BY KEVIN PRISE email@example.com
Medina Journal-Register — BARKER — It was a battle of two strong swimming programs in a Niagara-Orleans League-opening swim contest between Barker and Medina on Tuesday evening.
Throughout the evening, the meet was tightly contested, with swimmers on both sides turning in strong efforts. Particularly in the girls competition, the result truly could have gone either way, up until the bitter end.
But Barker swimmers stepped up a bit more down the stretch, leading to a Raider sweep, 90-80 on the girls side and 94-75 on the boys side.
For the Medina girls team, it marked the first defeat of the young season. Veteran Lady Mustangs coach Mary Dooley knew it would be a battle, and said that even though her team suffered a loss, she was pleased with the inspired effort displayed at the Barker pool.
“Our girls swam well,” Dooley said. “It was close right up until the last event; with it being just 10 points, it could have gone either way. The kids are swimming hard, and we feel pretty good going into league play.”
Dooley joked that she couldn’t sleep all weekend leading up to the contest, and the meet’s beginning lived up to the hype, with Medina and Barker swimmers splitting the first six races at three apiece. Medina’s Amanda McCauley won the 200 freestyle, Emma Gardner won the 50 freestyle, and Andrea Toussaint won the 100 butterfly.
Conversely, Barker emerged victorious in the contest-opening 200 medley relay, while spirited Barker senior Brooke Targus won the 200 individual medley and Emma Jenks won the 100 freestyle.
But from there, it was all Barker, as the Lady Raiders won the last five events to secure the victory and improve to 5-0 on the season, 1-0 in league play. Most of the races were neck-and-neck right up until the final few meters, as fans and teammates cheered wildly in hopes of providing the necessary ounce of extra motivation.
Dooley pointed to Barker’s depth as an advantage, comparing the Lady Raiders’ 31-girl roster to Medina’s 20-girl team. Still, she wasn’t complaining, knowing that her team swam hard and that the season has a long ways to go.
“We had good times today, and we were in it,” Dooley said. “It was close. We’ll get another chance at them later in the year, at home. It’s still early.”
On the boys side, Medina’s Austin Brown started things well with a victory in the 200 individual medley, and Chase Pecoraro won the 100 backstroke, but Barker emerged on top as the meet drew toward its end. The Mustangs had plenty of second-place finishes but just couldn’t get the necessary victories to mount a serious challenge.
Barker’s 12-boy roster showed itself to be quite the versatile bunch, highlighted by Casey Webb, who secured individual wins in the 50, 100 and 500 freestyle, in addition to a team victory in the opening 200 medley relay.
Despite the loss, first-year Medina boys coach Aaron Moessinger took plenty of positives away from the performance.
“We knew Barker would be strong,” Moessinger said. “We kept it close; we did well, and we had some good times.”
The Medina boys team falls to 2-2 on the season, 0-1 in league play, while the girls are now 3-1 overall, 0-1 in the league. The Barker boys join their female counterparts in remaining undefeated at 5-0 overall.
Roy-Hart 94, Albion 51
MIDDLEPORT — Traditional standouts Lyle Wagner and Roy Phipps led the way, as Roy-Hart opened its N-O season strong with a dominant victory over Albion on Tuesday evening.
After Roy-Hart started things off with a victory in the 200 medley relay, Phipps won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:56.60, and Wagner followed suit by winning the 200 individual medley at 2:21.56.
Kyle Shanahan of Roy-Hart took the 50 freestyle at 27.08, and Phipps emerged victorious in the 100 butterfly at 58.92 seconds. Wagner displayed his endurance with a time of 5:37.34 that won the 500 freestyle, and just like that, the Rams are 5-0 on the season, 1-0 in league play.
Roy-Hart coach Bruce Matthews knows his team will be in for a challenge when it travels to Barker for another league contest tomorrow afternoon, and he’s looking forward to it, as is the team as a collective.
“We’re excited to go up to Barker,” Matthews said.
Albion drops to 0-5 overall, 0-1 in league competition.
Roy-Hart 99, Albion 52
MIDDLEPORT — The Lady Rams matched the strong swimming displayed by their male counterparts, cruising to victory over Albion in a Niagara-Orleans League-opening contest on Tuesday evening.
Calee Coleman stole the show for Roy-Hart, winning the 200 freestyle at 2:11.96 and the 500 freestyle at 5:46.11, along with contributing to team victories in the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.
Lindsay Yates won the 100 freestyle and 50 freestyle, while Alex Hill won the 200 individual medley, Melissa Zakrzewski won the 100 butterfly and Courtney VanBuren took the 100 backstroke.
The Lady Rams improve to 5-0 on the season, 1-0 in league play, while Albion remains winless at 0-5 overall, 0-1 in the league.
Newfane 54, Barker/Roy-Hart 22
NEWFANE — Coach Sal Montesani’s Panther squad opened its Niagara-Orleans League slate strong with a victory over the newly merged Barker/Roy-Hart squad on Tuesday evening.
In the 195-pound weight class, Newfane’s Jordan Crawley pinned Barker/Roy-Hart’s Joe Dinmayo in 2:20, while Newfane’s Dylan Schank (170) pinned Adam Mikall in just 30 seconds.
Newfane’s Katrell Jackson scored a 15-5 victory over Kyle Herian at 160 pounds, and Newfane’s Andrew Gilyon earned a 10-4 decision over Jake Stern at 126 pounds.
At 145 pounds, Newfane’s Cyrus Simmons pinned Ryan Ulrich in 2:39, and the Panthers’ Paul Dunbar (138) pinned Will Jensen in 2:41.
At 285 pounds, Barker/Roy-Hart’s James Brady pinned Casey Kubiniec in 1:03, and B/R-H’s Cameron Swick (132) pinned Tyler Simmons at 2:23. Barker/Roy-Hart’s Tyler Choate (106) earned a 14-0 decision win over Zach Brown.
Other results included Barker/Roy-Hart’s Brent Bachman earning an 8-2 decision win over Jordan Camarra at 113 pounds, and B/R-H’s Hayden Hathaway earning a narrow 7-6 decision win over Jordan Johnstone at 120 pounds. Barker/Roy-Hart’s D.J. Gardner (152) lost to Newfane’s Nate Martin on a technical fall in 4:45, and Newfane’s Jake Warner (220) pinned Barker/Roy-Hart’s Nattapat Aurnappakhun in 25 seconds.
Newfane’s Jake Kubala (182) and Julian Nixon (99) won by forfeit.
The Panthers improve to 1-0 in league play, while Barker/Roy-Hart is now 0-1 in the N-O league.