Frontier League Swimming

Posted on Jan 8 2016 - 3:20am by Perry L Novak
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Holland Patent – Thursday’s boys swim meet between Rome Free Academy and Holland Patent figured to be close as the league rivals entered with almost identical records and HP having won the first meeting with a victory in the final relay.

It was close again, and the hosts won 54-47.

“At their place I had to split my relays,” HP coach Mark Celecki said of a difference in the meets. “Today strategy was different because of personnel I had and didn’t have. I figured the meet a two-point (differential).


Holland Patent's Dan Redmond finishes keeps an eye on the inevitable during a dive

Holland Patent’s Dan Redmond keeps an eye on the inevitable during a dive (Photo By Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging)


The difference this time came late in the meet as the Golden Knights (4-2, 5-4) took first and second in the 500 and first and third in the 200 free relay. That put HP ahead 43-32 and the meet was all but clinched with the Golden knights’ ace, Christopher Celecki, still available to swim in two more events.

“That was my best time in the (100) breaststroke,” Celecki said. “I was working on my technique during vacation. And my IM was about right. I’m feeling strong for sectionals

Cameron Kenealy opened the meet by easily winning the diving for RFA with a 169.80. His best effort came in the last round and put RFA ahead 4-3. RFA’s best effort in the next event, the 200 medley relay, came in the last leg, but HP built too big a lead for a second straight win. Zac Pearo, Celecki, Dan Redmond and Bill Tolpa won the event for HP with a 1:55.19, but the visitors went 2-3 to fall just a point behind to stay close. HP then stretched its lead with a 1-3 finish in the 200 IM as Alex Smith won with a 2:10.91.


Rome's Ryan Gannon works hard during the 200 individual medley

Rome’s Ryan Gannon works hard during the 200 individual medley (Photo By Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging)


Celecki stretched it again with a solid showing in the 200 IM as he posted a 2:16.78 and won by six seconds. But RFA went 2-3 and the hosts could not increase their edge.

The Black Knights tightened the score with a 1-3 finish in the 50. Amelio Ripe had a great race and edged HP’s Tolpa by just .06 to win and RFA also took third to cut HP’s lead to 21-20 at the break. The Golden Knights kept their slim lead in the 100 butterfly by going 2-3, but RFA’s Ryan Gannon won easily with a 1:04.25. The teams switched roles in the next event as Tolpa won a great duel against Jackson Sorbello and Lipe to win the 100 freestyle. The junior swam a 55.66 to win by less than a second against both RFA athletes to keep HP barely ahead.

That set up the turning point of the January 7 showdown. The 500 freestyle figured to be close and it was, but when HP went 1-2 behind Smith and Connor Marsh the meet wasn’t. Smith clocked a 6:18.58 and Marsh took second by .26 to give the hosts a 9-1 edge in points in the event.

“It was great, the 500,” Celecki said of his teammates. “It was Alex’s first time doing it and Connor did great. It was an exciting meet with RFA.”


Billy Tolpa catches a breath during the 200 freestyle relay

Billy Tolpa catches a breath during the 200 freestyle relay (Photo By Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging)


When Tolpa, Andrew Ball, Smith and Redmond swam a 1:49.42 to win the 200 free relay, and HP’s other team took third, the lead was 43-32 with three events left in the meet.

Pearo staged a superb comeback to win the 100 backstroke in 1:08.06 and Celecki cruised to victory in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:09.75.. That kept Coach Celecki’s team up by 11 and the victory was clinched. RFA’s team of Gannon, Ripe, Sorbello and Deven Desai closed out the meet with a 3:50.43 to win the 400 freestyle relay.

“The first time we lost by only four,” RFA coach Michelle Moore said. “I came back with the same lineup. I had a lot of personal bests, so we did well.”

HP 54, RFA 47

Diving: Cameron Kenealy (RFA) 169.80

200 MR: Zac Pearo, Christopher Celecki, Dan Redmond, Bill Tolpa (HP) 1:55.19

200 Free: Alex Smith (HP) 2:10.91

200 IM: Celecki (HP) 2:16.78

50 Free: Amelio Ripe (RFA) 25.09

100 Butterfly: Ryan Gannon (RFA) 1:04.25

100 Freestyle: Tolpa (HP) 55.66

500 Freestyle: Smith (HP) 6:18.58

200 FR: HP (Tolpa, Andrew Ball, Smith, Redmond) 1:49.42

100 Backstroke: Pearo (HP) 1:08.06

100 Breaststroke: Celecki (HP) 1:09.75

400 FR: RFA (Gannon, Ripe, Sorbello, Deven Desai) 3:50.43