Zhou’s bid for three-peat tops section swim hopes
Kina Zhou of Niskayuna, Julia Samson of Shenendehowa and their relay mates have earned top seeds for the state swimming and diving championships set for today and Saturday at Ithaca College.
Zhou is the No. 1 seed and two-time defending 100-yard freestyle champion, and will bring a state-record 50.18 qualifying time into today’s semifinal round. Zhou set that record at the Section II meet two weeks ago when she was selected the event’s standout performer.
The Yale University-bound senior is one spot ahead of Cari Stankaitis of Honeoye Falls in the 100 free (50.45), and is seeded No. 2 in the 200 free (1:50.61) behind Brittany Friese of Newburgh Free Academy (1:30.32). Friese edged Zhou for 200 free honors a year ago.
Zhou, Grace Matuszyk, Anna Vitolins and Mikayla Frodey are seeded No. 1 in the 200 free relay (1:37.51) after breaking Shenendehowa’s Section II record (1:37.96) at the sectional meet. Zhou, Matuszyk, Frodey and Tacia Angelopoulos are seeded No. 2 in the 400 free relay (3:33.74), with Pittsford No. 1 (3:33.73).
Zhou and Frodey were part of a Niskyuna 400 free relay that broke its own state record (3:28.84) in a triumphant swim at last season’s meet.
Samson is seeded No. 1 in the 200 individual medley (2:04.97), and the freshman joins Bridget Geary, Susie Schwarz and Jennifer Lucius on the Lady Plainsmen’s No. 1 200 medley relay (1:48.19). Samson is also seeded No. 5 in the 100 backstroke (57.28).
Fonda/Johnstown senior diver Meghan Bartlett is entered with the No. 2 score (494.80) behind Shannon McNamara of Warwick (505.65). Bartlett will be making her fourth state meet appearance.
Section II athletes notched five victories at last year’s meet at Erie Community College, and Section II won its first team title in 12 years.
The Niskayuna field hockey team will make its first state semifinal appearance Saturday against Liverpool at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Niskayuna (17-2) advanced to the 3:30 p.m. Class A game with a 2-0 regional win over Suffern, and topped Shenendehowa before for the Section II championship, 1-0, on Anna Torri’s overtime goal. Torri and Carrie Hanks delivered the goals against Suffern.
Niskayuna’s bid to reach state final four ended in 2009 and 2006 with regional setbacks. The Silver Warriors are attempting to become Section II’s second state Class A champion, with Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake claiming the flag in 1987.
Liverpool (11-4-1) beat Cicero-North Syracuse in the Section III title game, 1-0, on Emily Burns’ second-half goal, and received a regional bye. Liverpool lost in the 2011 state semifinals to Mamaroneck, 3-0.
Williamsville North and Sachem East meet in Saturday’s other Class A semifinal at 1:30. Sunday’s final is set for noon.
Greenwich (19-1) will see state Class C semifinal action Saturday at 11:30 against Greene (Section IV, 17-0). Greenwich beat Bronxville,
2-0, and Greene beat Cazenovia, 4-0, in regional finals.
Greenwich beat Friends Academy and then lost to Cazenovia in last year’s state final four.
Barker and Southampton meet in Saturday’s other Class C semifinal at 9:30. Sunday’s final is set for 10 in the morning.
Glens Falls was Section II’s last state champion (Class B) in 2001.