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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.

— Lednev finished the day with two individual titles, three state meet berths, the Most Outstanding Performer award and the Scholar-Athlete award.

“I was aiming high,” said Lednev. “That was my best time (in the 200-yard individual medley) by 2.5 seconds.”

Not many Section II swimmers qualified for the state meet at Sectionals in Division I. Besides Gordon, Lednev and Zemering, only seven swimmers earned individual berths, and no relay teams other than Bethlehem’s 200-yard medley group of Lednev, Zemering, Brian Negri and Kevin Flynn swam a time under the qualifying standard.

Shaker’s Thomas Kearney was one of the swimmers who did qualify for states, though not in the event that he won. Kearney finished first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.34 seconds, but it was his second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke that earned him a state meet berth.

Still, Kearney was happy to be the first Shaker swimmer to win an individual title since Frankie Dyer did so three years ago.

“I’ve honestly never been first (in a meet like this),” said Kearney. “Just seeing the team going crazy was really cool.”

Albany Academy won the Division II boys team title with a score of 365.5 points, thanks in part to a historic performance by diver Manny Pollard. The senior set a state record with a score of 635.75 points during Thursday’s diving portion at Ballston Spa High School.

Division I

Team standings: Shenendehowa 446, Niskayuna 411.5, Shaker 350, Bethlehem 238.5, Ballston Spa 170, Mohonasen/Schalmont 138, Schenectady 132, Saratoga Springs 104, Albany 90, Guilderville 83

Top three finishers

200-yard medley relay: 1. Bethlehem (Brian Negri, Alex Lednev, Kevin Flynn, Gunnar Zemering) 1:39.93*; 2. Shaker 1:42.19; 3. Niskayuna 1:42.97

200-yard freestyle: 1. Ryan Gordon (Shen) 1:42.34*; 2. Timothy Buff (Shaker) 1:48.03; 3. Emerson Wells (Nisky) 1:48.16

200-yard individual medley: 1. Alex Lednev (BC) 1:53.60*; 2. Taylor Nichols (Shen) 1:55.82; 3. Dave Gardiner (BSpa) 1:59.74

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