It has been a wait of five years, but the Honeoye Falls-Lima Girls Varsity Swim team can add to their banner in the high school gymnasium after winning the Section V Class B title in dominating fashion last week.
HF-L swam away from the pack, racking up 471.5 points, over 100 points more than runnerup Spencerport at the Section V Class B Championships on November 6 at the Webster Aquatic Center. The Lady Cougars captured first place in nine of the events during a dominating performance.
“It all started with a very good performance in the preliminaries on Wednesday (November 3),” said HF-L coach Ari Freedman-Weiss, who was named Class B Coach of the Year. “As the season went along it looked like we would be the team to beat in sectionals and the times on the prelim sheets going in showed that we should run away with it. The girls worked hard and made sure we got it done.”
The divers gave HF-L a good start as Jenna Bovenzi compiled 331.50 points for third place and Bethany Coler totaled 320.45 points for fifth at the Class B diving event on October 29 at Churchville-Chili. Their places gave the Cougars 30 points and a 10-point lead over both Spencerport and Gates Chili before the swimming events were even held.
“Jenna has worked hard and we felt she could place in the top five,” Freedman-Weiss said. “Bethany progressed very quickly this season and we thought it would be a possibility that she could also be among the top five divers.”
Following the strong showing at the swim preliminaries, the Cougars began the Class B finals with a victory in the opening event as the quartet of Isabelle Dague, Emma Kidd, Emily LeFrois-Heath and Kathryn McRae teamed for a time of 1 minute, 53.70 seconds (almost two seconds faster than the 1:55.67 that the group turned in the prelims). Adeline Beutner took third in the 200 freestyle at 2:02.79, nearly three seconds faster than her 2:05.38 in the prelims. Teammates Samantha Picciotti took fourth (2:04.70) and Addison Boggio eighth (2:09.53, beating her 2:11.09 from prelims). LeFrois-Heath won the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 11.86 seconds, a state meet qualifying time. Ella Beutner came in seventh (2:31.93) and Hazel Jokl ninth (2:34.84, faster than her 2:38.49 from prelims).
“We kind of expected Emily to qualify for the state meet in that event, but it was still great to see her do so,” Freedman-Weiss said of the senior who was named the Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet and also the Monroe County Division 3 Swimmer of the Year.
Emma Kidd tied for third in the 50 freestyle in 25.82 seconds (better than her prelims time of 26.23) and Ryann Tanner claimed seventh in 26.21 seconds. LeFrois-Heath was victorious in the 100 butterfly with a time of 59.24 seconds with that time qualifying her for the state meet in that event. Ella Beutner finished sixth at 1:04.55, over a full second faster than the 1:05.81 in the prelims of the 100 fly. Picciotti wound up eighth (1:07.25) and Natalie Gilbert 12th (1:08.01, which was faster than her 1:08.87 in prelims). McRae captured the 100 freestyle in 55.26 seconds, just a bit faster than her 55.61 in the prelims. Adeline Beutner was fifth (57.28, better than her 58.11 in prelims), Tanner sixth (57.64, better than her 57.87 in prelims) and Claire Puchades 13th (1:03.19). Dague and Gilbert went 1-2 in the 500 freestyle with Dague’s winning time of 5:31.76 being almost four seconds faster than her 5:35.34 in the prelims and Gilbert’s time of 5:38.30 being over three seconds faster than her 5:41.69 in prelims. Boggio secured sixth in the 500 free at 5:44.16, which was a full second faster than her 5:45.16 in prelims, and Elisabeth Kenny was 20th (6:40.38).
“Going 1-2 in the 500 was a big highlight of the meet,” Freedman-Weiss said. “The 500 free has been a strong event of ours all season; we have just had so much depth in that event.”
The group of McRae, Tanner, Kidd and LeFrois-Heath turned a winning time of 1:40.78 in the 200 freestyle relay, a full second faster than the 1:41.78 they recorded in the prelims and a state meet qualifying time. McRae earned her second event win with a time of 1:03.44 (faster than her 1:04.09 in prelims) to take the 100 backstroke title. Dague finished third in 1:05.03, faster than the 1:05.87 she had in prelims, while Lillian Carey was 24th (1:14.79). Kidd captured the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.51, faster than the 1:12.88 she registered in the prelims, and Jokl was 12th (1:18.56, faster than the 1:22 she had in prelims). The quartet of Tanner, Picciotti, Dague and Adeline Beutner concluded the meet with a winning time of 3:51.20 in the 400 freestyle relay, which was faster than the 3:52.45 they had in the prelims.
“The 200 free relay making states was also a highlight of the meet,” Freedman-Weiss said. “They were only .15 seconds off the qualifying time in the prelims so we knew they had a good shot at making it. Emma Kidd winning the 100 breaststroke was also a highlight as she was not expected or favored to win the event before she turned that great time in prelims.”
The only downside to the meet was the fact that sophomore Ava Stefanou was unable to swim in the meet due to unfortunate circumstances. Freedman-Weiss said that Stefanou had worked very hard and the fact that she could not swim in the meet was a major blow and the timing was horrible for her.
LeFrois-Heath will compete in both the 200 IM and the 100 butterfly and will team with McRae, Tanner and Kidd in the 200 freestyle relay at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships on November 19 and 20 at Ithaca College.