In a sport where the athletes are constantly trying to lower their times, the Queensbury swimmers have finally lowered the time until they get to try again.
Having finished second to Albany Academy by 20 points last year, the Spartans are back for another shot at the Division II title when the Section II Boys Swimming and Diving Championships begin Thursday at Shenendehowa.
This year it looks like a still-young Queensbury team will challenge Burnt Hills for top honors, but at this point the opponent doesn’t matter much.
“We’re very pumped,” Queensbury coach Mike Anderson said. “Obviously, we’ve got a lot of challenges, but I think we’ve seen real growth from year one to year two for some of these guys.
“That second place left a desire in them,” he added.
Queensbury has a number of high seeds, starting with eighth-grader David Walton, the top seed in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 48.15 seconds, and the 400 freestyle relay team, which has a seed time of 3:21.42.
Walton is seeded second in the 500 freestyle, but his 4:52.30 time has already qualified him for the state meet. Likewise, Queensbury’s 200 medley relay time of 1:40.53 is seeded second, but it’s enough to have reached the state meet.
Queensbury sophomore TJ Bearor has a pair of second seeds. His time of 2:00.88 is just .25 off the state-qualifying time. His time in the 100 freestyle is 50.17. Also, the 200 freestyle relay team is seeded second with a 1:32.43.
Burnt Hills is top-seeded in the 200 medley and 200 free relays, and nipping at Queensbury’s time in the 400 free relay. With relays being worth double points, Anderson knows Queensbury has to be on its game.
For all the swimmers Queensbury has near the top — it has a top-four presence in 10 of the 12 events — Anderson is convinced the meet will be won in the middle placings.
“There are guys around eight and nine who will need to have a good meet,” Anderson said.
Queensbury does have a couple of advantages over Burnt Hills on paper. For starters, it has a diver, Nate Shine, and Burnt Hills does not. Secondly, there are a couple of events where it has several swimmers seeded in the top eight. Queensbury has four of the top seven in the 100 butterfly and three of the top eight in the 100 freestyle.
The diving preliminaries and final happen Thursday, with swimming preliminaries on Friday and swimming finals on Saturday.
“We told the guys, ‘You can’t win the meet on Friday, but you can lose it,’ so we’ve got to go, go, go Friday and then come back and do the same Saturday,” Anderson said.
For Glens Falls, it’s not been as deep a year as the Indians have had traditionally, but the team has gotten in better shape and started to hit its stride, according to coach Kevin Crossman.
“We’re in a better position than we thought we’d be at one time,” Crossman said.
Besides senior diver Tyrae McIntosh, the top-seeded Division II diver, Glens Falls’ top seeds are a pair of fifths: the 200 medley relay team (1:50.48) and junior Lucas Borgos in the 100 backstroke (1:01.31). The Indians do have a number of swimmers seeded between ninth and 16th, as well as a few outside 16th.
“Since the top 16 swim back on Saturday, we’ve said that’s our goal, but we have to swim well to get into Saturday,” Crossman said.
In Division I, sophomore Dimitri Bonesteel is the top swimmer for Hudson Falls-South Glens Falls. He is seeded 13th in the 100 butterfly (1:01.04) and 17th in the 200 IM (2:15.03). Both the team’s 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay are seeded eighth.