By Jackson Amenta
This year the boys swim team season has been an exciting one. The relatively successful state meet marked the end of this year for the team, but it had been a great journey and is a great way to send off the seniors.
After the undefeated dual-meet season, the team was in high spirits leading up to the next half of the season. The ECIC (Erie County Interscholastic Conference) Divisions I and II meet was next and most of the team had made fast enough times to get there. East placed second with their only loss so far in the season to Orchard Park, scoring 230 points and two gold medals in the 500 free by Nate Eaton and the 400 free relay by the team of Nick Wong, Nick Lemmo, Roman Tedeschi, and Nate Eaton.
However, East did not falter. The next meet was the Class B Championship meet where East regained their winning streak and placed first at 310 points with East Aurora in second and Grand Island in third. The start of the meet was rough and the 200 medley relay team was disqualified, placing East in last place. After that, the team was able to fight back and win four gold medals in the 200 free and 500 free by Eaton, the 100 back by Tedeschi, and the 400 free relay by the same team as in the ECIC meet. The victory awarded us with cool t-shirts and a new plaque to put on the gym hallway walls. This was certainly one of the highest points of the season
The team was not given much of a break as the sectional meet came only a few days later. East placed 11th which is still quite the achievement considering that there were 38 other teams at the meet. Plus, there were only 8 East swimmers that had the qualifying times needed to get there: Nate Eaton, Nick Wong, Roman Tedeschi, Nick Lemmo, Jack Root, Max Anderson, Peter LaJeunesse, and Henry Jacobi. The swimmers that had state qualifying times were Eaton, Wong, Lemmo, Tedeschi, and LaJeunesse.
And finally, it was time for the state meet. First, Eaton swam in the 200 free and got a personal best time of 1:46.26. Tedecshi then swam in the 100 back and got a personal best time as well, 53.61 seconds. In the last event, Eaton, Wong, Lemmo, and Tedeschi swam in the 400 free relay. Wong and Lemmo got best times in their legs of the relay, Wong swimming in 52.22 seconds and Lemmo in 50.53. “The boys did well at the state meet,” said Head Coach Miller, “all four guys that swam, swam personal or seasonal bests in something.”
In total, this year has been a great experience for all the seniors that will be graduating. Along with a long and successful season, it seems like the sport has gotten to the other side of the pandemic, and this year has been a great way for the seniors to finish off their high school swim careers. Coach Miller said about the seniors, “Thank you! The seniors on our team have been essential to the family we have on deck. Braden Cowell, Jack Root, Danny Kwon, Arnav Sawant, and Nick Wong pass down their legacy and this team has been fortunate to have leaders like that in the future.” (Full disclosure, I am on the swim team, and as I have seen on deck, the seniors take the leading role at meets, and certainly cheer the loudest. They will be missed but will pave the way for years in the future.)
“Next season,” Miller added, “I expect our team to continue to do as well as we have every other season! The next classes step up, we get better, faster, stronger, and continue to be one of the best teams in the section.”