A year ago, this would have been a blowout loss.
Instead, Fulton’s varsity swim meet with Weedsport came down to the final races before falling just short, 92-87.
This year’s edition of the Red Raiders is unlike any in the school’s history. The team is now a combined squad with Fulton’s girls team. The combination gives Fulton a squad large and deep enough to compete for wins against many of the teams in their division.
With a two-meet win streak behind them, Fulton hoped to make it three with a win over a similarly mixed-sex Warrior team.
But the Raiders fell behind in the early events and were 18 points behind after giving up a 1-2 finish in the 100 yard freestyle to Weedsport. But with just five events remaining, Fulton began a comeback.
Ross Gardner and David Tallents went 1-2 in the 500 yard freestyle to cut the lead to 12. Two events later, Lacey Reich, Grace Trepasso and Anna Guernsey pulled off a 1-2-3 finish to take maximum points from the 100 yard backstroke and pull Fulton within three points.
Courtney Beckwith’s second place finish in the 100 yard breaststroke helped Fulton stay within 3 points with the final event, the 400 yard free relay, to go.
Fulton needed a 1-2 finish in the relay to win; anything else would allow Weedsport to squeeze out a win.
But the Warrior first relay team pulled out a win by a touch over Fulton anchor Jake Strauss to take the points they needed for a five point win.
Gardner and Reich were joined by Fulton’s star diver, Steven Hanczyk, as the sole first place winners.
Hanczyk continues to reach for a school record. He scored 223.20 in the six dive event, including a strong score on a 2-and-a-half somersault on his final dive.
He will dive a difficult program Friday when Fulton takes on Mexico in the Tigers’ home pool.
That Fulton was in the meet until the very end, despite first place finishes in only 3 of 12 events, shows the new depth of the team. Its ability to score points from second and third places, an ability it hasn’t had in years, gives the team a chance to win many of its meets this year.