Elmira Notre Dame’s Molly Craig advanced to the championship finals in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle with gains over her seeded times during Friday’s preliminaries of the New York State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships at Ithaca College.
Three of the four area swimmers who competed in the preliminaries advanced to Saturday’s finals but Craig was the only one to make it into the championship finals.None of our three area divers advanced past the opening round.
Craig qualified eighth in the 200 IM with a time of 2 minutes 6.91 seconds, which was 1.54 seconds faster than her 10th seed time. The junior improved seven places over her 14th seed in the 500 freestyle, turning in a time of 5:04.45 or 2.8 seconds faster than her seed time.
Notre Dame senior Frances VanderMeer posted the 17th best time in the 100-yard freestyle (53.33) and the 20th best time in the 50 freestyle (24.45). Corning senior Stephanie Li swam the 19th best time in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.94).
Both VanderMeer and Li will compete in the consolation finals, reserved for swimmers in spots 11-20 from prelims. The top 10 swimmers in each event advanced to the championship finals, and swimmers 21-30 moved to the bonus finals.
Rachel Wallisky of Horseheads ranked 33rd in the 200 freestyle (2:00.87). The junior missed out in the bonus race after finishing 25th in the 200 freestyle last year.
Diving was completed late Friday with Section 5’s Ali House of Newark taking the championship among the 47 competitors. The top 24 moved to the semifinals and top 20 to the finals.
Watkins Glen sophomore Lexi Castellanetta placed 26th after being seeded 11th. Elmira senior Loren Sayers, in her first state meet, finished 30th. Horseheads junior Cameron Murray also failed to make it past the first round of five dives.
The highest finish in prelims among Section 4 swimmers was Ithaca’s Annika Browning, who placed fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:52.60). The junior will also be in the championship finals in 500 freestyle after a 10th place time of 5:06.77.
Owego Free Academy had the highest relay finishes, advancing to the championship finals with fourth best times in both the 200 Medley relay (1:49.21) and the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.67). The Indians 400 freestyle relay team placed 14th (3:38.51) and will compete in the consolation finals.
Ithaca’s two relay teams also had marked improvements over their seedings, with both the 200 and 500 freestyle teams making the championship finals. The Little Red placed fifth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.69) and ninth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:37.28).
Other Section 4 swimmers moving on from prelims to the consolation finals are Chenango Valley’s Kati Schultz, who placed 12th in the 500 freestyle (5:07.17); Ithaca’s Indie Strattan was 14th in the 100 freestyle (53.15) and Chenango Valley’s Paige Lettera was 20th in the 200 freestyle (1:455.38). Owego has three swimmers in the top 20. Chelsea Angulas placed 19th in the 100 backstroke (1:06.94), Marissa Scott was 30th in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.13) and Summer Pierce, who advanced from her 35th seed to 16th in the 100 butterfly (58.27).
Competing in the bonus finals are Lettera, who was 22nd in the 500 freestyle (5:11.33) and Strattan, who was 28th in the 50 freestyle (24.70).
On Twitter: @SGRLevanduski