It was a record-setting day for Ryan Nicholson and the Ithaca High boys swim team on Day 1 of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships at the Webster Aquatic Center.
Nicholson and his mates broke six Section 4 records, four of them by Nicholson alone. The junior qualified first in his specialty, the 100-yard butterfly, in a Section 4-record time of 48.96 seconds, nearly a full second faster than the No. 2 qualifier, Justin Plaschka of Hauppauge of Section 11 (49.81). Nicholson, who earned Automatic All-America status with his effort Friday, set the previous record of 50.15 last year.
Nicholson also qualified second in the 200-yard individual medley, in a record time of 1:51.80, 0.12 seconds behind leader Matthew Tanchick of Pittsford (Section 5). Nicholson held the previous mark of 1:53.75, set at the sectional meet.
Nicholson also led off both the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays, both of which qualified second in Section 4-record times. The 200 relay (Nicholson, Nathan Bach, Francis Schickel, Will Fisher) finished in 1:25.79, 0.41 behind leader Fordham Prep. Ithaca set the previous mark of 1:26.57 last year.
And the 400 relay (Nicholson, Kevin Miller, Schickel, Fisher) finished in a sectional-record 3:10.18, bettering the previous record of 3:13.19, which the Little Red also set last year. Ithaca finished well behind Fordham Prep (3:05.60) on Friday.
The other two records were set by Nicholson in his relay leadoff legs, which can count as individual efforts. He led off the 200 relay in a blistering 20.50 seconds, shattering the previous mark of 21.15 seconds set by Ken McLaughlin of Johnson City in 1977. It was the oldest record on the books in Section 4. His time earned him Automatic All-America status.
Nicholson also broke the section record in the 100 freestyle with his 400 relay leadoff leg of 45.56, breaking the previous mark of 46.11 set in 1983 by Horseheads’ Kevin Nagy.
The meet concludes with championships Saturday.