Records fell and tickets were punched to the state meet at the 31st annual John Beecher Invitational on Saturday at Elmira Free Academy’s Thomas Natatorium.
Ithaca junior Ryan Nicholson won two races in record time and set two more records in helping the Little Red to two relay victories, earning him the top swimmer award for the boys swimming and diving meet.
Winners in eight of the 12 events topped the standards for the state meet.
Nicholson’s efforts helped Ithaca repeat as the meet’s Class A champion. Horseheads won in Class B and Watkins Glen finished first in Class C. Each class had four complete teams.
Nicholson, the state runner-up in the 100 butterfly last season, set meet and pool records in his victories in the 200 individual medley (1:54.70) and 100 butterfly (50.60).
His leadoff time of 46.49 seconds on Ithaca’s victorious 400 freestyle relay (3:15.35), gave him the school record in the 100 freestyle and he helped the Little Red win the 200 medley relay (1:40.35). Ithaca broke meet and pool records in the freestyle relay.
The two Ithaca relays qualified for the state meet with Saturday’s times. Nicholson also topped the state standard in both individual victories, though he had already qualified in those events.
“I’m happy about my swims,” he said. “At this point of the season we’re working pretty hard in practice. We had winter break and we had a lot of hard practices there, so I’m happy.”
Nicholson pointed to his win in the 200 IM as the highlight of his day, with his time 21/2 seconds better than his previous best.
“That was a really good swim for me,” he said.
Ithaca freshman Kevin Miller won the 500 freestyle in 4:57.80.
* Ithaca 57, Vestal 56: Ithaca took the lead on a free throw with 15 seconds remaining, and Vestal could not get off a shot in the closing seconds as the Little Red held on for its second victory of the season Friday night in a Southern Tier Athletic Conference game.
Frank D’Esti scored 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as the Golden Bears clawed their way back from 15 points down to tie the game at 56.
Bruce Greene led Ithaca (2-6) with 17 points. Jaedon Henderson added 12 points and Jordan Hackworth chipped in 10 for the Little Red, which travels to Corning on Tuesday to face the Hawks (2-8).
* Waverly 62, Newfield 51: Chris Raupers scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Wolverines (7-3), who trailed by a point entering the fourth quarter but pulled away by outscoring the Trojans 21-9. Chris Byrd netted 17 points for Newfield (6-6).
* Moravia 68, Union Springs 30: The Blue Devils made 11 3-pointers, led by Chase Walker, who hit five en route to a game-high 20 points. Chandler Benson added 14 points for Moravia, which kept pace with Lansing atop the IAC Large North Division standings. Lansing defeated Dryden on Friday, 62-59.
* Vestal 60, Ithaca 38: Melanie Patterson scored 12 of her game-high 25 points in the first quarter to give Vestal a win against Ithaca (4-6).
Taylor DePalma scored 12 points for Ithaca, which plays host to Corning on Wednesday.
* Waverly 51, Newfield 44: In a battle of the top teams in the IAC South, the Large Division-leading Wolverines (9-0) remained undefeated as Sabrina Bowman led the way with a game-high 17 points, including two of her team’s four 3-pointers. Reylyn Schwartzhoff chipped in 12 points.
Newfield — which led 12-6 after one quarter but was outscored 21-7 in the second — got 16 points from Erica Carney and nine from Megan Pakkala.
* Section 4 Age Group 2: On Saturday at Cornell’s Barton Hall, Dryden High senior Rachel Hutchinson broke the school record in winning the 3,000 meters by more than a minute. Hutchinson crossed the line in 10 minutes, 34.53 seconds, well ahead of Elmira junior Briana Lentkowski (11:40.19).
Hutchinson also won the girls’ 1,500 meters (5:10.14), besting Marathon’s Allie McConnell by more than 10 seconds (5:20.57). Dryden freshman Abbey Yatsko won the 300 meters (42.74) by edging Notre Dame’s Brittany Schutrum (43.26) in the last of nine heats, and teammates Shaina Sullivan and Mackenzie Todd won the high jump (5 feet and triple jump (30-113/4), respectively.
On the boys’ side, Dryden’s Will Holt won the 55-meter hurdles (8.12).