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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 29, 2009

The water is warm for Guilderville swimming

By Jordan J. Michael

VOORHEESVILLE –– The Guilderville boys’ swimming coach, Vaclav Sotola, always has something hanging over his head when the team faces the swimmers from Canajoharie.

“It’s always a good rivalry because I work as a teacher at Canajoharie,” said Sotola. “I’ve worked there for 17 years but I never wanted to coach there because I live in Guilderland.”

Guilderville, which combines swimmers from Guilderland and Voorheesville, had a 40-to-28 lead over Canajoharie when The Enterprise arrived to the Voorheesville pool last Thursday. Guilderville went on to win the meet, 97-77.

“Canjo has lost some steam over the past few years,” Sotola said. “Winning really isn’t the point of all this. The important thing is that all our times were good. Jonathan Wheeler swam some of the best times of the season.”

Wheeler finished first in the 50 meter freestyle with a time of 22.93 and placed second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.70. Wheeler is a sectional finalist from last year and is on his way to being one again this year.

Guilderville had first-place finishes in the 200 medley relay, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, 100 backstroke, and 100 breaststroke. “We had a lot of good swims and everyone was excited,” said Sotola.

Sophmore Michael Schaffer came back from an arm injury to swim to second place in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:00.82. Eighth-grader Reid Zyniecki swam a time of 2:27.82 to finish first in the 200 individual medley race.

“Twelve of my 23 kids are qualified for sectionals,” Sotola said. “Six of those guys are beginning swimmers for this year. It’s safe to say that this season is going well.”

Wheeler, diver Sean Molloy, Dan Lee, Michael Pezze, Eric Kim, Senam Umbua, Schaffer, Kyungduk Rho, Tim Willox, Duncan Gentner, Zyniecki, and Andrew Wheeler have all punched a ticket for sectionals at Niskayuna High School on Feb. 13 and 14.

Gentner, a sophomore, told The Enterprise that the team is young, but fast. “A ton of us are putting up great times,” he said. “We should get a few more bodies into sectionals before the season concludes.”

“The more experienced swimmers perform extremely well under pressure,” said Sotola. “All their hard work is paying off. The less experienced swimmers are learning the strokes and events involved in swimming, and, with some more hard work, they will make a difference in years to come.”

Molloy went to states for diving last year, but is now recovering from a snowboarding injury. Willox is getting excellent times in the 200 freestyle and Pezze is on top of the 100 breaststroke. “I’m delighted with our sense of time,” Sotola said.

Guilderville is currently 5-6, losing to powerhouse Shenendehowa on Tuesday. The team has one more meet left before sectionals. “We never beat Shen, they’re just too good,” Sotola said.

“Just like last year, we’ll be represented in each event by at least one swimmer, proving our depth,” Sotola concluded. “There is still a chance for two or three more guys extending their season.”

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