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Romano, Aroesty, Cash still making names for themselves

Long Beach's Kristen Romano swims in a preliminary

Long Beach's Kristen Romano swims in a preliminary heat of the 100-yard butterfly during the NYSPHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships at Ithaca College on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Credit: Adrian Kraus

ITHACA, N.Y. — There’s a scoreboard that hangs above the Ithaca College pool to commemorate the fastest times recorded there. Beneath it Friday sat Nassau County’s state championship swim team, including three athletes who made their marks last season.

Kristen Romano, Maggie Aroesty and Joan Cash have had their names on the scoreboard since last fall when they set the state record in the 200-yard medley relay. They had no idea that their names were listed above them, and it didn’t matter much once the meet began. That year-old record was broken when the trio teamed with relay newcomer Caroline Farrell to clock 1 minute, 44.63 seconds and another time of 1:44.02 to open the state championship preliminaries.

“Is it really? No way,” Romano said when she learned of the scoreboard listing. “That’s so cool. I had no idea.”

The Long Beach swimmers didn’t need any reminders of last year to get going. The team spent the week easing the workload in training, focusing on starts and turns, and then spent eight hours on a bus to get to Ithaca.

“We were all pretty excited to get in the water,” Romano said. The Bellmore-Merrick relay team also qualified for Saturday’s finals by placing third in 1:47.12.

For Long Beach, the pace didn’t subside as the day progressed, with Romano taking first in the 100 butterfly in 55.20 and the 100 backstroke in 55.17. Aroesty placed second in the 200 individual medley in 2:02.92 and in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.44.

“Today we were kind of focused more on the relays, setting up for a good meet tomorrow,” Aroesty said. “I definitely have a little bit more in my individual events.”

Sacred Heart’s Lauryn Johnson was second in the 500 freestyle in 4:55.40. She was also fourth in the 100 fly in 56.06. She had a one-race break after her first race before swimming the 500 and the 200 freestyle relay back-to-back.

“I don’t think it’s tough considering I’ve trained a lot of distance in practice,” Johnson said. “It shouldn’t be that tough to go from one race to another.”

St. Anthony’s 200 free relay of Katherine Meyers, Jillian Smerechniak, Emily Bardak and Briana Gellineau placed third in 1:37.76. Garden City was fifth in 1:38.18, breaking its own Nassau record of 1:38.78 set two years ago.

Chloe Stepanek was second in the 200 free in 1:50.67 and third in the 100 free in 51.62.

Huntington’s Patricia Arceri placed fifth in the diving final with a 480.60 score, followed by Cold Spring Harbor’s Camille Roberts in eighth with a 462.30.

“You just have to be consistent and that’s what I did today,” Arceri said.


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