Gray qualifies for state swim meet in 2 events

Fonda-Johnstpwn’s Alayna Gray poses with her Section II championship patch after winning the 50-yard freestyle Saturday at Shenendehowa High School. Gray also won the 100-yard freestyle to qualify for the state championships in both events. (Photo submitted)

CLIFTON PARK — Fonda-Johnstown’s Alayna Gray brought home a pair of Division II sectional swimming championships and qualified to compete at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships Nov. 16 and 17 at Ithaca College.

Gray, a junior, touched the wall first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.64 and the 100-yard freestyle with a winning time of 52.42. Both times improved her team records and kept her undefeated in both events this season.

“Overall in New York state, she is ranked third in the 50-yard freestyle and 11th in the 100-yard freestyle,” FoJo coach Ken Hoefs said. “Her remaining goal for this season is to win at least one state championship. She has worked hard all season and the sectional championships are the reward for the work she has put in.”

Queensbury won the Section II Division II team title, while Gloversville-Mayfield placed seventh, Fonda-Johnstown finished in ninth and Amsterdam was 10th.

Joining Gray with top 16 finishes at the meet for FoJo were Sophia Frenyea with 11th place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:23.56 and and the 100-yard breaststroke with a personal best time of 1:18.25. Angie Atwood placed 16th in the 50-yard freestyle with a personal best of 29.15 and Julia Norris finished 16th in the 100-yard freestyle with a new personal best of 1:04.39.

The Fonda-Johnstown 400-yard relay team of Abigail Rizzo, Atwood, Atwood, Frenyea and Gray finished sixth with a time of 4:08.35.

Also competing at the championship meet for Fonda-Johnstown but not advancing to the finals were Rizzo (200 freestyle/2:27.09), Michaela VanGorder (100 backstroke/1:19.21) and Megan O’Connell (100 freestyle/1:09.78).

Gloversville-Mayfield’s Isabelle Willis earned a pair of podium finishes with placing fourth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:49.58 and sixth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:13.56. Mariana Benvenuto finished ninth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:06.46 and 11th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:33.71.

Eighth-grader Kamri Ahrens posted a third-place finish in the Division II standings in 1-meter diving with a 310.90 total.

The Lady Sea Dragons’ 400-yard freestyle relay team of Abigail Seltzer, Nature Conyne, Miracle Conyne and Willis placed eighth with a time of 4:33.36. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Kaylie Sturgess-Mansell, Caitlyn Fonda, Willis and Benvenuto finished eighth with a time of 1:58.34.

The Amsterdam 200-yard freestyle relay team of Ferneidy Dotel, Mackenzie Farina, Kelly Kilgallen and Azia Aldi placed ninth with their time of 2:00.66 and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Julianna Busseno, Farina, Dotel and Kilgallen placed ninth with a time of 4:490.60.

Shenendehowa topped Niskayuna 441-407 to win the Section II Division I championship.

By Paul Wager

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