Speed Demons Sink Watertown Sharks During First Meet of Season

Submitted by the Fulton YMCA Speed Demons

FULTON, NY – The Fulton YMCA Speed Demons brought in strong results Saturday, sinking the Watertown YMCA Sharks in points during its first dual meet of the season.

“We won five age groups during the meet, including D girls, C girls, B girls, A girls and A boys,” head coach Cathy Peterson said. “We won in overall points, 351-320.”

YMCA community swimming teams are divided according to age and sex into 10 groups: swimmers ages 5-8 make up the E boys and girls; ages 9-10, D; ages 11-12, C; 13-14, B; and 15-18, A.

Several swimmers brought in first place finishes and close races against the Watertown team.

Among the closest races, C boy Ross Gardner missed second place and took third by 0.02 seconds in the 50-yard breaststroke. Gardner missed second and took third place in the 50-yard freestyle race by 0.10 seconds.

In the 50-yard backstroke for D boys, Sage Hourihan missed second place and took third by 0.03 seconds. In the 25-yard backstroke, E-boy Kenneth Verdoliva won first place by 0.06 seconds.

Other close races included:

  • E girls, 25-yard backstroke – Makaylee Schmell missed second and took third by 0.95 seconds
  • E boys, 25-yard freestyle – John Licciardello missed third and took fourth by 0.67 seconds
  • D boy, 50-yard freestyle – Andrew Distin missed second and took third by 0.89 seconds

Bringing in first-place finishes during the meet were:

  • E boys – Jacob May (2), Kenneth Verdoliva
  • D girls – Casey Jones, Brooke Morrisseau, Sabrina Verdoliva
  • C girls – Anna Guernsey (2), Hannah Jones (2), Aliyah Conner, Lacey Reich (2)
  • B girls – Janelle Tallents (2), Courtney Beckwith (2), Miranda Perry (2)
  • A girls – Julia Endres (2), Cassandra Gardner (2), Devon Niccoli (3)
  • A boys – Josh Strauss (2), Sean Caltabiano (2), Scott Bullard (2), Benjamin Davis (2)

Several swimmers were credited for taking several seconds off of their personal best times in their individual events.

Among the most sizeable decreases, Rachel Guernsey took 28.35 seconds off of her best time in the 500-yard freestyle, which is the longest individual event during swimming meets. Guernsey also took 8.29 seconds off of her best time in the 200-yard freestyle.

Bailey Reading took 28.55 seconds off of her time in the 200-yard freestyle race. Reading also took 10.07 seconds off of her time in the 50-yard freestyle. Newcomer Kyle Hotaling took 18.74 seconds off of his best time in the 25-yard backstroke, as well as 8.83 seconds off of his time in the 25-yard freestyle.

Swimmers credited for taking at least five seconds off of their best times included:

  • Zachary Almeter took 17.87 seconds off in the 50-yard freestyle
  • Dannielle Cobb took off 5.81 seconds off in the 100-yard backstroke
  • Phillip Cobb took 5.60 seconds off in the 50-yard freestyle and 10.52 seconds off in the 100-yard freestyle
  • Keegan Condon took 6.24 seconds off in the 100-yard freestyle
  • Katie Curtis took 16.09 seconds off in the 100-yard freestyle and 6.02 seconds off in the 25-yard backstroke
  • Benjamin Davis took 5.82 seconds off in the 100-yard butterfly
  • Thomas Distin took 10.62 seconds off in the 100-yard freestyle
  • Paige Drake took 11.12 seconds off in the 100-yard freestyle
  • Cameron Filippi took 16.00 seconds off in the 200-yard freestyle
  • Tabor Freeman took 10.34 seconds off in the 50-yard freestyle
  • Cassandra Garnder took 8.30 seconds off in the 200-yard individual medley (which includes butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle)
  • Casey Jones took 15.45 seconds off in the 200-yard freestyle
  • Nicholas Kinney took 5.46 seconds off in the 50-yard freestyle
  • John Licciardello took 6.03 seconds off in the 50-yard freestyle
  • Michael Mankiewicz took 6.26 seconds off in the 50-yard freestyle
  • Grant Marriner took 6.65 seconds off in the 50-yard freestyle
  • Griffin Marriner took 8.21 seconds off in the 50-yard freestyle and 5.79 seconds off in the 25-yard backstroke
  • Daisy Ruiz took 5.17 seconds off in the 200-yard individual medley
  • Jenna Ruzekowicz took 5.26 seconds off in the 25-yard freestyle
  • Jacob Strauss took 6.37 seconds off in the 100-yard freestyle
  • David Tallents took 5.42 seconds off in the 50-yard backstroke
  • Sarah Tallents took 12.58 seconds off in the 100-yard freestyle
  • Caleb Trepasso took 5.43 seconds off in the 25-yard freestyle

