By Perry L. Novak
Utica – Holland Patent girls swimming and diving coach Mark Celecki entered Tuesday’s Frontier League South Division meet with many unbeaten seasons to his credit and even more league titles. Thanks to a steady effort by his girls, the 33-year veteran added another to his gaudy resume.
“I don’t keep track of those things,” Celecki said after his Golden Knights beat Whitesboro 98-73 at the Utica College pool.
Maybe so, but every FL team that tried to track HP down this year failed as depth proved decisive once again. The Golden Knights (10-0, 11-1) took control of the meet at the start by winning three of the first four events and grabbing other high finishes for a 22-point lead. Nicole Ball’s win in the diving pushed the edge to 28 points and the hosts could not challenge down the stretch.
“Last year we split with them, and they’ve been the premier (FL) team the past few years,” Celecki said. “Graduation rates hit the other teams more this year than us.”
HP entered the meet with 23 swimmers and four teamed for a 2:19.67 to win the 200 medley relay.
Devyn Alberico, Kathryn Buchanan, Jenna Gotte and Lindsey Marsden notched the opening win and Sarah Harter followed with a 2:18.88 to claim the 200 free. Alberico won the 200 IM in 2:44.37 before Sara Heaton gave the hosts their first victory in the 50 with a 28.60.
The winners in the first four events all won easily, but nothing like Nicole Ball did for HP in the diving. The sophomore was the only diver competing for either team and she won with a 192.15. Two of her best dives came near the end. She had scores of 7.0 and 7.5 on an inward dive in the pike position and a reverse somersault in the tuck position.
After the break, the meet saw its closest race in the 100 butterfly. Gotte and Whitesboro’s Corinne Filippelli were tied at the first three turns then the Whitesboro swimmer pulled away to win by 1.14 with a 1:20.01.
“I was aware,” Gotte said of her thoughts about the closeness of the race. “I tried to keep my turnover rate good, but hers was better. But I feel I really worked hard and I was happy with my time.”
Marsden then had her best time of the year to win the 100 free for HP. “Every time I get in the pool I try to go faster,” Marsden said after her 1:02.57. “I don’t quit. it hurts, but I don’t give up.”
Sarah Harter kept HP on the winning path with a 5:51.14 in the 500 free, topping Whitesboro’s Sara Heaton by nine seconds.
Harter, Kristen Bartell, Riley Lanckton and Eva Capuana then teamed to win the 200 free relay for HP in 2:00.00, one second ahead of Whitesboro’s team of Holly Clark, Emma Uvanni, Margaret Mull and Heaton.
Alberico and Filippelli notched their second individual wins of the evening in the 100 backstroke and breaststroke respectively before Whitesboro (5-5) closed the meet by winning the 400 free relay. Clark, Heaton, Gwenyth Evans and Filippelli teamed for a 4:40.17.
“I thought they did good,” Whitesboro’s first-year head coach Mindy Green said. “They’ve put in some hard work and showed the effort.”
Green cited Audrey Brazinski’s effort in the butterfly as one of the best of the day for the hosts. “She decreased her time about five seconds,” Green said.
Both teams have non-league meets left before sectionals begin.
HP 98, Whitesboro 73
200 MR: HP (Devyn Alberico, Kathryn Buchanan, Jenna Gotte, Lindsey Marsden) 2:19.67
200 Free: Sarah Harter (HP) 2:18.88
200 IM: Alberico (HP) 2:44.37
50 Free: Sara Heaton (W) 28.60.
Diving: Nicole Ball (HP) 192.15
100 Butterfly: Corinne Filippelli (W) 1:20.01
100 Free: Marsden (HP) 1:02.57
500 Free: Sarah Harter (HP) 5:51.14
200 FR: HP (Harter, Kristen Bartell, Riley Lanckton, Eva Capuana) 2:00.00
100 Backstroke: Alberico (HP) 1:16.86
100 Breaststroke: Filippelli (W) 1:20.11
400 FR: (W) Clark, Heaton, Gwenyth Evans, Filippelli) 4:40.17.
Records: HP 10-0, 11-1; Whitesboro 5-5.