OSWEGO, NY – Oswego High School swimmers displayed a record-breaking performance as they were among the elite at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.
Drake Becksted, Reeve Callen, Sean Stegemoller and Zach Gerber qualified to compete in the state meet and turned in sensational performances.
Coach Rick Klein was proud of the outstanding efforts as he noted, “The team swam well enough to outscore all of the other teams from Section 3 and among all of the high schools in the state as the team came in fifth overall.”
Klein continued, “During the meet the team broke four school records.”
Junior Becksted finished fourth in the 50 free with a 20.84 to not only break his own school record, but qualify as an automatic All-American.
Becksted also finished third in the 100 free with a school record time of 45.81. Callen had a personal best in finishing tenth in the 100 free with a 47.93.
Klein said, “In both of his events Drake really came through, dropping time in both. At his level a two-tenth of a drop is a big drop. It is hard to swim fast two days in a row and keep up your speed. Reeve stepped up and swam great. If Drake had not been on the team Reeve would have set a new school record. That is how fast he swam.”
Oswego’s freestyle relay teams have been a force to be reckoned with throughout the season regularly ranking among the best in Section III.
However, they really turned on the jets in the pool at the state meet to break school records in each event.
Klein said, “The quartet of Drake Becksted, Zach Gerber, Sean Stegemoller and Reeve Callen shattered the school records in both the 200 (1:27.03) and 400 (3:13.39) Freestyle Relays.”
The coach continued, “I knew that they had it in them. I just had to get it into their minds that they could swim that fast. Prior to the sectional meet the fastest time they had in the 400 free was 3:26.94. They qualified for the states at the sectionals with a 3:16, a 10 second drop, it was amazing, but I knew they still had more in them.”
Klein noted, “I just had to convince them that they could do it. We practiced very hard for a week after the sectional meet and then tapered. Everyone was swimming well. I knew everyone was going to get faster. I just didn’t know how fast we could go.”
In the 200 Freestyle relay the team finished third overall in the state with a time of 1:27.03. In the 400 Freestyle their time of 3:13.39 gave them a sixth place finish at the meet.
Stegemoller also swam in the 100 butterfly and had a 54.99.
Klein said,”With Sean’s work ethic, I just knew he was going to go faster.”
The coach noted, “Zach Gerber has come out of no where. After I convinced him how fast he really could be he jumped on the bandwagon and has gotten faster and faster.”
Klein summarized the performance by saying, “The boys had practices very hard, tapered well and all ended up swimming fantastic times. They were ready both physically and mentally to swim fast and that is exactly what they did. They really deserved to swim as fast as they did. They were so much fun to watch as they swam out of their minds. During each of the races it sent chills up my back because they were doing so well.”
Indoor Track in Action
Oswego standout Cory Keefe completed a very successful indoor track season Saturday with a strong performance at the New York State Indoor Track and Field Championships, held at Cornell University’s Barton Hall.
Competing in the 55 meter hurdles, Keefe turned in a fine personal best time of 8.04, to finish fifth in his heat against the state’s elite, just missing advancing to the semi finals by two places.
“Cory has had an outstanding season” said Coach Jim McCaul. “Only a sophomore, Cory has the potential to become an outstanding track and field athlete. He is developing the strength, technique and confidence to run with the leaders.”