Chloe Butler, Everly Kessler, and Francesca Chirco
States for Swimming and Indoor Track
Since the beginning of the winter sports season, it has been the driving goal of Jamesville-DeWitt High School Indoor Track and Swimming/Diving athletes to make it to States. Many of these athletes accomplished just that as they ended their seasons on the highest possible note by qualifying and competing in States. On the road to achieve their goal, many athletes even set personal records and broke long-standing school records.
From the Track team, senior runners Joey Armenta, Murad Amurlayev, David Fikhman, and Alexandria Payne and junior runners Ana Dieroff and Michael Potamianos qualified to represent J-D in States at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, NY.
To end their season with a bang, Armenta, Potamianos, Amurlayev, and Fikhman placed 5th overall in the four by two team relay. The boys even set a new school record for the relay, 1:31.48. “It was a great way to end my last indoor season and it was a great experience,” said Armenta. Payne placed 6th in the high jump and 9th in the hurdles and Dieroff placed 18th in the 600 meter dash.
Indoor Track coaches Emily Rowles and Juan Martinez were very pleased with their athletes’ performances all season long and their success at States was the cherry on top of a great season. “To even qualify for States is an accomplishment in and of itself and to then go and place at States, where there is a much larger pool of kids, is a huge accomplishment,” said Coach Rowels.
Throughout the season, the runners found that it was the guidance of their coaches that helped them to improve and reach their ultimate goal of making it to States. From pushing the athletes during practice to staying later to give individual help, Rowles and Martinez were major contributors to the success of the runners. “My coaches would stay after practice to help me work on certain things I struggled with,” said Payne.
Aside from competing, the athletes made time for bonding as they went to a nearby mall, had a team dinner, and even brought down a PS4 and an Xbox so they could play Fortnite in the hotel room. “It was a lot of fun to hang out with the team in the hotel, it was a great bonding experience,” said Potamianos.
The States meet for Swimming and Diving was at Nassau County Aquatics Center in Long Island, NY. Representing J-D in the meet were seniors Spencer Schultz, Owen Farchione, Ryan Evans, and David Chen, as well as sophomore Lucas Dekaney. The team is coached by Bob Bewley, who has been an asset to the J-D Swim team for many years.
Schultz went to the finals for the 100 fly event and the boys placed 12th in the medley relay, setting a new school record at 1:37.83. “I was very nervous before the race but after I was relieved because it was a great way to finish off my last meet,” said Schultz. For the diving events, Evans placed 18th in publics and 28th in federation while Dekaney placed 13th in public and 16th in federation. According to Schultz, only 3.9% of all high school swimmers make it back to States, so it was a big accomplishment for the J-D swimmers to return to States this year.
Before and after their meet, the team had some time to relax and bond with each other on their trip. The swimmers had a team dinner with their parents and did many more fun activities while at States. “We had a team dinner with all of our parents, which was a nice celebration,” said Schultz.