Area swimmers set for sectional meet

CLIFTON PARK – The area’s three girls swimming and diving teams will compete at Shenendehowa High School today through Saturday in the Section II Division II championship meet,

The event begins today with the 1-meter diving competition and continues Friday with the swimming preliminaries. It concludes Saturday with the championship finals.

Johnstown will send just six individuals into the competition, though senior Erica Askew has already earned a spot for the state championship meet in Ithaca on Nov. 22 and 23.

Askew posted a state qualifying time in the 100-yard breaststroke earlier this season, with an effort of 1:08.18. Askew is seeded second in the event for this weekend. Askew also is seeded first in the 200 individual medley.

“Erica Askew has a very strong chance of winning two events during the meet and we are hoping she will also qualify for states in a second event – the 200 individual medley,” Johnstown coach Julianna Popp said.

Askew will be joined by Cecelia Mowrey, Julia Airey, Erica Wagner, Emily Miles and Emma Rizzo.

Mowrey is seeded seventh in the 200 individual medley and eighth in the 500 freestyle, while Miles is seeded ninth in the 100 freestyle and 10th in the 100 breaststroke.

Airey (100 butterfly, 100 freestyle), Wagner (200 freestyle, 100 butterfly) and Rizzo (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) all will compete in two events for Johnstown.

“I believe we will do quite well in sectionals. We currently have several swimmers seeded very high in their events,” Popp said. “We are looking to have several top-16 finishes in sectionals as well as some top-eight finishes.”

Gloversville-Mayfield will have 12 swimmers competing in individual events.

“This is a very young team with only having one senior and one junior representing at sectionals, the rest of the team is made up of five sophomores and four freshmen, with Jenni Vickery as our lone eighth-grader,” Gloversville-Mayfield coach Mike Harrington said. “Only half of this sectional team has experience at this meet, not to mention swimming our taper. The girls who have had the experience know how our taper hits and we should see some significant time drops on Friday.”

Sam McGillis will compete in the 1-meter diving competition today. She is the lone area diver in the event.

Sara Curtis was seeded 10th in the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle for the Lady Sea Dragons, while Desiree Ives was seeded ninth in the 100 backstroke and 16th in the 500 freestyle.

“The key for us right now is getting as many girls into the top 16 to gain more experience for the road ahead,” Harrington said. “With the expected time drops that we historically see from this taper, there should be some reshuffling after prelims which will give us a better look into where will we end up overall.”

Sam Stewart (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle), Jennifer Vickery (200 freestyle, 100 butterfly), Jenna Cordone (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), Taylor Wadsworth (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle), Destiny Armstrong (50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke), Kylie Cotugno (100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke) and Jada Diodato (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke) all qualified in two individual events for Gloversville-Mayfield.

Mikayla Becker (100 backstroke) and Alex Vincent (500 freestyle) also will compete for the Lady Sea Dragons.

“The division this year looks like it will go to Albany Academy with Queensbury battling for second with Mohonasen-Schalmont. Mohonasen-Schalmont just moved down to our division with brought with it a number of fast swimmers which helped to drop the cut time to get into the top 16,” Harrington said. “Despite the meet getting faster and harder to get back into finals, it helps to show our younger girls what is possible with continued sacrifice and hard work. It should be a fast meet and one which will serve to teach our young program what is obtainable.”

Amsterdam will have six swimmers competing in individual events at the meet.

Mianna Conti will swim in the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle for Amsterdam, while Kayla Dzikowicz (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle), Gulianna Pritchard (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke) and Justine Youngs (200 individual medley, 100 backstroke) also will compete in two individual events.

Ashley Adair and Paige Bertuch will compete in the 100 backstroke for Amsterdam.

“I’m expecting personal best times from all of the girls,” Amsterdam coach Nancy Spagnola said. “I expect Kayla Dzikowicz, Justine Youngs and Gulianna Pritchard to have a very good meet.”

All three area teams also will field relay teams.

In the 200 medley relay, Johnstown is seeded seventh, Gloversville-Mayfield is seeded ninth and Amsterdam is seeded 12th.

In the 200 freestyle relay, Gloversville-Mayfield is seeded seventh, Johnstown 10th and Amsterdam 11th.

In the 400 freestyle relay, Johnstown was seeded sixth, Gloversville-Mayfield ninth and Amsterdam 11th.

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