For Maggie Aroesty, records are made to be broken, but that didn’t mean she didn’t want to give her own mark a little bit of a cushion while she could.
The Long Beach senior won the 100-yard breaststroke in 59.85 seconds at the New York State Swimming and Diving Championships, her fourth straight state title in the event she first won as a freshman in a time of 1:04.33. Her winning time improved each season.
“It’s great to see how quickly the sport is evolving,” she said after her events. “I really like to see how New York state is getting so much faster.”
Aroesty also touched the wall first in the state 200 individual medley in 1:59.51, marking her third straight title in that event, and she joined two winning relay teams giving her four gold medals.
Aroesty will continue her swimming career at the University of Southern California.
It seemed like Kristen Romano’s season had been building for one more moment, another appearance at the state championships.
And she did not disappoint with two record-shattering performances, four gold medals (including relays) and being named co-outstanding swimmer of her final state meet. Still, she showed the humbleness of someone who didn’t expect any of it.
Romano won the 100 butterfly in 53.13, breaking the record of 54.35 set in 1990. She followed it by speeding to another state mark in the 100 backstroke in 53.36.
“You say that you don’t really expect to go that fast, but your training says that you’re able to go that fast,” Romano said. “I’m a little bit surprised with how I performed.”
Romano, who will swim at Ohio State, credited her teammates while considering what her records meant.
“I’m excited to see what the next generation has to offer,” she said.
LONG BEACH RELAYS
When Aroesty dove in for the anchor leg of Long Beach’s 400 freestyle relay, her team trailed by a couple of strokes. But from the roar cascading from the stands one could tell that the race was changing as Aroesty made up the deficit.
Aroesty, along with Romano, Caroline Farrell and Joan Cash, pulled off the comeback in 3:25.92, beating Pittsford (3:26.49) and Pelham (3:26.50). The same Long Beach quartet earlier had improved its state record in winning the 200 medley relay in 1:43.21.
But it was the 400 that brought the loudest cheers, the most celebration and the biggest shock for everybody, including the swimmers.
“(Winning) that was gravy. To be a part of that great race, whatever you got, you got,” coach John Skudin said. “We just happened to be the ones that touched first.”