OWEGO – Horseheads junior Kenyon Winkky won a title in the 100-yard backstroke and helped the Blue Raiders to a 200 medley relay victory Saturday at the Section 4 Class A boys swimming and diving championships at Owego Free Academy.
Winkky, who had already qualified for the New York State Championships in the backstroke, finished in 53.05 seconds to better his previous top time by more than seven-tenths of a second.
“I’m pretty excited for the state meet. I haven’t gone this fast ever before,” said Winkky, who added a runner-up finish in the 100 butterfly Saturday. “I’m two seconds ahead of last year’s time.”
Four other Horseheads swimmers earned tickets to state competition: freshman Kaelan Winkky and juniors Zane Elsisi, Shoonhsin Li and Antonio Villegas. The Blue Raiders finished second in the team standings behind Ithaca.
Elsisi, Li and Villegas will join Kenyon Winkky on the state medley relay team, which topped the state qualifying time of 1:40.67 with a winning swim of 1:40.21.
The Blue Raiders’ 400 freestyle relay of Kenyon Winkky, brother Kaelan Winkky, Villegas and Elsisi finished second to Ithaca but qualified for states with a time of 3:18.62.
“I thought we swam excellent today,” Horseheads coach Jared Zembek said. “We really hadn’t been close before (in the 400 relay), so that was huge for us.
“We haven’t had two relays go to the state meet in many years.”
Corning junior Reid Cagir won the 100 freestyle with a state qualifying time of 47.34. He placed second in the 50 freestyle in 21.886, which also eclipsed the state standard. The New York State Championships take place Feb. 27-28 at Ithaca College.
Ithaca beat Horseheads for the title, 531.5 to 492.5. Corning placed third (351 points), Elmira seventh (89) and Elmira Notre Dame eighth (10). The Blue Raiders shined in preliminaries Wednesday, but Ithaca came back and won eight of the 11 swim events along with Friday’s diving.
“We had a really strong prelims and we came in and did what we needed to do, but Ithaca was just a little bit stronger than us today,” Zembek said.
It marked the fourth consecutive team title for the Little Red and their fifth since 2010.
“(Horseheads) swam really well in prelims and we swam a little flat, so I was a little nervous going into this, but I knew we could swim well,” said Ithaca coach Mike Armitage-Blakley. “Our diver won on Friday and we just came out of the gate strong, so today was great.”
Two swimmers from Watkins Glen won championships. Sophomore Aiden DeBolt won the 50 freestyle (23.31) and junior Matt Doppel took the 100 backstroke, tying his previous state qualifying time of 53.69.
Waverly junior Josh Mastrantuono captured two titles, winning the 100 freestyle in a state qualifying time of 48.42 and earning the 100 breaststroke (1:05.84) title for a second straight year.
Lansing won the team title over Waverly, 431-305. Watkins Glen was fourth and Odessa-Montour fifth.
On Twitter: @SGRLevanduski