (1:00.34) also made the state cut. West Islip (1.41.07 with Sierra Koehler, Andie Cuiffo, Devon Berdolt and Whalen) and Harborfields (1.41.12 with Sierra Weiner, Griskie, Gibbons and Lesser) both qualified in the 200-freestyle relay.

In team scoring, Ward Melville totaled 361 points, followed by Harborfields 249.5, Half Hollow Hills 247, Connetquot 171 and Smithtown 150.

Garden City totaled 500.5 points in winning Saturday's meet at the Nassau County Aquatic Center. The Trojans did not win a single event, but placed second in five events, including three relays that met state qualifying times: the 200-yard medley relay (Marie Clarkson, Jacqueline Vani, Caitlin Powderly, Julia Hall), 400-freestyle relay (Caroline Bonvissuto, Clarkson, Kelly Quinn, Lindsay Schlichte) and the 200 freestyle relay (Hall, Quinn, Bonvissuto, Schlichte). In addition, Schlichte was second in the 200 freestyle in 1:53.60 and Clarkson finished second in the 50 freestyle in 24.62 -- both meeting state qualifying times.

Bellmore-Merrick finished second in team scoring with 466 points, winning the three relays and qualifying for the state meet: the 200 medley relay (Gabbie Toback, Paige Kaplan, Jessica Arana and Jaimie Kaefer in 1:50.52); the 200 freestyle relay (Kaplan, Elizabeth Walsh, Kaefer and Kerry Giovanniello in 1:41.18); and the 400 freestyle relay (Giovanniello, Walsh, Arana and Toback in 3:37.70.).

In addition, Giovanniello won the 200 free in 1:52.88, and Toback was first in the 100 backstroke in time of 56.94 for All-American consideration.

Olivia Chan, who has won no less than five state titles in her career swimming for Sewanhaka, clocked two times for All-American consideration in her final county meet. She won the 200 IM in 2:05.37 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.99.

Jericho's Trudiann Patrick won the 100 butterfly (57.15) and the 50 free (24.62).

Other state qualifyers were Cara Treble and Molly Treble of Massapequa, 200 freestyle; Kaplan, Margaret Aroesty of Long Beach and Manhasset's Madeleine Quinn, 200 IM; Sara Golshahr of Farmingdale and Toback, 50 free; Arana and Kaplan, 100 butterfly; Molly Treble, Giovanniello, Arana and Quinn, 500 freestyle; and Isabel Ren of Plainview and Clarkson, 100 backstroke.

You also may be interested in: