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Long Beach’s Kristen Romano, Maggie Aroesty star in state swimming

Long Beach's Kristen Romano is congratulated on her

Long Beach's Kristen Romano is congratulated on her state record win in the finals of the 100-yard backstroke during the NYSPHSAA 2016 Swimming & Diving Championships at Ithaca College on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. Credit: Adrian Kraus

ITHACA, N.Y. — Kristen Romano and Maggie Aroesty had a final opportunity to add their names to the history book at the girls swimming state championships at Ithaca College Saturday, and they did just that.

Romano set two individual state records, while Aroesty bettered a record she established a year ago. For good measure they combined with Caroline Farrell and Joan Cash to win the 200-yard freestyle relay setting yet another record. In all, Long Beach swimmers won six of the 12 events.

“We came in today, we were very focused. We were ready to go and we were excited,” said Romano, who was named co-outstanding swimmer of the meet. “We just wanted to swim fast.”

The 200 free relay opened the meet with Long Beach seeded No. 1 after its state-record time of 1 minute, 44.02 seconds in Friday’s preliminaries. Romano and Aroesty (seniors) established the pace on the first two legs, with Farrell (a senior) swimming third. The anchor was left to Cash, an eighth-grader, and she brought it home in an All-American time of 1:43.21. Orchard Park was runner-up in 1:45.93.

Romano won the 100 butterfly in 53.13, topping the mark of 54.35 by Scotia’s Richelle Depold that had stood since 1990. Romano also touched first in the 100 backstroke in 53.36 (another All-American time), breaking the 2008 mark of Fox Lake’s Kim Holden (53.98).

“Wow. Pinch me,” Long Beach coach John Skudin said. “It was a great voyage, and I just enjoyed the ride.”

Aroesty came into the meet owning the 100 breaststroke as three-time state champion in the event. She made it four straight title by clocking 59.85, improving on her state record time of 1:00.00 from a year ago. The All-American time was five seconds faster than what she swam in winning as a freshman.

Earlier, Aroesty clinched the 200 individual medley in 1:59.51 (an All-American time) for her third straight title in that event. “It’s great to see how quickly the sport is evolving,” she said. “I really like to see how New York state is getting so much faster.”

The Long Beach relay team came together once more, winning the 400 free. Aroesty swam anchor and touched in 3:25.92, just ahead of Pittsford (3:26.49).

“I think that was another great moment where it was our team coming together and feeding off each other’s energy,” said Romano.

“The first and last relays, it was a perfect end to our last states,” Aroesty said.

Romano and Aroesty have been the class of the state for years, and both competed in the Olympic trials. Romano will swim at Ohio State, while Aroesty heads to the University of Southern California.

“We’ll cross paths at (the NCAA championships),” Aroesty said. “I know it for sure.”

Oher top area finishers included Northport freshman Chloe Stepanek, who placed second in the 200 freestyle in 1:50.85 and fifth in the 100 free.

“It’s good to see where you are with different races because you have to learn how to swim a lot of different things, a lot of different events,” Stepanek said.

Bellmore-Merrick’s Elizabeth Walsh was third in the 100 backstroke in 56.27, Sacred Heart’s Lauryn Johnson was third in the 500 free in 4:56.87 and Great Neck South’s Jessica Whang was fourth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.19.

Long Beach finished third in team scoring with 192 points behind Pittsford's 330 and Pelham's 198.


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