ITHACA – He was in first. Then he wasn’t.
But Scarsdale’s Evan Moretti, who finished second Friday in the state diving championships for the second straight year, had zero reason to be unhappy after competing sick.
“It feels good. It was the best I could ask for. I really surprised myself,” Moretti said.
The Duke-bound Moretti (580.05 points), who had been sick for more than a week, led after five of 11 rounds before falling behind eventual winner Scott Lazeroff (609.80) of Section 5 Brighton.
Ossining sophomore Alec DeCaprio finished seventh.
Swimming preliminaries were also held Friday and Clarkstown coach Theo Tomljanovich was happy with his 200 medley relay team of Ryan Wagner (backstroke), Nikola Andjelic (breaststroke), Matt Kishinevsky (butterfly) and Christian Papa (free), which set a school record, (1:36.70).
The clocking was the fourth fastest overall and Tomljanovich believes his squad can win the public school title in the event Saturday. Tomljanovich is also optimistic about Wagner in the 100 back, where he qualified fifth in a season-best 51.96.
“He could win,” he said, noting top qualifier Jake Borkowski of Pine Bush swam a 51.37 and Wagner broke 50 seconds last year.
Michael Verini thought the Ithaca College pool felt slow.
But Verini was anything but.
Verini, a Valhalla native and Fordham Prep senior, swam a personal-best 21.13 seconds to win the 50 free preliminaries.
He also qualified fifth (46.51) in the 100 free, his preferred event.
“I swallowed some water in the last lap over the last turn. That was a bummer,” said Verini, who’ll swim for Cornell next year.
Verini, who’s competing at his third states, wants to try to break 21 seconds in the 50 and 46 in the 100 in the finals.
Fordham Prep has won the Catholic schools state title for four straight years but lost many swimmers to graduation last spring.
Still, another title isn’t out of the question.
Both its 200-yard free relay (1:25.86) and 400-yard free relay (3:07.64) qualified first and multiple swimmers put in good times, among them Larchmont’s Jack Collins, who shaved nearly five seconds from his season-best time in the 500 free (4:32.70) and Pelham’s Ian Bidwell, who took nearly two seconds off his best IM time in swimming 1:54.26.
“It’s been great. People are excited,” coach Dom Galimi said. “We try to use the state meet as the pinnacle.”
Evan Moretti from Scarsdale high school competing at the NYSPHSAA boys championship Diving finals at Ithaca College in Ithaca NY on February 27, 2015
New Rochelle-Bronxville’s David Stewart had a bad 200 free, qualifying 13th in 1:43.86, more than a second and a half slower than his season best time.
“Sometimes people let that cause another wave of bad swimming,” he said.
But he didn’t.
Stewart, a New Rochelle senior, followed disappointment with satisfaction, recording the top time out of 50 swimmers in his specialty, the 100 butterfly.
Stewart swam 49.71, besting his season mark of 49.94.
“I was going as hard as possible. My plan was also to come out first in preliminaries,” he said.
Of his prospects for Saturday’s finals, Stewart, who’ll swim for Notre Dame, smiled and said, “Winning would be nice.”