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Boys swimming: Gordon helps Shen win Division I title

Lednev earns top swimmer and scholar-athlete awards

Bethlehem’s Alex Lednev makes a splash during the backstroke portion of the 200-yard individual medley finals at last Saturday’s Section II Division I championships at the Shenendehow Aquatic Center.

Bethlehem’s Alex Lednev makes a splash during the backstroke portion of the 200-yard individual medley finals at last Saturday’s Section II Division I championships at the Shenendehow Aquatic Center. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— Not even a disqualification involving one if its relay teams could prevent Shenendehowa from winning the team title at Saturday’s Section II Division I boys swimming championships at Shen‘s aquatic center.

Led by Ryan Gordon’s victories in the 200- and 100-yard freestyles, the Plainsmen eased past the competition to claim the team title. Shen finished with 446 points, 34.5 points ahead of runner-up Niskayuna.

“It’s the most important thing, and that’s our goal every year,” Shen coach Chuck Dunham said of winning the team title. “That’s a goal we have to work very hard for as a team.”

Niskayuna was within six points of Shen in the team standings before the Plainsmen pulled away in the final four events.

“We didn’t even have a full lineup in there,” said Niskayuna coach Steven Hall. “We gave (Shen) a scare, but that’s all we could do.”

Shen didn’t get a single point in the day’s first final, the 200-yard medley relay, because its team was disqualified during Friday’s preliminary round. But Gordon helped the Plainsmen rebound quickly when he won the 200-yard freestyle by nearly six seconds over Shaker’s Timothy Buff with a New York state meet qualifying time of 1:42.34.

Gordon was equally impressive in the 100-yard freestyle, as pulled away for a 2.43-second victory over Bethlehem’s Gunnar Zemering. The sophomore finished with a state meet qualifying time of 46.50 seconds, while Zemering earned a Section II team berth with a time of 48.93 seconds.

“At the beginning of the year, Chuck (Dunham) put me in the sprints, and that really helped me build my speed,” said Gordon.

“Ryan Gordon is an unbelievably fast swimmer,” said Dunham. “Without a doubt, the sky is the limit as to how far he can go.”

Bethlehem’s Alex Lednev also had the Shen Aquatic Center buzzing with his performance. The senior won the 200-yard individual medley with an All-American consideration time of 1:53.60, he took first place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a state meet qualifying time of 59.40 seconds and he swam the second leg on the Eagles’ winning 200-yard medley relay team.

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