BURNT HILLS — Things heated up in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake pool Wednesday afternoon as Saratoga County girls swimming power houses, Shenendehowa and Burnt Hills squared off and the outcome wasn’t clear until late into the meet.
The two squads were separated by just two points at five different points of the 11-event meet before the depth of the Plainsmen propelled them to a 98-72 Suburban Council victory.
“There were a lot of tough races and it’s not easy for a team to always stay focused and keep their energy up,” Shenendehowa coach Chuck Dunham said. “We just came off our big invitational that we were fortunate enough to have won and swam our absolute best. Then four days later we have to swim away at our rival. It’s easy to lose that mental focus and determination and not fall into a situation where you don’t bring your top game.”
Burnt Hills sent a message early, taking second and third-place in the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-individual medley before breaking out for a 1-2 finish in the 50-freestyle.
“I think we surprised them,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Turner said. “They’re the strongest team in Section II and we swam well against them.”
The contest was extremely close, 63-61 Shenendehowa through the 200-freestyle relay before the Plainsmen pulled away, going 1-2-3 in the 100-backstroke on the arms of Katie Orr, Morgan McAvoy and Olivia Normandin for a 13-point win.
Shenendehowa finished off the contest with a 1-2 finish in the 400-freestyle relay for 12 more points and the 98-72 victory.
“The girls were ready to swim,” Turner said. “The strategy was to put up our best kids in each event and we have to race every race. In the second half I didn’t have enough kids and he (Dunham) played it right.”
The Spartans saw Kelly Ludeke capture the 50-freestyle in :26.09 seconds with teammate Christy Brown second at :26.25. Lauren Zentko claimed the 100-butterfly in 1 minute, 01:09 seconds.
The 200-freestyle relay quartet of Leduke, Brown, Kelly Pruskowski and Emily Dreisbach won in 1:46.19.
Shenendehowa’s pair, Olivia Samson and Katie Orr were both golden in all four of their events, as Samson captured the 200-freestyle in 1:59.21, the 500-freestyle in 5:15.84 and swam legs on the winning 200-medley relay and the 400-freestyle relay. Orr swam legs on both winning relays with Samson and had the fastest times in the 200-individual medley at 2:16.65 and the 100-backdstoke in 1:03.72.
Lisa Liu won the 100-freestyle for the Plainsmen in :56.40 with seventh-grader Julia Samson winning the 100-breaststroke in 1:10.44.
The rivalry win sets the stage for both teams as they head towards championship weekend in opposite classes.
“We have a mix of seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders along with older kids,” Dunham said. “The older kids showed the younger kids how we do things at Shen and how we do things at the big meets. The younger kids scored some key points and stepped up today.”
For the Spartans, the best is yet to come.
“The Section II meet is always the culmination of our season,” Turner said. “This is telling as to what we do when we’re challenged.”
Both squads face another rival as Niskayuna visits Shenendehowa on Tuesday and traveled to Burnt Hills Thursday afternoon.
200-yard medley relay — 1. Shenendehowa (Julia Samson, Bridget Geary, Olivia Samson, Katie Orr), 1:56.87. 2. Burnt Hills (Victoria Allen Amanda Gibson, Lauren Zentko, Kelly Ludeke), 1:58.47. 3. Burnt Hills (Kelly Pruskowski, Hannah Cowley, Lauren Rabideau, Emily Dreisbach), 1:59.39.
200-freestyle — 1. O. Samson, SH, 1:59.21. 2. Sara Swett, BH, 2:02.37. 3. Brooke Newhart, SH, 2:06.84.
200-individual medley — 1. Orr, SH, 2:16.65. 2. Zentko, BH, 2:19.13. 3. Rabideau, BH, 2:22.76.
50-freestyle — 1. Ludeke, BH, :26.09. 2. Christy Brown, BH, :26.25. 3. Lisa Liu, SH, :26.44.
100-butterfly — 1. Zentko, BH, 1:01.09. 2. J. Samson, SH, 1:01.63. 3. Rabideau, BH, 1:03.51.
100-freestyle — 1. Liu, SH, :56.40. 2. Ludeke, BH, :57.03. 3. Morgan McAvoy, SH, :57.72.
500-freestyle — 1. O. Samson, SH, 5:15.84. 2. Swett, BH, 5:23.28. 3. Julia Pucciarelli, SH, 5:33.49.
200-freestyle relay — 1. Burnt Hills (Ludeke, Brown, Pruskowski, Dreisbach), 1:46.19. 2. Shenendehowa (Bridget Geary, Emma Rupert, Colleen Luibrand, Liu), 1:46.41. 3. Burnt Hills (Adams, Larissa Rayher, Swett, Mackenzie Wilcox), 1:50.31.
100-backstroke — 1. Orr, SH, 1:03.72. 2. McAvoy, SH, 1:07.31. 3. Olivia Normandin, SH, 1:07.78.
100-breaststroke — 1. J. Samson, SH, 1:10.44. 2. Hannah Cowley, BH, 1:12.95. 3. Emma Rupert, SH, 1:14.41.
400-freestyle relay — 1. Shenendeowa (Liu, J. Samson, Orr, O. Samson), 3:48.34. 2. Shenendehowa (Colleen Luiband, Sara Tudor, Angelo Ferlo, Booke Newhart), 4:00.37 (JD). 3. Burnt Hills (Brooke Adams, Zentko, Cowley, Rabideau), 4:00.06 (JD).
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