Weekly Feature



2018-02-08 / Sports

Quakers Boys swim team wins ECIC Title

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI
Reporter

The Orchard Park boys swimming and diving team won the Class AA Division at ECIC Championships over the weekend, besting second-place Williamsville East by 48 points. It was a total team effort as the Quakers actually only won one event.

“The kids swam incredible,” Orchard Park coach Phil Aronica said. “We went above all expectations from top to bottom. The biggest thing all year was following the process and all the steps it took. We knew this would be the outcome if things came together. The end result was winning the championship on Saturday.”

The team actually lost to Williamsville East in a dual meet during the season, but used depth and a tremendous performance to get the win Saturday. Jack Thomas was the lone victor on the day, taking the one-meter diving competition with 436.2 points.

The 200-yard medley relay squad of Phil Choroser, Luke Sapio, Joe Blake and Trevor Hoch started things off with a second-place finish in a time of 1:42.32. The 400-yard freestyle relay of Hoch, Stegner, Patrick McCrone and Blake took second place while finishing at 3:26.04.

Josh Stegner was fourth in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:53.24 and second in the 500-yard freestyle at 5:09.16. Sapio was fourth in the 500 at 5:12.58 and fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing at 1:06.94. Blake was fourth in the 200 IM at 2:01.47 and third in the 100-yard butterfly at 54.06.

Hoch took second in the 50-yard freestyle at 22.68

The Orchard Park boys swimming and diving team celebrates with its trophy after winning the ECIC Championship Saturday at Sweet Home High School. The Quakers bested second-place Williamsville East by 48 points. They’ll next turn their attention to the Class AA Championship and the Section VI State Qualifier over the next two weekends. Pictured is: Head Coach Phil Aronica, Assistant Coaches Dan Hodson and Lindsey Ardus, Josh Stegner, Phil Choroser, Joe Swetz, Jack Thomas, Matthew Mikulec, Luke Bubar, Owen Clark, Andrew Descovich, Nich Descovich, Colin Foley, Patrick McCrone, Ethan Hansen, Liam Wojciechowski, Trevor Hoch, Matthew Bouton, Pat Johnson, Liam Sippel, Riker Smith, Brian Murphy, Joe Blake, Luke Sapio and Tyler Conti. seconds and third the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 50.58 seconds. Choroser was fourth in the 100-yard backstroke at 56.49 seconds.

“The combination of the format along with it being a total team effort helped us out,” Aronica said. “I’ve been telling my kids before the meet that every single person here needs to do their part, we’re not going to have a couple people who carry the load. Every person has to step up and do their part if we want to pull this out.

“We prepared the kids for this and we have a lot of phenomenal swimmers on the team. We just had to make sure we were on the same page. We had to step up and be team players. It was super important to be a team and not a group of individuals put together. That’s what ended up happening Saturday. There were really too many good performances to pick any that stand out. We prepared the kids that had not yet qualified for sectionals to hit their fastest time, but everyone did. In terms of overall performance, no one really stood out. That exemplified being a team and coming together and swimming for each other.”

The team will next compete at the Class AA Championships this weekend and then the Section VI State Qualifier Meet starting Thursday. Right now, the team has 14 of 29 swimmers qualified for that sectional meet. The goal is to get as many more as possible while at the Class meet this weekend.

“The plan for that meet is to get anyone who has not made sectionals to be qualified,” Aronica said. “That is the priority. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we get those kids qualified. We also want to use the meet to maximize our prep as we get ready for sectionals.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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