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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, January 21, 2010
Guilderville swim team is one stroke closer to excellence
By Jordan J. Michael
NISKAYUNA The Guilderland-Voorheesville boys’ swim team is starting to surface at the right time.
Even though the Dutchbirds lost at Niskayuna on Tuesday, 94-85, Head Coach Vaclav Sotola told The Enterprise that the team is consistently improving times in the pool. “We lost to a team with better swimmers,” he said. “But, the important thing is time.”
Guilderville has a season record of 3-5 and beat Burnt-Hills Ballston Lake at home last Thursday by a score of 90 to 80.
“The team has definitely improved since last year,” Sotola said. “More swimmers made sectionals and times are faster.”
The team combines swimmers from two schools who use the Voorheesville pool since Guilderland doesn’t have one.
The big winners of the day against Niskayuna were senior diver Sean Molloy and senior freestyle specialist Jonathan Wheeler. Molloy is the only diver for Guilderville and he won the contest with a score of 241.10. Wheeler was first in both the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle with times of 22.63 and 50.57.
Both Molloy and Wheeler qualified for the state meet later this year. Molloy is ranked second in Section II in diving and it’s his third trip in a row to states.
“I don’t think Molloy has lost at a meet yet this year,” said Sotola. “He goes all year ’round because he loves to dive. He’s polished and has lots of control. He enters the water cleanly.”
Molloy said that he thinks of two simple things when he is about to dive off the board getting a good jump and entering the water. “I think judges look for a strong approach and good mechanics,” he said.
Molloy has been practicing diving at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute since he was 9 years old. He learned to appreciate diving more after he had to sit out a month last year with an elbow injury. He injured his elbow while snowboarding.
“I’ve laid off the snowboarding because I don’t want to risk missing more time,” Molloy said. “It’s fun enough to watch myself progress as a diver.”
Michael Schaffer, Kyungduk Rho, Tim Willox, Reid Zyniecki, David Fengshi, James Crowley, Duncan Gentner, Andrew Wheeler, Tim Love, and Logan Marshall will all join Jonathan Wheeler and Molloy at sectionals for the Dutchbirds.
“I’m expecting a lot of these guys to qualify for the finals,” Sotola said. “Molloy and Jonathan Wheeler should do extremely well. The other kids on the team have three weeks to join us at sectionals.”
On Tuesday, Willox placed second in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:58.22, and Schaffer finished with a time of 1:03.67 in the 100-meter backstroke, good enough for second. The team of Willox, Schaffer, Rho, and Jonathan Wheeler placed first in the 400-meter freestyle relay with a time of 3:46.66.
“We all try to work on the little things to get ahead,” said Jonathan Wheeler. “A fast start and smooth turns can win you a race. We all encourage each other to get better.”
“My team is very enthusiastic about swimming,” Sotola said. “They are one step away from excellence.”