NISKAYUNA: Shen swims past competition

Kalish's best individual performance came in the 500 freestyle. The senior pulled away from the other swimmers and finished with an All-American consideration time of 4:39.82.

"I had a goal of breaking 4:40," said Kalish, whose 10 50-yard split times were all under 30 seconds. "That was my goal for the day " well, one of my goals today."

Gloeckler gave Bethlehem fans something to cheer about in the sprints. The senior defeated Shen's Nathaniel Berry by one-tenth of a second in the 50 freestyle for his first career Sectional title, and he pulled away to win the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.99 seconds, four-tenths of a second ahead of Shen's Jacob Johnson.

"For the past couple of years, I'd been burning out on the longer distance events, and my former coach (Doug Gross) told me I should try sprints," said Gloeckler. "And with coach John (Andrews) working with me this year, I've improved a lot."

Niskayuna's Spencer Booth also won two individual events. The senior took first place in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:42.49 and finished first in the 100 backstroke with a time of 51.93 seconds " both of which were pool records.

"It was my last chance as a senior to do the 100 backstroke, so I decided to do it," said Booth, who won the class A Most Outstanding Competitor award.

Other individual champions in class A were Queensbury's Andrew Guinther in the 100 breaststroke and Shaker's Nick Messore in the 1-meter diving competition.

Messore said performing all 11 dives in one day " a situation necessitated by last week's snowstorm that canceled school Wednesday and Thursday " was helpful to him.

"It does (change your strategy) a little bit because (the meet) normally gives you a day to rest (between rounds), but I was happy with it because I hadn't been in the pool all week," said Messore. "It makes you keep your focus."

Besides its win in the 200 freestyle relay, Shen took first in the 400 freestyle relay with an automatic All-American time of 3:12.00. Bethlehem won the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:40.58.

Shen sends six individuals and two relay teams to the state meet March 2 and 3 in Buffalo. Shaker has the second-biggest list of qualifiers with five individuals and a relay team. Niskayuna has four individuals and a relay team going to Buffalo, while Bethlehem qualified two individuals and two relay teams.""

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