Section 1 swimming had a strong showing Saturday at the state and Federation championships with three records falling and one member of the team finding himself on the top of the podium.
Horace Greeley junior Tyler Hill was the top seed going into the 100-yard backstroke and was nervous going in.
“The 100 backstroke was the most hyped I’ve ever been for a race,” Hill said. “Going in seeded first was a little scary because I knew people would be gunning for me. I knew I had to take out the first 50 fast because I’ve gotten all of my best times when I took it out fast. Making the third flip turn and seeing that I was ahead was an awesome feeling.”
He translated that ‘‘awesome’’ feeling into state and Federation titles in a time of 50.08 seconds at Erie Community College. That time is in consideration for all-America status and is a Section 1 record.
“State champion is the best title I’ve ever had,” Hill said. “It seems like I’m in a dream because freshman year I watched Justin Palschka wipe the floor with his competitors and I remember thinking how insane it would be to claim a state title. I’m proud to bring back a state title to Greeley because I know it’s a very special thing.”
The record was previouslyheld by Tate Blahnik of Suffern and set in 1995, the oldest record in the book.
“I didn’t know of the back record and wasn’t really gunning for it at all,” Hill said. “I’m glad to have gotten it though. It’s pretty special.”
Hill swam in the 100 freestyle and finished third in 45.95. That’s in consideration for all-America status and he also set a Section 1 record that was previously held by former teammate Risten Clarke. He helped the Quakers’ 400 free relay to a fifth-place finish in the Federation and third place in the state.
North Rockland senior Matt Zugibe came away from the state and Federation championships with a pair of individual medals – silver in the 200 individual medley (1:51.22) and 100 breaststroke (55.62). He tied for second in the Federation in the 100 breaststroke and was second in the state.
“It’s really great,” Zugibe said. “I’m really excited about it all. It came down to the end on both races. I really pushed myself in both. There’s nothing more I could really ask for.
His time in the IM was in consideration for all-American and his time in the breaststroke is an automatic all-America time. Zugibe also set a Section 1 record in the 100 breaststroke, breaking the mark set by former Tappan Zee standout Stanley Wong back in 2011. Zugibe helped the 200 medley relay to a fourth-place finish in the Federation and third in the state.
Getting a top-three finish at states is something Zugibe’s wanted for a very long time.
“I didn’t know what to expect going in,” Zugibe said of the 200 IM. “I was hoping first but second is just as great. I’m really happy with how it went. When I saw my time for the first time I was just blown away by how fast the two of us went. We went best times and it was great.”
Other standout performances for Section 1 included Rye senior Liam Egan finishing third in the 100 butterfly and Scarsdale senior Josh Hendell taking third in the 500 free. Hendell’s time of 4:33.52 was in consideration for all-American.
Red Raiders junior Michael Tartakovsky and Quakers senior River Elms had solid swims in both of their individual events. Larchmont resident Spencer LaFata of Fordham Prep was the Federation champion in the 500 free.