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STAC SWIMMING & DIVING: HORSEHEADS TOPS CORNING TO STAY UNBEATEN ON THE SEASON (24 PHOTOS) (2021-10-13)

By Brian Fees
Southern Tier Sports Report
HORSEHEADS — The Blue Raiders knew going into the meet that depth was going to be the key against Corning.

Both teams entered unbeaten on the year, and Corning features some elite swimmers, including Angie McKane, who has already qualified for states in multiple times and has the states fastest time in the 100 fly.

While Corning won eight of the 11 events the Blue Raiders used their depth to pick up a 90-80 victory over the Hawks.

“We are relying on those second, and third, and fourth swimmers,” Gabby Janeski said.

“Everyone on our team counts,” Allie Benton said. “These are our favorite type of meets, because the energy gets so high and you get to cheer and it’s so fun watching your teammates do well.”

Corning can do no worse than a tie for the division title, and can clinch an unbeaten, division title season when they swim Vestal.

Horseheads started things out with a win and Benton, Janeski, Sibby Lowe and Gracie Ringer captured the 200 medley relay in 2:01.35.

In the 200 free Kara Peters of Corning won in 2:05.26 followed by Horseheads’ Elise Johnson (2:05.56) and Delaney Woodhouse (2:10.87).

Grace Shelhamer of Horseheads won the 200 IM in 2:27.19 followed by Corning’s Audra Hilker (2:35.71) and Caitlyn Bain (2:38.76).

McKane won the 50 free in 24.82 with Lowe taking second for Horseheads in 26.04 followed by Carolyn Heckle of Corning in 27.42.

For Horseheads swimmers it’s fun having someone like McKane to swim against.

“She will definitely push you, she’s so good,” Janeski said.

“It’s so easy to say she’s going to beat me anyways, so it doesn’t matter,” Benton said. “But, then you tell yourself, I have someone to compete against, I have someone to race me, that’s what makes me faster.”

In the 100 fly Vanessa Turner won for Corning in 1:04.12 followed by Shelhamer (1:06.97) and Janeski (1:09.90).

Lowe won the 100 free in 56.16 followed by Heckle of Corning (59.82) and Anh Thu Tran of Horseheads (1:00.44).

Peters won the 500 free for Corning in 5:35.64 followed by Horseheads’ Johnson (5:45.04) and Woodhouse (5:56.94).

McKane, Turner, Hilker and Peters won the 200 free relay in 1:45.77. In the 400 free relay the same four won in 3:55.27.

In the 200 free relay Horseheads took second and third and they also took second in the 400 free relay.

For the Blue Raiders swimmers the relays were a lot of fun to swim, but also to watch.

“I think it’s more fun almost to be on the sideline and see the race,” Benton said. “You are jumping up and down cheering on your friends. The energy is so high, it’s fo fun to watch.”

In the 100 backstroke McKane won in 1:06.99 followed by Benton (1:10.44) and Tran (1:11.47).

Turner won the 100 breaststroke in 1:16.28 followed by Janeski (1:20.54) and Sydney Ham (1:21.44) of Horseheads.

For the Horseheads swimmers the entire night was fun. With every race mattering the swimmers were cheering on their teammates all night.

“It’s so fun, everyone is losing their voices from screaming so loud,” Janeski said.

“Our voices are going to be so scratchy and we are going to go to school tomorrow and not be able to talk and I think that’s the best part of it,” Benton said.

For Horseheads swimmers it’s been a good week of competition as they saw elite teams at the Shenendehowa Invite and now saw top swimmers against Corning.

“We all realized at Shen how much cheering really helps, the cheering was much better (against Corning),” Janeski said.

For the Blue Raiders seeing that competition just showed them how much they have to work as a team.

“I think it opened some of the younger swimmers eyes to like, hey, people are actually this fast,” Benton said. “That’s a thing, it’s possible. They would turn with wide eyes and be like did that person swim that fast and we’d nod and say yep, that’s a real thing, that’s possible.”

On Tuesday they saw more fast times against Corning, but they responded with depth.

Horseheads had two of the top three finishers in eight of the 11 events, and they had either the winner, or the runner-up in every event.

As the Blue Raiders stay unbeaten in dual meets, the swimmers are excited to see what this team can do in the postseason.

“I’m so excited to see what we can do,” Benton said. “Just to see how much depth we really have ands see how everyone competes.”

PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES

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