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SportsHigh SchoolSwimming

Bellmore-Merrick swimmers edge Garden City by one point

Georgeanne Zimmerman of Bellmore-Merrick swims to victory in

Georgeanne Zimmerman of Bellmore-Merrick swims to victory in the 100 breaststroke event during a Nassau girls swimming meet against Garden City at Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Photo Credit: James Escher

Georgeanne Zimmerman knew Tuesday’s swim meet between Bellmore-Merrick and Garden City was going to come down to the wire. When rivals collide, what else is supposed to happen?

Ever since I joined the team in seventh grade, Garden City has always been a huge meet. We knew it was going to be real ly close,” Zimmerman said. “We just had to make sure that everyone played their part. It wasn’t about who was the fastest. It was about the team effort.”

Bellmore-Merrick (8-1) put in just enough effort as it edged Garden City, 93-92, with the biggest effort coming from the relay events.

“My goal was to try to win at least two of the three relays,” coach Robert Kaefer said. “I knew it was going to be tough and come down to seconds.”

Seconds is an understatement. The first big event was the 200-yard medley relay, featuring Liz Walsh, Hazel Wilkins, Stephanie Walsh and Zimmerman, with a time of 1:50.05. Garden City’s time was 1.51.07. Both times are state qualifiers.

“I went first in the relay and pushed myself,” Liz Walsh said. “After I swam, I went over to my sister (anchor Steph anie Walsh), and told her I know you can swim fast. I knew we could do it.”

Liz Walsh participated in the second big relay, the 200 freestyle, along with Zimmerman, Wilkins and Alina Tucker. It was another state-qualifier time of 1:41.59. Garden City’s was 1:43.32.

The last event was the 400-yard freestyle medley. At this point, Garden City (7-2) was up by one point.

The event featured Tucker, Walsh, Marley Zimmerman and Kirsten Giovanniello. Their time: 3:46.89; Garden City’s: 3.52.7.

“This win was really special because it’s my senior year (and senior send-off),” Georgeanne Zimmerman said. “I think we are one of the most passionate teams, and that helps us win.”

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