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Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO — Competing in its own pool, Owego broke 19 out of 20 seed times at the virtual Section IV Class B Boys Swimming and Diving Championships here Friday evening.

In the only postseason event scheduled in Section IV to date, the Indians had 23 entries in the 11 swimming events (they did not compete in diving). The only event in which Owego did not break seed was the 200-yard medley relay. The Indians had three entries who did not have seed times heading into the meet.

"It was impressive," coach Kyle Lounsbury said. "A lot of time drops — and big ones. I'm really proud of them."

"I think we swam great," the team's lone senior, Eric Theal, said. "Seed times, we absolutely destroyed some of our seed times and coach has been working us really hard in practices to get us ready for this meet. We put the effort in and we all did a really good job today."

"The last two weeks, it's important before a taper that you beat them down pretty good. You've got something to work with, build them back up. Given that we had no after-school activities on Monday, that kind of threw a wrench in the gears, but we worked around it, and they took it in stride. They worked well with it."

As for the medley relay, the seed time of 1:59.97 was established by Adam Gault, Tyler Krom, Gabe Snyder and Theal. However, that quartet would swim the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and was replaced by Jacob Krassin, Kyle Riegel, Christian Hodges and Dominick Mahonski. They posted a time of 2:12.46, which topped their best time (2:15.77) which they recorded the only other time they swam it together — the first meet of the season.

Gault, Krom, Snyder and Theal posted a 1:39.05 in the 200 free relay and 3:40.98 in the 400 free relay, bettering their times of 1:45.18 and 3:58.31.

In his final meet for Owego, Theal had a 2:17.31 in the 200 individual medley and 1:04.2 in the 100 butterfly, beating his seed times of 2:29.83 and 1:09.09.

Gault, who led the Indians in individual event wins during the regular season, registered a 1:55.18 in the 200 free, topping his 2:04.73 seed time. He also logged a 1:02.03 in his first 100 fly race.

Krom went from a 2:26.1 in the 200 free to a 2:14.6 and from a 1:23.56 in the 100 backstroke to 1:12.098.

Snyder dropped from 26.09 seconds to a 24.43 in the 50 free and from 58.57 seconds to a 55.2 in the 100 free.

In the 200 IM, Krassin went from 2:56.72 to 2:48.43. He dropped from 1:24.31 to 1:20.31 in the 100 back.

Hodges swam solo in the 500 free and dumped nearly half a minute off his seed time. He posted a 5:53.49, well ahead of his see of 6:22.96. he also dipped from 2:18.71 to 2:10.23 in the 200 free.

Mahonski dropped from 30.46 seconds to 27.12 in the 50 free and from 1:04.52 to 1:00.76 in the 100 free.

In the 100 fly, Riegel dropped from 1:16.34 to 1:13.72. He also swam unseeded and solo in the 100 breaststroke, clocking 1:19.64.

Sam Nowetner went from 2:40.89 to 2:29.31 in the 200 free and had a 1:08.53 in the 100 free swimming unseeded.

Nick Angrove swam 33.94 seconds in the 50 free, bettering his previous 34.87. He also dropped from 1:38.16 to 1:33.53 in the 100 back.

Theal felt he could have done even better, but is happy to have had the Owego swimming experience.

"I definitely think I could have swam a little bit faster. I was a little frustrated with some of my times, but I think we all did really well," he said. "For a senior year, to be able to do a sport I love with the group of guys that we have, I wouldn't have had it any other way."

The team has bonded well during a difficult time and it showed in their performances and support for one another in the final meet.

"They've been with each other for 10 weeks," Lounsbury said. "They've gone through the whole thing all together and it's a big improvement from what we've seen from last year as well. They've accepted what we're doing. They have a good group, they work well together and I think they enjoy being here a lot more now."

The Indians' work ethic in the pool may not be a surprise to their coach, but the time drops may have caught him a little off-guard.

"They were lower than I expected," Lounsbury said. "Anything, especially in the sprint events, when see two-second drops it's huge. In the 100, three seconds, four seconds. They're big time drops and everywhere else. All the other events, they were throwing up real good times."

Final results have not been tabulated yet as some teams will swim Saturday.


IN PHOTO: Eric Theal competes in his final high school meet. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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