Four individual swimmers have qualified to swim in the New York YMCA State Meet that will be held in Buffalo in March. Swimmers qualify for states by bringing in times under the qualifying standard in individual events. Qualifiers thus far include:

  • Devon Niccoli – 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke
  • Janelle Tallents – 100-yard freestyle
  • Miranda Perry – 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard butterfly
  • Benjamin Davis – 100-yard backstroke

Swimmers of the week include: Cassie Hartranft, Jacob May, Mark Tallents, John Licciardello, Kenneth Verdoliva, Shaun Saulsbury, Kyle Hotaling, Sabrina Verdoliva, Sage Hourihan, Keegan Condon, Tim McAfee, Marshall Carvey, Josh Hotaling, Justin Grower, Zachary Almeter, Nicholas Kinney, Aliyah Conner, Lacey Reich, Austin Curtis, Jacob Strauss, Thomas Distin, Janelle Tallents, Miranda Perry, Rachel Guernsey, Benjamin Davis and Sean Caltabiano.

Peterson noted that the Speed Demons welcomed a long list of new swimmers to the team this year, including: Cassie Hartranft, Katie Distin, Alisa Trudell, Makaylee Schmell, Christina Thompson, Emily Saulsbury, Jenna Ruzekowicz, Kayleigh Hotaling, Bradley Morrisseau, Mark Tallents, Kenneth Verdoliva, John Licciardello, Shaun Saulsbury, Kyle Hotaling, Brooke Morrisseau, Ashli Dodge, Ruby Lagoda, Josh Hotaling, Andrew Distin, Justin Grower, Nicholas Kinney, Tabor Freeman, Michael Mankiewicz, Marshall Carvey, Caleb Almeter, Zachary Almeter, Phillip Cobb, Ian Devendorf and Thomas Distin.

“We welcomed Mitchell Nelson back to the team after taking a few years off,” Peterson said. “The team also welcomes former team member Nathaniel Davis back as an assistant coach this year.”

The team’s next meet is at Oneonta on Saturday.

The Fulton YMCA Speed Demons are a community-based swim team that competes in the Central New York region of the New York State Y Swimming League. Team members come from Fulton, Hannibal, Phoenix and other communities in the area. The team stresses individual improvement as part of a team’s effort.

For more information, visit the team’s Web site at www.fultonspeeddemons.org.

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Junior Swimmers of the Week include, from left, (front) Mark Tallents, John Licciardello, Cassie Hartranft, (second row) Kyle Hotaling, Sabrina Verdoliva, Kenneth Verdoliva, (third row) Nicholas Kinney, Tim McAfee, Marshall Carvey, (fourth row) Jacob May, Zachary Almeter, Sage Hourihan, (back) Thomas Distin, Josh Hotaling and Keegan Condon.
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Senior Swimmers of the Week include: (top, left) Sean Caltabiano; (bottom, left) Miranda Perry, Jacob Strauss; (right, from left, front) Austin Curtis, Aliyah Conner, (second row) Rachel Guernsey, Lacey Reich, (back) Janelle Tallents and Benjamin Davis.