ITHACA, N.Y. -- After the awards ceremony concluded and emotions calmed, Maggie Aroesty's strategy was revealed. Her coaches had told the Long Beach swimmer to conserve energy in the preliminaries to put herself in a good position for the finals of the girls state championships at Ithaca College.
"We actually had her back off in the trials a little bit,'' coach John Skudin said.
A strong indicator of how fast Aroesty is? Even holding back a bit, she posted the fastest time (2 minutes, 4.13 seconds) in the 200-yard individual medley in Friday's prelims. An even stronger indicator? When she let what she calls her "competitive drive'' take over, she improved to 1:58.45 to win the event. In a sport where fractions of seconds are the difference, trimming 5.68 seconds is remarkable.
Aroesty also won the 100 breaststroke in 1:00.00, breaking her own state record that she set earlier this year. She also swam a leg on the winning 200 medley relay, and for the second consecutive year was named the state meet's most outstanding swimmer.
"That was such an incredible honor,'' Aroesty said. "It was definitely a memorable weekend, and there's still things I need to keep working on.''
Kristen Romano, a junior in her first season at Long Beach after transferring from Lancaster High School near Buffalo, won the 100 backstroke in 54.28 and the 100 butterfly in 54.76. She also joined Aroesty, Morgan Harrington and Joan Cash on the 200 medley relay that won in 1:44.63.
"To share the feeling of winning with three other girls,'' Romano said, "it's really just incredible . . . It still hasn't really hit me. But I'm sure on the ride home, I'll just be like, 'Oh my god. That happened.' ''
Massapequa senior Cara Treble won the 200 freestyle in 1:48.01 after finishing second last year. "Winning it my senior year, there's just no describing the feeling,'' said Treble, who also placed third in the 100 free in 50.70.
Sacred Heart freshman Lauryn Johnson placed second in the 100 butterfly in 55.29. She, Aroesty, Romano and Treble all swim for the Long Island Aquatic Club team.
"I was so happy for [Romano]. For us,'' Johnson said. "We're great friends, and now we're the fastest flyers in the state.''
Long Beach finished second in team scoring with 192 points. Pittsford won with 315.5, followed by Pelham (190), Orchard Park (178) and St. Anthony's (151).
Other top finishers from Long Island included Manhasset's Claire McNeary, fourth in the 200 IM (2:05.09); Ward Melville's Casey Gavigan, fourth in the 100 backstroke (55.73); St. Anthony's 200 medley relay, third in 1:48.58; and the Long Beach 400 free relay, third in 3:30.40.